UFC Minneapolis is an all-ESPN card headlined by a pair of knockout artists and Cageside Press has their picks set.
|Jason Payne (102-44)|
|Joe McDonagh (94-44)|
|Heath Harshman (98-48)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (94-52)|
|Keith Shillan (55-32)|
|Jay Anderson (91-55)|
|Dan Doherty (90-56)|
|Paarth Pande (89-57)|
|Ryan Fortune (53-34)|
|Josh Evanoff (88-58)|
|Shawn Bitter (81-53)|
|Davidson Baker (24-17)|
|Eddie Law (67-51)|
|Marcus Rebelo (4-6)|
The main event of UFC Minneapolis is between former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and former title challenger Francis Ngannou. JDS is riding a three-fight win streak with knockouts over Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis, while Ngannou has knocked out Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez in under a minute each. Nine of 14 writers believe Ngannou will keep his run going.
The co-main event is a number-one contender fight at flyweight between Joseph Benavidez and Jussier Formiga. Benavidez has won eight of his last nine fights, including a win over current champion Henry Cejudo. Formiga is on a four-fight win streak with wins over Sergio Pettis and Deiveson Figueiredo. All but two writers sided with Benavidez.
Demian Maia looks to stop Anthony Rocco Martin’s welterweight run. Maia recently lost three straight fights to the top three welterweights around, Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, and Tyron Woodley, but snapped his losing streak by submitting Lyman Good. Martin has rattled off four straight wins since moving up to welterweight. An even 10 of 14 writers picked the jiu-jitsu master, Demian Maia.
Roosevelt Roberts takes on the relatively inactive Vinc Pichel. Roberts is 8-0 in his career with two of those fights taking place in the UFC after appearing on the Contender Series last year. Pichel was a TUF 15 competitor in 2012 and has fought just six times since then, going 4-2, and having a four-fight win streak snapped by Gregor Gillespie last time out. All but three writers picked Roberts to stay undefeated.
Drew Dober battles Polo Reyes in an exciting matchup. Dober recently had a three-fight win streak snapped by Beneil Dariush, while Reyes has lost two of his last three. Dober was unanimously picked.
Alonzo Menifield will attempt to be luckier than Paul Craig’s last two victims. Craig has won two of his last three fights, both with third-round submissions in fights he was losing in convincing fashion. Menifield is 8-0 with one win in the UFC after an eight-second knockout on the Contender Series. Menifield was also unanimously picked.