It’s the third event in seven days from Jacksonville and Cageside Press has its picks set for UFC on ESPN 8.
|Ryan Fortune (40-15)|
|Keith Shillan (38-17)|
|Joe McDonagh (35-20)|
|Justin Gibbons (12-7)|
|Jay Anderson (34-21)|
|Dylan Bowker (23-18)|
|Dan Doherty (27-23)|
|Paarth Pande (15-13)|
|Eddie Law (15-13)|
|Josh Evanoff (29-26)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (26-29)|
The main event of UFC on ESPN 8 features the return of Walt Harris after the tragic death of his stepdaughter. He comes in on a four-fight win streak (one overturned due to a drug test failure), stopping three of those opponents. Alistair Overeem was four seconds away from a three-fight win streak, but was knocked out by Jairzinho Rozenstruik. All but three writers picked Harris.
The co-main event is a solid strawweight scrap between former top contender Claudia Gadelha and Angela Hill. This will be Hill’s seventh fight since the start of 2019 and she’ll be seeking her fourth consecutive win. Gadelha bounced back from a tough loss to Nina Ansaroff with a win over Randa Markos. She is 2-2 in her last four bouts. Gadelha was slightly favored, with six picks to five.
Edson Barboza makes his featherweight debut against the dangerous Dan Ige. Barboza’s lightweight run came to a rough end, losing four of his last five fights (although all the losses were against top 10 opponents). Ige will be a tough welcome party, as he comes in on a five-fight win streak after falling in his UFC debut. All but three writers picked Barboza.
Eryk Anders and Krzysztof Jotko look to win their third consecutive fight. That’s not the only similarity as both middleweights’ current win streak followed a three-fight losing streak. Jotko got the slight edge with six picks to five.
Opening up the main card of UFC on ESPN 8 is (probably) Song Yadong and Marlon Vera. Yadong won his first four UFC fights with three stoppages before fighting to a draw with Cody Stamann. Vera has been with the UFC since 2014 and is currently on a tear with five straight stoppage victories. Yadong was picked by seven of 11 writers.