Writer vs. Fighter: UFC 263

This week’s Writer vs. Fighter features Cageside Press’ own and Bellator Ranking Panelist Joe McDonagh, and UFC’s Domingo Pilarte making their picks for UFC 263.

It’s time for another battle for pick supremacy. We pit those who write about face punch with those who do the punching to see who knows more about what will go down at UFC 263. 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
Dakota Bush def. Dylan Bowker (6-5) – UFC 261
Bryson Hester def. Arlene Blencowe (3-0) – UFC Vegas 25
Nate Maness def. Justin Gibbons (4-3) – UFC Vegas 26
Gumby Vreeland def. Kyle Nelson (4-2) – UFC 262
Mike Lynch DRAW Christian Edwards (4-4) – UFC Vegas 27
Doug Murray DRAW Ramiz Brahimaj (6-6) – UFC Vegas 28

Two straight events have gone to a draw which leaves the writers with a 8-6 lead still. The total number of draws has risen to three.

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.

This week, Joe McDonagh gets his second go round on the writer side. He bested Randy Costa his first time out and he’ll look to add another W to his record. Looking to stop him is Domingo Pilarte who is preparing for an actual fight with Brain Kelleher. Let’s see what their picks for UFC 263 look like.

The main card won’t be solving anything for our two combatants this week. Both took the same three fighters to win their respective 5-round fights this weekend at UFC 263. McDonagh and Pilarte both like Israel Adesanya to retain. They also like fellow favorite Leon Edwards to take Nate Diaz. The only spot on the main card that they picked dogs is the co-main, where both like Brandon Moreno.

So with all things even at the top, the match will need to be decided with the locks and dogs. McDonagh will be riding with Paul Craig for his dog and Movsar Evloev for his favorite. Pilarte, meanwhile, likes Steven Peterson (who was a slight dog at time of picking) and Drew Dober.

May the best writer/fighter win! We’ll have the results up after the conclusion of UFC 263!