Barboza
vs.
Chikadze
Battle
vs.
Urbina
Hiestand
vs.
Turcios
Lee
vs.
Rodriguez
Gillmore
vs.
Petroski
Meerschaert
vs.
Muradov
MMA Junkie readers’
consensus picks
2021: 131-80

Barboza
(53%)

Battle
(64%)

Turcios
(62%)

Rodriguez
(58%)

Petroski
(87%)

Muradov
(82%)
John Morgan
@MMAjunkieJohn
2021: 135-76

Chikadze

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Petroski

Muradov
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2021: 133-78

Chikadze

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Petroski

Muradov
Ken Hathaway
@kenshathaway
2021: 130-81
2018 Champion

Chikadze

Battle

Turcios

Rodriguez

Petroski

Muradov
Dan Tom
@DanTomMMA
2021: 128-83
2020 Champion

Barboza

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Petroski

Muradov
Nolan King
@mma_kings
2021: 127-84

Barboza

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Petroski

Muradov
Matt Erickson
@MMAjunkieMatt
2021: 126-85

Chikadze

Battle

Hiestand

Rodriguez

Petroski

Muradov
Mike Bohn
@MikeBohnMMA
2021: 125-86
2014 Champion

Barboza

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Petroski

Muradov
Farah Hannoun
@Farah_Hannoun
2021: 123-88

Barboza

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Gillmore

Muradov
Danny Segura
@dannyseguratv
2021: 122-89

Barboza

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Petroski

Muradov
George Garcia
@MMAjunkieGeorge
2021: 121-90

Barboza

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Petroski

Muradov
Abbey Subhan
@kammakaze
2021: 120-91

Barboza

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Petroski

Muradov
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2021: 119-92
2017 Champion

Chikadze

Battle

Hiestand

Lee

Petroski

Muradov
Matthew Wells
@MrMWells
2021: 53-42

Chikadze

Battle

Turcios

Lee

Petroski

Muradov

The UFC is back in Las Vegas this week with a featherweight clash and a pair of “Ultimate Fighter” finals.

UFC on ESPN 30 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN+.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, Edson Barboza (22-9 MMA, 16-9 UFC) takes on Giga Chikadze (13-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) in a battle of elite-level strikers. Barboza is a slight -125 favorite at Tipico, and he has the slimmest of leads in the picks from our 13 editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers at 7-6.

In the co-feature, Bryan Battle (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meets Gilbert Urbina (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in the Season 29 “Ultimate Fighter” middleweight final. Battle is a -180 favorite at the betting window and one of two unanimous picks for our staff members on the main card.

In the second “TUF 29” final, Brady Hiestand (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) takes on Ricky Turcios (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at bantamweight. Turcios is a -160 favorite and has a big 11-2 edge in the picks.

Also on the main card, Kevin Lee (18-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) returns for a welterweight fight against Daniel Rodriguez (15-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC). Lee is the favorite at -150 and has a commanding 11-2 picks lead – though it’s intriguing that Rodriguez won our fan poll handily at 58 percent.

“TUF 29” cast members Micheal Gillmore (6-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Andre Petroski (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meet in a middleweight bout to officially open their UFC careers. Petroski is the second biggest favorite on the card at -550, and only one of our staff members is picking against him.

And to open the main card, we have our second unanimous pick in Makhmud Muradov (25-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who has pitched a 13-0 picks shutout for his middleweight fight against Gerald Meerschaert (32-14 MMA, 7-6 UFC). Muradov is the biggest favorite on the card at -650.

In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Barboza (53 percent), Battle (64 percent), Turcios (62 percent), Rodriguez (58 percent), Petroski (87percent) and Muradov (82 percent) are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

List

UFC on ESPN 30 commentary team, broadcast plans set: Michael Bisping returns to booth

List

UFC on ESPN 30 breakdown: Can Edson Barboza outkick Giga Chikadze?

List

UFC on ESPN 30 pre-event facts: Giga Chikadze looks for rare 7-0 octagon start

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