MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 8: (L-R) Israel Adesanya of New Zealand and Anderson Silva of Brazil pose during the UFC 234 Press Conference inside The Palms at Crown on February 8, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Another weekend of fights, another weekend of MMASucka staff picks. Later tonight on this February 9th, UFC 234 will take place from the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. The main card action will begin live on PPV starting at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT). Make sure to also check out our staff picks for tomorrow’s Bellator Newcastle.

THE FIGHTS

A middleweight title fight between current champion Robert Whittaker and challenger Kelvin Gastelum was intended for the main event slot. However, just hours ago, the fight was cancelled as a result from Whittaker suffering a hernia and in need of surgery. Due to the circumstance of our main event cancellation, only four fights will be counted towards staff picks for this event. The short notice co-main event addition of Lando Vannata and Marcos Mariano will be excluded.

Luckily, a thrilling middleweight fight has been moved from the co-main event slot to the main event. Undefeated New Zealand sensation Israel Adesanya is set for battle against one of the greatest mixed martial artists to ever step inside the octagon, Anderson Silva. Adesanya had a very successful 2018, having started the year with a UFC debut victory over Rob Wilkinson and finishing the year ranked in the top ten at 185 pounds with a first-round knockout over Derek Brunson. Silva, the former long-time reigning middleweight champion, will be making his return to the octagon for the first time in nearly two years. He also lastly defeated Brunson by unanimous decision at UFC 208. A title shot is likely guaranteed for whoever comes out victorious in this fight tonight.

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STAFF PICKS

Throughout the year, staff picks will be composed of four different MMA promotions: UFCBellatorONE, and RIZIN. Main cards will make up both UFC and Bellator picks, while the biggest fights to make up ONE and RIZIN events will be used. The WINNER of staff picks will have a choice between receiving a championship belt from ProAmBelts or a championship chain from Championship Chains. The 2018 winner was awarded to Michael DeSantis, compiling a record of 202-101.

Check out our MMASucka staff picks for UFC 234 below.


Staff Records after UFC Fight Night 144:

  1. Michael DeSantis: 20-5
    2. Ryan Wagner: 18-7
    3. Wesley Riddle: 17-8
    4. Justin Pierrot: 16-9
    5T. Eddie Gallo: 15-10
    5T. Connor Deitrich: 15-10
    7T. Jeremy Brand: 14-11
    7T. Mike Skytte: 14-11
    7T. Brian Gerson: 14-11
    7T. Matt Bricker: 14-11
    11. Mitch Banuelos: 13-11
    12. Omar Villagrana: 12-13
    13. Sasha Moksyakov: 11-4
    14. Patrick Auger: 10-10
    15. Surak Sukumar: 9-7
    16. Ash Camyab: 8-3

Jimmy Crute (9-0) vs. Sam Alvey (33-10, 1 NC)

Jeremy Brand: Crute via UD
Wesley Riddle: Crute via UD
Mike Skytte: Crute via Round 2 TKO
Justin Pierrot: Alvey via SD
Michael DeSantis: Alvey via Round 1 TKO
Ryan Wagner: Crute via UD
Ed Gallo: Crute via UD
Omar Villagrana: Crute via UD
Brian Gerson: Crute via UD
Matt Bricker: Alvey via SD
Connor Deitrich: Crute via Round 2 TKO
Patrick Auger: Crute via UD
Sasha Moksyakov: Alvey via UD
Suraj Sukumar: Crute via UD
Ash Camyab: Crute via UD

Staff picking Crute: 11
Staff picking Alvey: 4


Montana De La Rosa (9-4) vs. Nadia Kassem (5-0)

Jeremy Brand: Kassem via UD
Wesley Riddle: Kassem via UD
Mike Skytte: De La Rosa via UD
Justin Pierrot: De La Rosa via UD
Michael DeSantis: De La Rosa via Round 2 SUB
Ryan Wagner: De La Rosa via Round 2 SUB
Ed Gallo: De La Rosa via UD
Omar Villagrana: De La Rosa via UD
Brian Gerson: De La Rosa via Round 1 SUB
Matt Bricker: De La Rosa via UD
Connor Deitrich: De La Rosa via UD
Patrick Auger: Kassem via UD
Sasha Moksyakov: De La Rosa via UD
Suraj Sukumar: De La Rosa via UD
Ash Camyab: De La Rosa via UD

Staff picking De La Rosa: 12
Staff picking Kassem: 3


Rani Yahya (26-9, 1 NC) vs. Ricky Simon (10-1)

Jeremy Brand: Simon via UD
Wesley Riddle: Yahya via Round 1 SUB
Mike Skytte: Yahya via UD
Justin Pierrot: Yahya via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Yahya via Round 1 SUB
Ryan Wagner: Yahya via Round 1 SUB
Ed Gallo: Simon via Round 2 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Simon via UD
Brian Gerson: Yahya via Round 1 SUB
Matt Bricker: Yahya via Round 3 SUB
Connor Deitrich: Yahya via Round 1 SUB
Patrick Auger: Yahya via Round 2 SUB
Sasha Moksyakov: Yahya via Round 3 SUB
Suraj Sukumar: Yahya via Round 1 SUB
Ash Camyab: Simon via UD

Staff picking Yahya: 11
Staff picking Simon: 4


Israel Adesanya (15-0) vs. Anderson Silva (34-8, 1 NC)

Jeremy Brand: Adesanya via UD
Wesley Riddle: Adesanya via Round 2 TKO
Mike Skytte: Adesanya via UD
Justin Pierrot: Adesanya via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Adesanya via Round 1 TKO
Ryan Wagner: Adesanya via Round 1 TKO
Ed Gallo: Adesanya via Round 2 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Silva via UD
Brian Gerson: Adesanya via UD
Matt Bricker: Silva via UD
Connor Deitrich: Adesanya via Round 1 TKO
Patrick Auger: Adesanya via UD
Sasha Moksyakov: Adesanya via Round 1 TKO
Suraj Sukumar: Adesanya via Round 2 TKO
Ash Camyab: Adesanya via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Adesanya: 13
Staff picking Silva: 2

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