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MMASucka’s UFC Vegas 66 Staff Picks

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Two events remain for MMASucka staff picks in 2022.

UFC Vegas 66, also titled as UFC Fight Night 216, will take place later tonight, December 17th from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event marks the organization’s 29th year featuring competition and the final promotional event until January 14th. All fights will be available to watch on ESPN+ with prelims beginning at 4:00pm ET (1:00pm PT) and the main card kicking off at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT).

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Live results from the entire UFC Vegas 66: Cannonier vs. Strickland event will be available here at MMASucka.

Our final staff picks event of the calendar year, Bellator MMA vs. Rizin, will take place on Saturday, December 31st.

The Fights

Top ten middleweights Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland are set for a potential five rounds in the final UFC main event of 2022.

“The Killa Gorilla” Cannonier is looking to return in a big way after suffering a loss for the divisional championship to former title holder Israel Adesanya in July. Ten knockouts are accredited to The MMA Lab talent through 15 victories including his second-round stoppage in February over Derek Brunson. Cannonier’s opponent, Strickland, targets a similar return following his July knockout defeat to newest 185-pound king Alex Pereira. The loss for the former King of the Cage champion snapped a six-fight win streak dating back to October of 2018 that included three decisions over Krzysztof Jotko, Uriah Hall, and Jack Hermansson.

Two lightweights on the rise will meet in the night’s co-main event between Arman Tsarukyan and Damir Ismagulov. 26-year-old Tsarukyan hopes to rebound after his first octagon main event resulted in a debatable “Fight of the Night” unanimous decision loss to Mateusz Gamrot in June. Former M-1 lightweight champion Ismagulov aims for his 19th straight professional win since November of 2015 and his sixth with the promotion.

Amir Albazi remains on the main card in a fight with 2022 Contender Series notable and short notice replacement Alessandro Costa. Albazi’s two prior scheduled opponents, Alex Perez and Brandon Royval, were both forced out of the event.

Three additional fights compose the main card ahead. 26-fight UFC veteran Alex Caceres will battle The Ultimate Fighter 22 veteran Julian Erosa; two lightweight veterans come face-to-face as Drew Dober takes on Bobby Green; and Poland’s Michal Oleksiejczuk meets Factory X Muay Thai’s Cody Brundage. See our staff picks for UFC Vegas 66 further below.

Staff Picks

Staff picks in 2022 will follow the same set of rules from the 2021 season. Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from both UFC and Bellator events. Main card fights and selected preliminary fights will be included for PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series are composed of bouts from the entire card.

The WINNER of staff picks in 2022 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. A winner is determined simply by the individual correctly picking the most victorious fighters at the year’s end. Nate Freeman secured his first victory with MMASucka in 2021 with a compiled record 243-136.

Who will have their hand raised at UFC Vegas 66: Cannonier vs. Strickland? Find out MMASucka staff picks for the final event of 2022 below.


Staff Records after UFC 282:

1. Wesley Riddle: 254-134
2. Michael DeSantis: 251-137
3. Frazer Krohn: 245-143
4. Nate Freeman: 242-132
5. Jeremy Brand: 233-148
6. Andrew Benjamin: 211-160
7. Tim Wheaton: 188-117
8. Julio Monteros Jr.: 183-104
9. William Dong: 173-106
10. Chris Presnell: 170-120
11. Brian Knight: 155-113
12. Jack Goodwillie: 141-73
13. Mike Lynch: 123-74
14. Brandon Joint: 115-74
15. Ash Camyab: 105-77
16. Coby Weinsier: 87-47
17. Roemello Reyes: 75-45
18. Chinyere Okafor: 72-38
19. Jacek Okninski: 70-58
20. Ben Jamieson: 67-32
21. Matt Bricker: 24-22
22. Joe Porter: 11-5

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*


Cody Brundage (8-2), +230
vs.
Michal Oleksiejczuk (17-5, 1 NC), -275

Middleweight Division
– 185 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Oleksiejczuk via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Oleksiejczuk via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Oleksiejczuk via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Brundage via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Oleksiejczuk via Round 2 SUB
Nate Freeman: Oleksiejczuk via Round 2 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Oleksiejczuk via Round 3 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Oleksiejczuk via Round 2 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Oleksiejczuk via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Brundage: 1
Staff picking Oleksiejczuk: 8


Drew Dober (25-11, 1 NC), -155
vs.
Bobby Green (29-13-1), +135

Lightweight Division
– 155 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Dober via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Dober via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Dober via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Green via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Dober via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Dober via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Dober via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Dober via Split Decision
Ben Jamieson: Dober via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Dober: 8
Staff picking Green: 1


Alex Caceres (19-13, 1 NC), +145
vs.
Julian Erosa (28-10), -170

Featherweight Division
– 145 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Erosa via Round 1 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Erosa via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Erosa via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Erosa via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Caceres via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Caceres via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Erosa via Round 3 SUB
Jack Goodwillie: Erosa via Round 2 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Erosa via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Caceres: 2
Staff picking Erosa: 7


Amir Albazi (15-1), -425
vs.
Alessandro Costa (11-2), +340

Flyweight Division
– 125 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Albazi via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Albazi via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Albazi via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Albazi via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Albazi via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Albazi via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Costa via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Albazi via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Albazi via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Albazi: 8
Staff picking Costa: 1


Arman Tsarukyan (18-3), -195
vs.
Damir Ismagulov (24-1), +165

Lightweight Division
Co-Main Event

– 185 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Tsarukyan via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Tsarukyan via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Tsarukyan via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Tsarukyan via Split Decision
Frazer Krohn: Tsarukyan via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Ismagulov via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Tsarukyan via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Tsarukyan via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Tsarukyan via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Tsarukyan: 8
Staff picking Ismagulov: 1


Jared Cannonier (15-6), -115
vs.
Sean Strickland (25-4), -105

Middleweight Division
Main Event

– 185 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Strickland via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Cannonier via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Strickland via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Cannonier via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Cannonier via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Cannonier via Round 1 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Cannonier via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Strickland via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Cannonier via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Cannonier: 6
Staff picking Strickland: 3

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

UFC VEGAS 66 FEATURED IMAGE:

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Wesley Riddle is a 28-year-old writer out of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a 2018 graduate from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, having obtained a B.S. in Health & Physical Education. Watching the draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard from 2011 sparked his interest in the sport of mixed martial arts. He created "All That MMA" on Twitter, which came to birth in December of 2013. He would join with MMASucka in the later quarter of 2016. Some of Riddle's hobbies include music, playing golf, watching horror movies, and working with non-profit organizations throughout his community. You can follow him on Twitter at @AllThatMMA or @WesleyRiddleMMA, and on Instagram @WesleyRiddle.

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