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UFC Vegas 72 Staff Picks

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In calm but anticipated fashion, the month of April wraps up for our MMASucka staff picks.

UFC Vegas 72, also titled as UFC Fight 223, is set for action later tonight, Saturday the 29th, from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The preliminary card will be available to watch on both ESPN 2 for cable viewers and ESPN+ for subscribers at 4:30pm ET (1:30pm PT). Six main card fights will follow at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) only on ESPN+.

Stay tuned to MMASucka for live results from UFC Vegas 72: Song vs. Simon.

The Fights

Rising yet established bantamweight stars Song Yadong and Ricky Simon will meet in the featured five-round main event. The two were anticipated to fight across only three rounds in the co-main event of last weekend’s UFC Vegas 71 until they were rescheduled after Renato Moicano was injured and forced out of his lightweight pairing with Arman Tsarukyan.

Yadong will be making his twelfth walk to the octagon in what will be his second consecutive headlining appearance. Although having lost to Cory Sandhagen by doctor stoppage in that fight last September, the 25-year-old has many years ahead representing Team Alpha Male in what he hopes to be his 20th career victory. Yadong’s opponent, Simon, rides significant momentum with five straight wins since May of 2020. The former LFA Bantamweight Champion and former Titan FC title challenger has only faced defeat three times in 23 fights and looks for further success in his first UFC main event.

In the co-main event, Caio Borralho and Michal Oleksiejczuk look to back up their successful 2022 years in the middleweight division. Three straight victories for Borralho last year added to the streak of the Brazilian’s active twelve-fight run dating back to his one and only professional defeat in mid-215 to Joao Carvalho. Poland’s Oleksiejczuk turned the tides following a 2-3 stretch with back-to-back knockouts in the first round over Sam Alvey and Cody Brundage.

Multi-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Rodolfo Vieira returns after a near-year layoff to take on former two-divisional Lights Out Middleweight Champion and the aforementioned Brundage.

Three additional fights make up the main card ahead including The Ultimate Fighter 22 alum Julian Erosa, 15-fight octagon veteran Marcos Rogerio de Lima, and undefeated finisher Josh Quinlan battling their respected opponents of promotional newcomer Fernando Padilla, 2022 Contender Series contract winner Waldo Cortes-Acosta, and, on short notice, recently-crowned LFA Welterweight Champion Trey Waters, respectively.

See further below for our UFC Vegas 72 main card picks.

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.

Find out our MMASucka staff predictions for UFC Vegas 72: Song vs. Simon below.


Staff Records after Bellator 295

1T. Tim Wheaton: 86-44
1T. Ben Jamieson: 86-44
3. Michael DeSantis: 84-46
4. Nate Freeman: 83-47
5T. Jeremy Brand: 81-49
5T. Frazer Krohn: 81-49
7. Wesley Riddle: 80-50
8. Julio Monteros Jr.: 71-48
9. Brian Knight: 67-39
10. Andrew Benjamin: 66-59
11. Roemello Reyes: 62-34
12. Jack Goodwillie: 61-41
13. Jonathan Andrade: 20-14
14. Brandon Joint: 12-9
15. Andrew Harbaugh: 10-7
16. Joshua Yule: 7-6

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*


Josh Quinlan (6-0), -175
vs.

Trey Waters (7-1), +150

Welterweight Division
– 170 LBS. ~ 77.1 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Quinlan via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Quinlan via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Quinlan via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Quinlan via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Quinlan via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Quinlan via Round 3 SUB
Brian Knight: Quinlan via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Waters via Round 2 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Quinlan via Round 2 TKO
Jonathan Andrade: Quinlan via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Quinlan: 9
Staff picking Waters: 1


Marcos Rogerio de Lima (20-9-1), -170
vs.
Waldo Cortes-Acosta (9-0), +145

Heavyweight Division
– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Cortes-Acosta via Round 3 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Cortes-Acosta via Round 3 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Rogerio de Lima via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Cortes-Acosta via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Cortes-Acosta via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Cortes-Acosta via Round 1 TKO
Brian Knight: Cortes-Acosta via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Cortes-Acosta via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Cortes-Acosta via Round 2 TKO
Jonathan Andrade: Cortes-Acosta via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Rogerio de Lima: 1
Staff picking Cortes-Acosta: 9


Julian Erosa (28-11), -140
vs.
Fernando Padilla (14-4), +120

Featherweight Division
– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Erosa via Round 2 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Erosa via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Erosa via Round 2 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Erosa via Round 2 SUB
Nate Freeman: Erosa via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Erosa via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Erosa via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Erosa via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Erosa via Unanimous Decision
Jonathan Andrade: Erosa via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Erosa: 10
Staff picking Padilla: 0


Rodolfo Vieira (8-2), -230
vs.
Cody Brundage (8-3), +195

Middleweight Division
– 185 LBS. ~ 83.9 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Vieira via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Vieira via Round 1 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Vieira via Round 2 SUB
Nate Freeman: Vieira via Round 1 SUB
Tim Wheaton: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Brundage via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Vieira via Unanimous Decision
Jonathan Andrade: Vieira via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Vieira: 9
Staff picking Brundage: 1


Caio Borralho (13-1, 1 NC), -365
vs.
Michal Oleksiejczuk (18-5, 1 NC), +300

Middleweight Division
– Co-Main Event –

– 185 LBS. ~ 83.9 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Borralho via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Borralho via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Borralho via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Borralho via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Borralho via Round 2 SUB
Tim Wheaton: Borralho via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Borralho via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Borralho via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Borralho via Round 3 TKO
Jonathan Andrade: Borralho via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Borralho: 10
Staff picking Oleksiejczuk: 0


Song Yadong (19-7-1, 1 NC), +100
vs.
Ricky Simon (20-3), -120

Bantamweight Division
– Main Event –

– 135 LBS. ~ 61.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Simon via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Simon via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Yadong via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Yadong via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Simon via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Yadong via Round 1 TKO
Brian Knight: Yadong via Round 3 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Yadong via Split Decision
Ben Jamieson: Simon via Round 2 TKO
Jonathan Andrade: Yadong via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Yadong: 6
Staff picking Simon: 4

UFC VEGAS 72 FEATURED IMAGE:

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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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