A thrilling lightweight battle between Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze headlines UFC Vegas 35 above a pair of Ultimate Fighter finale bouts and Cageside Press has its picks set.

Muradov vs. Meerschaert
Petroski vs. Gillmore
Lee vs. Rodriguez
Turcios vs. Hiestand
Battle vs. Urbina
Barboza vs. Chikadze
Dan Doherty (93-52)
Alex Behunin (77-54)
Justin Gibbons (86-64)
Gabriel Gonzalez (82-68)
Dylan Bowker (71-70)
Jay Anderson (73-73)
Chris Prawdzik (8-8)

Strikers don’t get much better than the two featherweights in the main event of UFC Vegas 35. Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze both have brutal knockouts on their resume with speed that is tough to match. Barboza has recently rebounded from a three-fight losing streak with a pair of wins including a superb knockout against Shane Burgos. Chikadze, a former professional kickboxer, has won eight straight fights, six of which are in the UFC. All but two writers picked Barboza.

The co-main event will determine this year’s middleweight Ultimate Fighter, as Bryan Battle faces Gilbert Urbina. Battle is 5-1 in his career and was 2-0 on the show with a submission. Urbina, the brother of former UFC fighter Hector Urbina, fell in the semifinals of the tournament but is replacing the injured Tresean Gore. Battle was unanimously picked.

The bantamweight Ultimate Fighter comes down to Ricky Turcios and Brady Hiestand. Turcios is 10-2 in his 12 career bouts and Hiestand is coming off a first-round finish in the semifinals of the tournament. Hiestand was picked by four of seven writers.

A great welterweight scrap between Kevin Lee and Daniel Rodriguez takes place on the main card. Lee has lost three of his last four and is returning to welterweight after going back down to lightweight for two fights. Rodriguez is 5-1 in the Octagon and is coming off a knockout win in July. Rodriguez was picked by four of seven fighters.

A couple of more Ultimate Fighter competitors will get main card shine as Andre Petroski faces Michael Gillmore. Petroski is 5-1 in his career and won by submission in the first round of the tournament before being submitted himself by finalist Bryan Battle. Gillmore is 6-3 and came into the show on a three-fight win streak but that was quickly shut down by finalist Gilbert Urbina. Petroski was unanimously picked.

Opening up the UFC Vegas 35 main card will be Makhmud Muradov and Gerald Meerschaert. Muradov is on a 14-fight win streak (three in the UFC) with 11 knockouts. Meerschaert recently snapped a two-fight losing streak with a first-round submission. Muradov was unanimously picked.