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MMASucka’s UFC Fight Night 221 Staff Picks

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A wonderful evening it will be for our MMASucka staff picks as the second half of our double-header weekend is locked in.

UFC Fight Night 221 will take place in just a few short hours today, March 11th from The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. All 13 fights will take place on ESPN+ with prelims beginning at 3:00pm ET (12:00pm PT) followed by the main card at 6:00pm ET (3:00pm PT).

Follow along here at MMASucka for live results from the entire UFC Fight Night 221: Yan vs. Dvalishvili event.

Be sure to recap our staff picks from Friday night’s Bellator 292: Nurmagomedov vs. Henderson event from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Fights

Important implications for the UFC’s bantamweight division will be settled in the night’s featured main event as Petr Yan faces Merab Dvalishvili.

Former ACB champion and former UFC interim and regular champion Yan targets a critical win to his record after suffering split decision losses in his last two outings with Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley. Despite debatable judging verdicts in both fights, the well-rounded Master of Sport in boxing remains one of the division’s best as he targets his ninth win in the octagon. Yan’s opponent, Dvalishvili, looks to represent Georgia and Serra-Longo Fight Team in his first promotional main event. After losing fights to start his UFC tenure, the former Combat Sambo World Championships medalist has eight in-a-row including his three most recent over notables Cody Stamann, Marlon Moraes, and Jose Aldo.

In the co-main event, Alexander Volkov and Alexandr Romanov will clash at heavyweight. Former Bellator champion Volkov looks for a 36th professional win in what will be his 46th bout coming off a first-round knockout over Jairzinho Rozenstruik last June. Former freestyle wrestler Romanov looks for a strong bounce back after his undefeated run of 16-0 was snapped to Marcin Tybura by majority decision in August last year.

After Nikita Krylov fell ill from his UFC Vegas 70 main event, his fight with Ryan Spann was postponed and ultimately scheduled for tonight’s card. Krylov and Spann will only fight across three, five-minute rounds.

A main card pairing between Ricardo Ramos and Austin Lingo was scrapped from the event and our picks after Ramos weighed in eight pounds over the featherweight limit. The late change bumped a bantamweight pairing of Mario Bautista and Guido Cannetti to the main card and, as a result, will not be counted.

Two additional fights will make up our staff picks. See who the MMASucka staff are picking to win from the main card of UFC Fight Night 221 further below.

2023 Staff Picks

MMASucka staff picks are composed of five promotions: 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 feature picks from only main cards. PFL will feature select fights from the main and preliminary card while DWCS sees all fights counted from the event. ONE Championship returns to picks for the first time since 2020 and will feature only mixed martial arts (MMA) fights selected from cards with a minimum three matchups.

The WINNER of staff picks at the end of 2023, who picked the most victorious fighters, will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. Staff picks in 2022 was won by Wesley Riddle with a record of 264-135.

Check out our UFC Fight Night 221: Yan vs. Dvalishvili picks below.

ProAmBelts

MMASucka’s 2022 Championship Belt (courtesy of ProAmBelts).


2023 Staff Records after UFC 285:

1T. Nate Freeman: 34-13
1T. Ben Jamieson: 34-13
3T. Jeremy Brand: 31-16
3T. Tim Wheaton: 31-16
5T. Frazer Krohn: 30-17
5T. Jack Goodwillie: 30-17
7T. Wesley Riddle: 29-18
7T. Michael DeSantis: 29-18
9. Roemello Reyes: 28-16
10. Julio Monteros Jr.: 26-13
11. Brian Knight: 25-18
12. Andrew Benjamin: 21-21
13. Brandon Joint: 12-9
14. Andrew Harbaugh: 10-7
15. Joshua Yule: 7-6

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – Bellator 292 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*


Vitor Petrino (7-0), -110
vs.
Anton Turkalj (8-1), -110

Light Heavyweight Division
– 205 LBS. ~ 93.0 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Turkalj via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Petrino via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Petrino via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Petrino via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Turkalj via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Petrino via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Turkalj via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Petrino via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Petrino via Round 1 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Petrino via Round 2 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Petrino via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Petrino: 8
Staff picking Turkalj: 3


Said Nurmagomedov (17-2), -225
vs.
Jonathan Martinez (17-4), +190

Bantamweight Division
– 135 LBS. ~ 61.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Nurmagomedov via Round 1 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Nurmagomedov via Round 3 SUB
Nate Freeman: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 SUB
Jack Goodwillie: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Nurmagomedov via Split Decision
Ben Jamieson: Nurmagomedov via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Nurmagomedov: 11
Staff picking Martinez: 0


Nikita Krylov (29-9), -170
vs.
Ryan Spann (21-7), +145

Catchweight Fight
– 215 LBS. ~ 97.5 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Krylov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Krylov via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Krylov via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Spann via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Spann via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Krylov via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Krylov via Round 3 SUB
Julio Monteros Jr.: Krylov via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Krylov via Round 2 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Krylov via Round 2 SUB
Ben Jamieson: Krylov via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Krylov: 9
Staff picking Spann: 2


Alexander Volkov (35-10), +130
vs.
Alexandr Romanov (16-1), -150

Heavyweight Division
Co-Main Event

– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Romanov via Round 1 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Romanov via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Romanov via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Romanov via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Romanov via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Romanov via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Volkov via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Romanov via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Romanov via Round 2 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Romanov via Round 1 SUB
Ben Jamieson: Romanov via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Volkov: 1
Staff picking Romanov: 10


Petr Yan (16-4), -240
vs.
Merab Dvalishvili (15-4), +200

Bantamweight Division
Main Event
– 205 LBS. ~ 93.0 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Dvalishvili via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Yan via Round 4 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Yan via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Yan via Split Decision
Frazer Krohn: Dvalishvili via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Yan via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Yan via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Yan via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Yan via Unanimous Decision
Roemello Reyes: Yan via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Yan via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Yan: 9
Staff picking Dvalishvili: 2

UFC FIGHT NIGHT 221 FEATURED IMAGE:

Embed from Getty Images

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Wesley Riddle is a 29-year-old writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina from Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been part of the MMASucka team since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, he serves as a writer with partner site Last Word on Motorsports.

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