UFC 232 changed locations this week, but Cageside Press has their picks in no matter where the fight takes place.
|Staff Writers||Mendes vs. Volkanovski||Latifi vs. Anderson||Condit vs. Chiesa||Cyborg vs. Nunes||Jones vs. Gustafsson|
|Heath Harshman (141-80)|
|Dan Doherty (138-89)|
|Mike Straus (137-89)|
|Paarth Pande (132-86)|
|Eddie Law (126-83)|
|Josh Evanoff (80-60)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (110-86)|
|Jay Anderson (123-104)|
|Mike McClory (108-96)|
The UFC 232 main event is a rematch between the man of the hour, Jon Jones, and Alexander Gustafsson. The first fight was one for the ages, with Jones winning a close decision in the first fight that made him look human. Jones has been the center of attention this week, as an “atypical” drug test led to the event shifting from Las Vegas to Los Angeles with six days to go. Six of nine writers believe Jones will take the rematch.
The co-main event is a superfight between women’s champions Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg. Nunes has defended her title three times since winning it in 2016, defeating current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, Ronda Rousey, and Raquel Pennington. Cyborg is 5-0 in the UFC, defending her title against Holly Holm and Yana Kunitskaya. All but two writers picked Cyborg.
Michael Chiesa moves up to welterweight to face Carlos Condit. After going on a three-fight win streak, Chiesa lost a pair of fights to Kevin Lee and Anthony Pettis, prompting a move to 170 pounds. Condit has not won a fight since 2015, with a controversial split decision loss to then-champion Robbie Lawler being the turning point of his career. Five of nine writers picked Chiesa.
Corey Anderson battles Ilir Latifi as they both look for a spot among the top light heavyweight contenders. Latifi is coming off a pair of great wins against Tyson Pedro and Ovince St. Preux and has won five of his last six fights. Anderson has rebounded from an 0-2 2017 by winning both of his fights this year, including a win over Glover Teixeira. Five of nine writers sided with Latifi.
Opening up the UFC 232 main card is up-and-comer Alex Volkanovski against Chad Mendes. Volkanovski has been beyond impressive since joining the UFC, going 5-0 and effectively dominating every opponent. Mendes recently returned from suspension with a first round stoppage against Myles Jury. All but one writer picked the longtime contender Mendes.
By the way, this is the last staff pick article of 2018, making Heath Harshman the winner for the year. Heath has defended his 2017 title with an impressive 63-percent of fights chosen correctly prior to tonight’s card.