UFC Philadelphia, the promotion’s second card on ESPN, appears to be exciting as any and Cageside Press has their picks set.

Staff Writers
Moraes vs. Yusuff
Craig vs. Nzechukwu
Waterson vs. Kowalkiewicz
Emmett vs. Johnson
Branch vs. Hermansson
Gaethje vs. Barboza
Jason Payne (53-12)
Drake Riggs (51-14)
Heath Harshman (50-15)
Steve King (48-17)
Joe McDonagh (48-17)
Mike Straus (46-19)
Paarth Pande (46-19)
Gabriel Gonzalez (44-21)
Jay Anderson (44-21)
Josh Evanoff (44-21)
Dan Doherty (43-22)
Adam LeBarr (19-10)
Shawn Bitter (42-23)
Eddie Law (42-23)
Jesse Gillette (41-24)
Alex Scaffidi (36-23)
Cory Groeneveld (5-1)
Keith Shillan (4-2)
Ryan Fortune (4-2)

The UFC Philadelphia main event between Justin Gaethje and Edson Barboza is a great one. Gaethje is looking to capitalize on momentum after a two-fight skid was snapped with a first-round KO over James Vick. Barboza is in the same scenario after a dismantling of Dan Hooker snapped a two-fight losing streak. 13 of 19 writers picked the brawling Gaethje.

David Branch faces Jack Hermansson in the co-main event. Branch went 1-1 in 2018 with a knockout over Thiago Santos. Hermansson comes in on a two-fight win streak. Hermansson has a very slight 10-9 edge over Branch according to Cageside Press.

Josh Emmett returns from over a year away from the Octagon to face Michael Johnson. He’s looking to bounce back from a KO loss to Jeremy Stephens. Johnson has won two straight since losing in his Featherweight debut. Two-thirds of the staff sided with Emmett.

Michelle Waterson battles Karolina Kowalkiewicz in a compelling strawweight bout. Waterson has won two in a row while Kowalkiewicz is looking to recover from a knockout loss to Jessica Andrade. Waterson was given a slight edge with 11 picks to Karolina’s eight.

Paul Craig welcomes prospect Kennedy Nzechukwu to the UFC. Craig has struggled since an impressive promotional debut, going 1-3 since then and getting stopped in all his losses. Nzechukwu is a Contender Series alum with a 6-0 record and knockouts in his last three bouts. All but four writers picked the debuting Nzechukwu.

Opening up the UFC Philadelphia main card will be Sodiq Yusuff vs. Sheymon Moraes. Yusuff is coming off an impressive first-round knockout in his UFC debut, while Moraes has won two straight since losing in his promotional debut to Zabit Magomedsharipov. Yusuff was picked by 15 of 19 writers.

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