UFC on ESPN+ 37 predictions: Marlon Moraes or Cory Sandhagen in key bantamweight bout?

The UFC’s run at its “Fight Island” location continues this week with a key bantamweight bout at the top of the bill.

UFC on ESPN+ 37 takes place Saturday at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The card streams on ESPN+.

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

In the main event, Marlon Moraes (23-6-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC) takes on Cory Sandhagen (12-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in a fight with critical bantamweight title implications. And though Sandhagen is a slight favorite, our 14 editors, writers, videographers and radio hosts are taking Moraes at a 10-4 clip.

In the co-feature, Edson Barboza (20-9 MMA, 14-9 UFC) takes on Makwan Amirkhani (16-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at featherweight. Barboza is a -250 favorite, but he’s got just a 9-5 lead in the picks from our staff members.

Also on the main card, Ben Rothwell (38-12 MMA, 8-6 UFC) nearly is a 2-1 favorite in his heavyweight fight against Marcin Tybura (19-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC), and he’s got a big 12-2 picks lead.

South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis (14-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his promotional debut at middleweight against Markus Perez (12-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) and is a slight favorite. But he has a whopping 12-2 lead in the picks.

Tom Aspinall (8-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is the main card’s biggest favorite against Alan Baudot (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who is making his promotional debut at heavyweight. Only one of our pickers is taking Baudot in an upset.

And to open the main card, Ilia Topuria (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is an underdog in his promotional debut against Youssef Zalal (10-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at featherweight, and all but one of our pickers are taking Zalal to win.

In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Moraes (67 percent), Barboza (79 percent), Rothwell (69 percent), Du Plessis (61 percent), Aspinall 75 percent) and Zalal (85 percent) are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/10/ufc-espn-plus-37-predictions-picks-marlon-moraes-vs-cory-sandhagen-fight-island

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