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MMASucka’s UFC Vegas 67 Staff Picks

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2023 has only just begun for our MMASucka staff picks.

UFC Vegas 67, also titled as UFC Fight Night 217, will take place later tonight, January 14th from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is the promotion’s first of the calendar year and first in four weeks. Five fights compose the main card beginning at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) live to subscribers on ESPN+. The preliminary card will begin three hours earlier at 4:00pm ET (1:00pm PT) also aired on ESPN+.

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MMASucka will provide live results from the entire UFC Vegas 67: Strickland vs. Imavov event.

Also, be sure to recap our staff picks from Friday night’s ONE Fight Night 6 event from Bangkok, Thailand.

The Fights

The UFC’s first event of 2023 has already seen drastic change. Middleweights Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov were originally set to meet in the featured main event. However, an injury from Gastelum just days ago forced him out of the bout. Sean Strickland, with less than a weeks notice, will now fight Imavov in the light heavyweight division.

A quick turnaround it will be for Strickland who fought just 28 days ago on the promotion’s final card of 2022 losing a debatable split decision in the main event to Jared Cannonier. The former King of the Cage middleweight champion looks to avoid three straight octagon defeats in his fourth headlining bout. Strickland’s opponent, Imavov, is set for his first UFC headliner in just his sixth promotional fight. At just 27 years of age, the MMA Factory rising talent has won twelve of his 15 career matchups including finishes over Ian Heinisch and Edmen Shahbazyan along his active three-fight win streak.

In the co-main event, Dan Ige will faceoff against Damon Jackson in the featherweight division. Season three veteran of Dana White’s Contender Series Ige hopes to avoid four straight losses since his last victory over Gavin Tucker in March of 2021. Former LFA featherweight champion Jackson sees momentum in his side tonight with four straight UFC wins including three in 2022 alone.

Three additional fights compose the main card ahead: Hawaii’s Punahele Soriano meets former AMC Fight Nights middleweight champion Roman Kopylov; Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Ketlen Vieira squares off against former bantamweight title challenger Raquel Pennington; and undefeated bantamweight Umar Nurmagomedov takes on former Shooto and RFA featherweight champion Raoni Barcelos at 135 pounds.

Check out our staff picks for UFC Vegas 67 further below.

Staff Picks

MMASucka staff picks are composed of five promotions throughout all of 2023: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator MMA, ONE Championship, the Professional Fighters League (PFL), and Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS).

UFC and Bellator events will feature picks from the entire main cards. PFL will feature select fights from the main and preliminary card while DWCS sees all fights counted from the event. ONE returns to our picks for the first time since 2020 and will feature only mixed martial arts (MMA) fights selected from cards with a minimum of at least three matchups.

Wesley Riddle won staff picks in 2022 with a record of 264-135.

See below for our UFC Vegas 67: Strickland vs. Imavov picks.


MMASucka’s 2022 Staff Records:

1. Wesley Riddle: 264-135
2T. Michael DeSantis: 256-143
2T. Frazer Krohn: 256-143
4. Nate Freeman: 252-133
5. Jeremy Brand: 242-150
6. Andrew Benjamin: 217-165
7. Tim Wheaton: 192-119
8. Julio Monteros Jr.: 183-104
9. Brian Knight: 159-114
10. Jack Goodwillie: 150-75
11. Brandon Joint: 115-74
12. Roemello Reyes: 75-45
13. Ben Jamieson: 72-33

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*


Umar Nurmagomedov (15-0), -850
vs.
Raoni Barcelos (17-3), +600

Bantamweight Division
– 135 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Nurmagomedov via Round 1 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Roemello Reyes: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 SUB
Ben Jamieson: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Harbaugh: Nurmagomedov via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Nurmagomedov: 13
Staff picking Barcelos: 0


Ketlen Vieira (13-2), -130
vs.
Raquel Pennington (14-9), +110

Women’s Bantamweight Division
– 135 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Vieira via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Pennington via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Pennington via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Vieira via Split Decision
Brian Knight: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Vieira via Split Decision
Roemello Reyes: Pennington via Split Decision
Ben Jamieson: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Harbaugh: Pennington via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Vieira: 9
Staff picking Pennington: 4


Punahele Soriano (9-2), -140
vs.
Roman Kopylov (9-2), +120

Middleweight Division
– 185 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Soriano via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Soriano via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Soriano via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Soriano via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Soriano via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Soriano via Round 2 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Soriano via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Soriano via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Soriano via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Soriano via Round 1 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Soriano via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Soriano via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Harbaugh: Kopylov via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Soriano: 12
Staff picking Kopylov: 1


Dan Ige (15-6), -125
vs.
Damon Jackson (22-4-1, 1 NC), +105

Featherweight Division
Co-Main Event

– 145 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Ige via Round 3 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Ige via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Ige via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Ige via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Ige via Round 2 SUB
Nate Freeman: Ige via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Ige via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Ige via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Ige via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Ige via Round 2 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Jackson via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Ige via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Harbaugh: Jackson via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Ige: 11
Staff picking Jackson: 2


Sean Strickland (25-5), +110
vs.
Nassourdine Imavov (12-3), -130

Light Heavyweight Division
Main Event

– 205 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Imavov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Imavov via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Imavov via Split Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Imavov via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Imavov via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Imavov via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Imavov via Round 3 TKO
Brandon Joint: Imavov via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Imavov via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Imavov via Round 2 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Strickland via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Imavov via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Harbaugh: Imavov via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Strickland: 1
Staff picking Imavov: 10

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

UFC VEGAS 67 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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