Our double-header weekend for MMASucka staff picks heads to Sin City.
UFC Vegas 82, also titled as UFC Fight Night 232, will take place later today, November 18th from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prelims kick off at 2:00pm ET (11:00am PT) followed by the six-fight main card at 5:00pm ET (2:00pm PT). All fights will be available to ESPN+ subscribers.
Live results from UFC Vegas 82: Allen vs. Craig will be available here at MMASucka.
Also, be sure to recap Friday night’s Bellator 301: Amosov vs. Jackson picks from Chicago, Illinois.
Looking to break out as middleweight’s next contender sees a five-round clash between Brendan Allen and Paul Craig.
27-year-old Allen earned his shot in the Ultimate Fighting Championship with his 2019 contract-winning performance on Dana White’s Contender Series. The former Valor Fights and LFA Middleweight Champion has since amassed ten victories through twelve promotional fights including his active five-fight win streak with four by submission; two over Andre Muniz and Bruno Silva this year alone. Allen’s opponent, Craig, spent his first 15 fights with the UFC in the light heavyweight division before making the change down a class. After ending the 205-pound run with back-to-back losses, the former BAMMA Light Heavyweight Champion snapped the skid with a July knockout over the aforementioned Andre Muniz earning his eighth “Performance of the Night” bonus.
Welterweights Michael Morales and Jake Matthews will fight in the co-main event. 2021 Contender Series contract winner Morales continues his impressive undefeated run at just 24 years of age with 15 victories including his three octagon bouts over Trevin Giles, Adam Fugitt, and, most recently, Max Griffin. Australian scrapper Matthews targets his second consecutive win after his second-round rear-naked choke of Darrius Flowers in July.
An important fight for the women’s strawweight division awaits as another Contender Series contract winner of Luana Pinheiro looks to back up her nine wins in-a-row with a potential tenth opposite the divisional return of former Jungle Fight and Max Fight title holder Amanda Ribas.
On less than one weeks’ notice, Myktybek Orolbai will make his UFC debut replacing Jonny Parsons to fight Uros Medic at 170 pounds.
Two additional fights make up the awaiting main card. Notable contenders Jordan Leavitt and Chase Hooper will meet in the lightweight division, and Nevada’s own Payton Talbott makes his first appearance versus grappler Nick Aguirre in the bantamweight division.
Find our staff picks further below for UFC Vegas 82: Allen vs. Craig.
[ Watch LIVE on ESPN+ | 2pmET / 11amPT ] pic.twitter.com/0xl0f44pkr
— UFC (@ufc) November 17, 2023
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/or 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.
See our UFC Vegas 82: Allen vs. Craig picks below.
Staff Records after UFC 295:
1. Ben Jamieson: 275-139
2. Michael DeSantis: 266-144
3. Nate Freeman: 261-153
4. Jeremy Brand: 259-155
5. Wesley Riddle: 258-156
6. Frazer Krohn: 247-161
7. Julio Monteros Jr.: 226-127
8. Andrew Benjamin: 194-166
9. Jack Goodwillie: 148-83
10. Brian Knight: 140-84
11. Tim Wheaton: 105-60
12. Roemello Reyes: 62-34
13. Jonathan Andrade: 31-24
14. Brandon Joint: 12-9
15T. Andrew Harbaugh: 10-7
15T. Chris De Santiago: 10-7
17. Joshua Yule: 7-6
18. Antwyn Jackson: 5-6
*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – Bellator 301 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*
Uros Medic (9-1), +100
Myktybek Orolbai (11-1-1), -120
– 170 LBS. ~ 77.1 KG. –
Jeremy Brand: Medic via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Orolbai via Round 3 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Medic via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Medic via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Orolbai via Round 1 TKO
Staff picking Medic: 3
Staff picking Orolbai: 2
Luana Pinheiro (11-1), +195
Amanda Ribas (12-4), -238
Women’s Strawweight Division
– 115 LBS. ~ 52.2 KG. –
Jeremy Brand: Ribas via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Ribas via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Ribas via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Ribas via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Ribas via Unanimous Decision
Staff picking Pinheiro: 0
Staff picking Ribas: 5
Payton Talbott (6-0), -750
Nick Aguirre (7-1), +525
– 135 LBS. ~ 61.2 KG. –
Jeremy Brand: Talbott via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Talbott via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Talbott via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Talbott via Round 1 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Talbott via Round 1 TKO
Staff picking Talbott: 6
Staff picking Aguirre: 0
Chase Hooper (12-3-1), -205
Jordan Leavitt (11-2), +170
– 155 LBS. ~ 70.3 KG. –
Jeremy Brand: Hooper via Round 1 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Leavitt via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Hooper via Round 2 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Leavitt via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Hooper via Round 2 SUB
Staff picking Hooper: 3
Staff picking Leavitt: 2
Michael Morales (15-0), -310
Jake Matthews (19-6), +250
– Co-Main Event –
– 170 LBS. ~ 77.1 KG. –
Jeremy Brand: Morales via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Morales via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Morales via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Morales via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Morales via Unanimous Decision
Staff picking Morales: 5
Staff picking Matthews: 0
Brendan Allen (22-5), -440
Paul Craig (17-6-1), +340
– Main Event –
– 185 LBS. ~ 83.9 KG. –
Jeremy Brand: Allen via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Allen via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Allen via Round 3 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Craig via Round 3 SUB
Ben Jamieson: Allen via Unanimous Decision
Staff picking Allen: 4
Staff picking Craig: 1