UFC Rochester lost its co-main event a week out from the fight, but the show must go on and Cageside Press has their picks set.
|Jason Payne (79-33)|
|Drake Riggs (79-33)|
|Joe McDonagh (79-33)|
|Heath Harshman (78-34)|
|Paarth Pande (72-40)|
|Dan Doherty (70-42)|
|Josh Evanoff (70-42)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (70-42)|
|Keith Shillan (33-20)|
|Jay Anderson (69-43)|
|Mike Straus (69-43)|
|Shawn Bitter (68-44)|
|Ryan Fortune (32-21)|
|Jesse Gillette (60-46)|
UFC Rochester is headlined by a pair of former lightweight contenders meeting in the welterweight division. Rafael dos Anjos, a former lightweight champion, has lost two straight fights (albeit to the current champion and top contender) after winning three straight fights to start his welterweight run. Kevin Lee has lost two of his last three, including a lightweight title fight, and is looking to start fresh 15 pounds up. 11 of 14 writers picked Lee.
The new co-main event for UFC Rochester is between Antonio Carlos Junior and Ian Heinisch. Carlos Junior is currently on a five-fight win streak with four submissions, but pulled out of two separate fights late last year with injuries. Heinisch, a former LFA champion, is on a four-fight win streak, with one of the wins coming on the Contender Series and the latest being his UFC debut against Cezar Ferreira. All but four writers picked the Brazilian Carlos Junior.
Megan Anderson faces off with Felicia Spencer in a rare women’s featherweight bout. Anderson started out her career 7-2 with six stoppages, but is 1-1 in the Octagon with a loss to Holly Holm and a win over Cat Zingano. Spencer is undefeated at 6-0 with four stoppages heading into her promotional debut. All but one writer picked Anderson.
Derrick Krantz steps up to make his promotional debut on short notice against Vicente Luque. Luque is on a tear, going 8-1 in his last nine fights with all of his victories via stoppage. Krantz is a 34-fight veteran who looks to extend his four-fight win streak in this fight. Luque was unanimously picked.
Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz go to battle for a third time. Oliveira was victorious in both fights (one was overturned due to an illegal knee, and has submitted his last four opponents. Lentz is 3-1 in his last four with wins over Gray Maynard and Will Brooks. Like Luque, Oliveira was unanimously picked.
Austin Hubbard gets a tough debut against grappling expert Davi Ramos. The Brazilian Ramos has recovered from a loss in his UFC debut with three straight rear-naked choke stoppages. Hubbard, an LFA lightweight champ, is 10-2, winning six of his last seven. All but three writers picked Ramos.