UFC Beijing brings the action to fans early on Saturday morning from China, and Cageside Press has their picks set.

Staff WritersJingliang vs. ZawadaYadong vs. MoralesOvereem vs. PavlovichBlaydes vs. Ngannou
Heath Harshman (120-68)
Dan Doherty (121-73)
Paarth Pande (114-71)
Eddie Law (109-68)
Mike Straus (117-77)
Josh Evanoff (60-47)
Gabriel Gonzalez (96-77)
Mike McClory (98-83)
Jay Anderson (105-89)

The main event of UFC Beijing is a rematch between Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou. The first bout between the top-tier heavyweights occurred in 2016, and Blaydes was stopped due to injury at the end of the second round. However, Blaydes has been excellent since then, going 5-0 with one no contest (a fight that he was well on his way to winning prior to a knee injury to his opponent). Ngannou won his next four fights following the Blaydes victory, earning him a title shot. Ngannou was defeated cleanly by Stipe Miocic, then lost a lackluster fight against Derrick Lewis, bringing an end to his meteoric rise. Just over half of the staff sided with Blaydes.

The co-main event brings Russian prospect Sergey Pavlovich to the Octagon for the first time to fight one of the greatest heavyweights around in Alistair Overeem. Pavlovich is 12-0 with nine first-round stoppages in his career. Overeem is trying to stay relevant after falling to both main event fighters in his last two bouts and is 8-6 in his UFC career. All but one writer picked The Reem.

Song Yadong takes on Vince Morales on the main card. Yadong, a Chinese bantamweight, has impressed in the UFC so far, winning by first-round submission and second-round knockout in his two appearances. Morales makes his promotional debut after losing in the DWTNCS and winning a Bellator prelim. Seven of nine writers picked Yadong in his home country.

Opening the main card will be fan-favorite Li Jingliang against David Zawada. Jingliang is a bonus magnet, and has won five of his last six fights. After a successful run in KSW, Zawada is looking to bounce back from a loss in his promotional debut against Danny Roberts. Jingliang was unanimously picked.

Leave a Reply