For the first time since 2018, the Octagon lands in Austin, Texas, for UFC Austin headlined by featherweight strikers Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett. Cageside Press has its picks set.

Staff Writers
Marquez vs. Rodrigues
Ismagulov vs. Kutadeladze
Buckley vs. Duraev
Means vs. Holland
Cerrone vs. Lauzon
Kattar vs. Emmett
Justin Gibbons (71-35)
Chris Prawdzik (70-36)
Gabriel Gonzalez (65-34)
Alex Behunin (59-36)
Dan Doherty (57-38)
Jay Anderson (62-44)
Eddie Law (54-48)
Jamie Theodosi (0-0)

The main event of UFC Austin is a featherweight battle between Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett. Kattar most recently derailed the rise of outstanding kickboxer Giga Chikadze to get back in the win column. Emmett is on a four-fight win streak, most recently defeating Dan Ige and Shane Burgos. All but one writer picked Kattar.

The co-main event is a delayed matchup between longtime veterans Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon. Food poisoning for Donald Cerrone on the day of UFC 274, when this fight was originally scheduled, pushed the contest to Austin. Cerrone is winless in his last six fights while Lauzon is 2-3 in his last five. Cageside Press was split at four picks apiece.

Another matchup of strikers takes place as Tim Means faces Kevin Holland. Means has won four of his last five, taking out Nicolas Dalby and Mike Perry most recently. Holland stopped a three-fight winless skid with a TKO against Alex Oliveira. Holland was unanimously picked.

Plenty of action is expected when Joaquin Buckley battles Albert Duraev. Buckley has knockouts in three of his last four wins, with the lone loss in that span being a knockout as well. Duraev is coming off an impressive UFC debut victory over Roman Kopylov and is 15-4 in his career with 12 finishes. Duraev was unanimously picked.

Talented lightweights will square off when Damir Ismagulov faces Guram Kutadeladze. Ismagulov is 20-1 and has won all four of his fights in the Octagon. Kutadeladze has not fought since his very impressive debut victory over Mateusz Gamrot in October 2020. All but two writers picked Ismagulov.

Opening up the UFC Austin main card will be Julian Marquez and Gregory Rodrigues. Marquez is 3-1 in the Octagon with three submissions. Rodrigues, a former LFA champion, is 2-1 since joining the promotion. Rodrigues was unanimously picked.