UFC on ESPN 38 predictions: Arman Tsarukyan or Mateusz Gamrot in Las Vegas?

The UFC is back on its home turf with a pair of lightweight up-and-comers at the top of the lineup.

UFC on ESPN 38 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN following prelims on ESPN2/ESPN+.

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

In the main event, Arman Tsarukyan (18-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) takes on Mateusz Gamrot (20-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at lightweight. It’s a close fight at Tipico Sportsbook. Tsarukyan is a slight -125 favorite. The comeback on Gamrot is -110. But our 11 editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers have Tsarukyan with a pretty big 8-3 picks advantage.

In the co-feature, Neil Magny (26-8 MMA, 19-7 UFC) meets unbeaten rising star Shavkat Rakhmonov (15-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at welterweight. Rakhmonov is a big favorite at -450 and one of two unanimous picks from our staff members.

Also on the main card, Alan Baudot (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) is a slight -125 favorite in his heavyweight bout against Josh Parisian (14-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who is set at -105. But it’s Parisian who has a 7-4 edge in the picks.

Thiago Moises (15-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is a -260 favorite in his lightweight bout against Christos Giagos (19-9 MMA, 5-5 UFC), who is a +195 underdog. Moises has a big 9-2 picks lead.

Umar Nurmagomedov (14-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is the biggest favorite on the entire card at 11-1 in his bantamweight bout against Nate Maness (14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC). He’s also our second unanimous pick.

And to open the main card, Chris Curtis (28-8 MMA, 2-0 UFC) takes on Rodolfo Vieira (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) in a middleweight bout. Curtis is a slight favorite at -125 and he has a big 8-3 lead in the picks.

In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Tsarukyan (68 percent), Rakhmonov (80 percent), Parisian (60 percent), Moises (84 percent), Nurmagomedov (81 percent), and Curtis (69 percent) are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.