UFC Fight Night 217 predictions: Who’s picking Sean Strickland over Nassourdine Imavov on short notice?

Imavov
vs.
Strickland

Ige
vs.
Jackson

Kopylov
vs.
Soriano

Pennington
vs.
Vieira

Barcelos
vs.
Nurmagomedov

MMA Junkie readers’
consensus picks
202-120 (2022)

imavov2023


Imavov
(51%)

ige2023


Ige
(62%)

soriano2023


Soriano
(68%)

vieira2023


Vieira
(67%)

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov
(88%)

Ken Hathaway
@kenshathaway
215-112 (2022)

trophy copy

2018, 2022 Champion

imavov2023


Imavov

jackson2023


Jackson

soriano2023


Soriano

vieira2023


Vieira

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

Matthew Wells
@MrMWells
209-118 (2022)

imavov2023


Imavov

jackson2023


Jackson

soriano2023


Soriano

pennington2023


Pennington

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

Abbey Subhan
@kammakaze
204-123 (2022)

imavov2023


Imavov

ige2023


Ige

soriano2023


Soriano

pennington2023


Pennington

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

Farah Hannoun
@Farah_Hannoun
203-124 (2022)

imavov2023


Imavov

ige2023


Ige

soriano2023


Soriano

vieira2023


Vieira

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

Matt Erickson
@MMAjunkieMatt
201-126 (2022)

imavov2023


Imavov

jackson2023


Jackson

soriano2023


Soriano

pennington2023


Pennington

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

Simon Samano
@SJSamano
201-126 (2022)

imavov2023


Imavov

ige2023


Ige

soriano2023


Soriano

vieira2023


Vieira

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

Mike Bohn
@MikeBohn
200-127 (2022)

trophy copy

2014 Champion

imavov2023


Imavov

jackson2023


Jackson

soriano2023


Soriano

pennington2023


Pennington

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

Nolan King
@mma_kings
192-135 (2022)

imavov2023


Imavov

ige2023


Ige

soriano2023


Soriano

vieira2023


Vieira

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

Brian Garcia
@thegoze
190-137 (2022)

trophy copy

2017 Champion

imavov2023


Imavov

ige2023


Ige

soriano2023


Soriano

vieira2023


Vieira

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

George Garcia
@MMAjunkieGeorge
181-146 (2022)

strickland2023


Strickland

ige2023


Ige

soriano2023


Soriano

pennington2023


Pennington

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

Danny Segura
@dannyseguratv
161-166 (2022)

imavov2023


Imavov

ige2023


Ige

soriano2023


Soriano

vieira2023


Vieira

nurmagomedov2023


Nurmagomedov

The UFC kicks off its 2023 with a home game, and a short-notice light heavyweight fight tops the lineup.

UFC Fight Night 217 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams on ESPN+.

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

In the main event, Nassourdine Imavov (12-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) takes on Sean Strickland (25-5 MMA, 12-5 UFC). The fight is taking place at 205 pounds instead of middleweight after Strickland stepped in for Kelvin Gastelum on just five days’ notice. Strickland lost to Jared Cannonier in the UFC’s final event of 2022 a month ago.

Imavov is just a slight favorite at -130 at Tipico Sportsbook; the comeback on Strickland is +110. But Our 11 editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers have Imavov with a near-unanimous picks lead at 10-1.

In the co-feature, Dan Ige (15-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) meets Damon Jackson (22-4-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC) at featherweight. Ige is a slight -125 favorite at the betting window, and it’s close with our pickers, too. They’ve got Ige with the narrowest possible lead at 6-5.

Also on the main card, Punahele Soriano (9-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is just a -150 favorite at middleweight against Roman Kopylov (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC), but he’s one of our two unanimous picks at 11-0.

Raquel Pennington (14-9 MMA, 11-5 UFC) takes on Ketlen Vieira (13-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) in a key women’s bantamweight bout. Vieira is a slight favorite at -125, but she’s got a decent 7-4 lead from our pickers.

And to open the main card, bantamweight Umar Nurmagomedov (15-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is the biggest favorite on the entire event at nearly 10-1 against Raoni Barcelos (17-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC). Not surprisingly, Nurmagomedov is our other unanimous pick at 11-0.

In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Imavov (51 percent), Ige (62 percent), Soriano (68 percent), Vieira (67 percent) and Nurmagomedov (88 percent) are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 217.

List

UFC Fight Night 217 commentary team, broadcast plans set for first event of 2023

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie