The Octagon returns after a week off with UFC Stockholm, taking place on Saturday afternoon, and Cageside Press has their picks set.

Staff Writers
Teymur vs. Jo
Hadzovic vs. Giagos
Amirkhani vs. Fishgold
Manuwa vs. Rakic
Gustafsson vs. Smith
Jason Payne (83-35)
Drake Riggs (82-36)
Joe McDonagh (82-36)
Heath Harshman (81-37)
Steve King (76-36)
Paarth Pande (75-43)
Mike McClory (47-27)
Josh Evanoff (74-44)
Dan Doherty (73-45)
Gabriel Gonzalez (73-45)
Jay Anderson (73-45)
Mike Straus (73-45)
Shawn Bitter (72-46)
Ryan Fortune (35-24)
Eddie Law (56-40)
Jesse Gillette (62-50)
Marcus Rebelo (0-0)

With Ilir Latifi pulling out of the UFC Stockholm co-main event two days out, only five fights are featured in this week’s picks article. For what it’s worth, the UFC did not place a sixth fight on the main card after the injury.

The UFC Stockholm main event is between the previous two title challengers in the light heavyweight division, Anthony Smith and Alexander Gustafsson. Smith went 3-0 after moving up to the light heavyweight division, finishing Rashad Evans, Shogun Rua, and Volkan Oezdemir to earn a title shot in March. Gustafsson, who is 10-5 in the Octagon, has come up short in his three title shots, with the most recent coming in December against Jon Jones. Gustafsson was picked unanimously.

The new co-main event is between light heavyweights Aleksander Rakic and Jimi Manuwa. Rakic is 11-1 in his career and 3-0 in the UFC coming off a knockout win over Devin Clark. Manuwa has struggled recently with three straight losses after consecutive knockout victories against Corey Anderson and Ovince Saint Preux put him in the title picture. Rakic was also picked unanimously.

Makwan Amirkhani is taking his yearly fight against Chris Fishgold. “Mr. Finland” has fought once a year after kicking off his Octagon career with two finishes in 2015, going 2-1 since then. Fishgold is a British submission specialist who is evened up his record in the promotion at 1-1 with a submission over Daniel Teymur. 10 of 17 writers picked Amirkhani.

Damir Hadzovic takes on Christos Giagos in a fun main card matchup. Hadzovic is on a two-fight win streak and is coming off a knockout over Polo Reyes. Giagos is currently on his second UFC stint, going 1-2 the first time, and 1-1 this time around. All but two writers picked Hadzovic.

Daniel Teymur opens the main card by welcoming Sung Bin Jo to the UFC. Teymur, a Muay Thai specialist, started his career at 6-0 but is 0-3 in the Octagon. The South Korean Jo is 9-0 and has never reached the scorecards in his career. Jo was picked by all but two writers.

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