The UFC is back this week with a new main event after the previously scheduled headliner fell apart Friday.
UFC on ESPN 18 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event airs on ESPN2 and streams on ESPN+.
(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)
In the main event, Devin Clark (12-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) meets former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith (33-16 MMA, 8-6 UFC). Smith is a slight favorite at -139, and he’s got a 9-5 picks lead from our 14 editors, writers, videographers and radio hosts have it right down the middle at 7-7.
That fight moved up with the previously scheduled main event between Curtis Blaydes (14-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and former title challenger Derrick Lewis (24-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) was scrapped after Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19.
Also on the main card, Josh Parisian (13-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) takes on Parker Porter (10-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at heavyweight. Parisian is the favorite at -233, and he’s got a big 12-2 lead in the picks.
Miguel Baeza (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is a -182 favorite against Takashi Sato (16-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at welterweight, and he’s got a significant 10-4 lead from our pickers.
And to open the main card, Spike Carlyle (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is a -176 favorite at featherweight against Bill Algeo (13-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC), but it’s Algeo with a big 11-3 picks lead.
In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Smith (67 percent), Parisian (87 percent), Baeza (73 percent) and Carlyle (75 percent) are the choices.
Check out all the picks above.