Writer vs. Fighter: UFC 261

UFC 261 writer vs fighter
Credit: Cageside Press

The biggest fight card in some time, UFC 261, may be in Jacksonville, but the real battle takes place right here on Cageside Press. The battle for pick supremacy between those who punch faces and those who describe said face-punching. Each UFC event we pit their picks against one another to see whose predicting power is better.

Here’s how each week has gone so far:

Joe McDonagh def. Randy Costa (3-2) – Fight Island 7
Doug Murray def. Bryan Barberena (2-1) – Fight Island 8
Shawn Bitter DRAW Mike Rodriguez (1-1) – UFC 257
Dalton Rosta def. Jay Anderson (7-2) – UFC Vegas 18
Austin Arnett def. Heath Harshman (2-1) – UFC 258
Sam Hughes def. Gumby Vreeland (3-0) – UFC Vegas 19
Mike McClory def. Orion Cosce (5-2) – UFC Vegas 20
Josh Evanoff def. Cortney Casey (2-1) – UFC 259
Aiemann Zahabi def. Alex Behunin (5-0) – UFC Vegas 21
Sergio Pineiro def. Kai Kamaka III (7-0) – UFC Vegas 22
Gabriel Gonzalez def. Vince Morales (7-4) – UFC 260
Jordan Leavitt def. Rodney James Edgar (4-2) – UFC Vegas 23 
Ryan Fortune def. Rani Yahya (7-3) – UFC Vegas 24

With Ryan’s win last week, the writers extend their lead to 7-5 with one draw. We’ll see if the fighters can shorten that lead up a bit this week.

Here’s how it works: both writer and fighter must pick the winner of the main event, co-main event, and featured main card bout. A correct pick will earn one point. Both must then pick a “lock” — the fighter they are most sure will win their fight — from the entire card. That’s two points. The “dog” comes next, and a correct underdog pick earns three points.

It’s that simple. Five picks: Main, co-main, and featured fight winners, lock, and underdog. To the winner go the spoils. Not actual spoils, but bragging rights anyway.

On this week’s edition, the writers have selected Dylan Bowker to defend the lead. Trying to cut into it will be recent UFC debutant, Dakota Bush, who had an exciting tilt with Austin Hubbard just last week. Let’s see what their picks look like.

There won’t be any separation when it comes to the three title fights, as both of our prognosticators have picked the same fighters. In the main event, both are going #AndStill and riding with Kamaru Usman to win the rematch. They also both like the belt to change hands in the co-main event with Rose Namajunas scoring a slight upset. Finally, they’re both in on Valentina Shevchenko to stop Jessica Andrade from becoming a two division champion.

With all the similarities at the top, the real winner will come out of the underdog and lock picks.  For his lock, Bowker is going to go with Brendan Allen in his bout with Karl Roberson. “Hairy” Bush meanwhile likes the former champ Chris Weidman in his rematch with Uriah Hall. For underdogs, Bowker is taking the Canadian Tristan Connelly to upset newcomer Pat Sabatini. Bush, on the other hand, is going with Jeff Molina against Qileng Aori.

May the best writer/fighter win! We’ll have the results up after the event!

Results: Dakota Bush comes through in a very close contest! Bush sided with Jeff Molina as his dog, and that made all the difference. Both writer and fighter picked all three title fights correctly, and Dylan’s lock, Brendan Allen, paid off with two points. But Molina gave Bush three points, for a 6-5 total.


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