Somehow, Conor McGregor pulling out of UFC 303 made the card a bigger deal than it already was.

With apologies to Michael Chandler, who is still waiting for his supposed “red panty night,” the promotion managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat and avoid almost certain disaster when it secured a light heavyweight title fight between Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka. Then, with Khalil Rountree Jr. and Jamahal Hill also off the docket, the UFC buffered that main event rematch with Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes on short-notice.

McGregor might be the biggest draw in the sport, but as a one-two punch, the new UFC 303 card-toppers are much more relevant to their respective divisions. And no one could have predicted the zany build-up to Pereira vs. Prochazka 2, with Jiri accusing “Poatan” of using black magic of some short, and shamans (literally, he said shamans) to aid in his fights.

No, they don’t test UFC fighters for magic. Maybe they should. In the meantime, our staff is hoping their picks are magical come fight night. See how we think the UFC 303 main card will play out below.

Writer / FightGarry vs. PageBueno Silva vs. ChiassonSmith vs. DolidzeOrtega vs. LopesPereira vs. Prochazka 2
Jay Anderson (79-39)
Dylan Napoleone (13-8)
Alex Behunin (68-45)
Eddie Law (70-47)
Jamie Theodosi (57-39)
Chris Prawdzik (66-51)
Cade Morehouse (48-36)
Val Dewar (54-48)
Patrick McCorry (58-54)

Despite there being no unanimous picks on the UFC 303 card, there was still a landslide in terms of support for one fighter. That would be Ian Machado Garry, with just a single dissenting vote favoring former Bellator MMA star Michael “Venom” Page, who picked up a win over Kevin Holland in his promotional debut in March.

Well, Garry is undefeated for a reason, so perhaps that isn’t so surprising. The fight should be a fun blend of striking prowess and technique, however long it lasts.

Our staff were much more split on the remaining bouts, though Alex Pereira is favored to win the night’s main event, and Diego Lopes is somewhat surprisingly expected to get the nod over Brian Ortega.