UFC on ESPN+ 17 predictions: Yair Rodriguez or Jeremy Stephens in Mexico City?

Rodriguez

vs.

Stephens
Esparza

vs.

Grasso
Askarov

vs.

Moreno
Aldana

vs.

Melo
Bravo

vs.

Peterson
MMA Junkie readers’

consensus picks

2019: 156-80 (66%)
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez

(55%)
grasso2019

Grasso

(61%)
moreno2019

Moreno

(61%)
aldana2019

Aldana

(76%)
bravo2019

Bravo

(63%)
Nolan King

@mma_kings

2019: 62-27 (70%)
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez
grasso2019

Grasso
askarov2019

Askarov
aldana2019

Aldana
bravo2019

Bravo
Simon Head

@simonhead

2019: 65-29 (69%)
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez
esparza2019

Esparza
askarov2019

Askarov
aldana2019

Aldana
bravo2019

Bravo
Dan Tom

@DanTomMMA

2019: 160-76 (68%)
stephens2019

Stephens
esparza2019

Esparza
moreno2019

Moreno
aldana2019

Aldana
peterson2019

Peterson
Simon Samano

@SJSamano

2019: 156-80 (66%)
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez
grasso2019

Grasso
askarov2019

Askarov
aldana2019

Aldana
peterson2019

Peterson
Ken Hathaway

@kenshathaway

2019: 154-82 (65%)

trophy copy 2018 Champion
stephens2019

Stephens
grasso2019

Grasso
askarov2019

Askarov
aldana2019

Aldana
peterson2019

Peterson
Farah Hannoun

@Farah_Hannoun

2019: 54-29 (65%)
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez
grasso2019

Grasso
askarov2019

Askarov
aldana2019

Aldana
bravo2019

Bravo
Mike Bohn

@MikeBohnMMA

2019: 151-85 (64%)

trophy copy 2014 Champion
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez
esparza2019

Esparza
askarov2019

Askarov
aldana2019

Aldana
peterson2019

Peterson
John Morgan

@MMAjunkieJohn

2019: 151-85 (64%)
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez
grasso2019

Grasso
askarov2019

Askarov
aldana2019

Aldana
peterson2019

Peterson
Brian Garcia

@thegoze

2019: 148-88 (63%)

trophy copy 2017 Champion
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez
esparza2019

Esparza
askarov2019

Askarov
aldana2019

Aldana
peterson2019

Peterson
George Garcia

@MMAjunkieGeorge

2019: 143-93 (61%)
stephens2019

Stephens
esparza2019

Esparza
moreno2019

Moreno
aldana2019

Aldana
bravo2019

Bravo
Abbey Subhan

@kammakaze

2019: 139-97 (59%)
stephens2019

Stephens
esparza2019

Esparza
askarov2019

Askarov
aldana2019

Aldana
peterson2019

Peterson
Dave Doyle

@davedoylemma

2019: 82-62 (57%)
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez
grasso2019

Grasso
moreno2019

Moreno
aldana2019

Aldana
peterson2019

Peterson
Matt Erickson

@MMAjunkieMatt

2019: 131-105 (56%)
rodriguez2019

Rodriguez
esparza2019

Esparza
moreno2019

Moreno
melo2019

Melo
peterson2019

Peterson

The UFC is back in Mexico this week with a featherweight scrap atop the bill.

UFC on ESPN+ 17 takes place Saturday at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City. The card streams on ESPN+.

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

In the main event, Yair Rodriguez (11-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) takes on veteran fighter Jeremy Stephens (28-16 MMA, 15-15 UFC)in a highly anticipated fight that has the proverbial “Fight of the Night” written all over it. The oddsmakers have made this fight virtually a pick’em, but our 13 MMA Junkie editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers are backing Rodriguez at a fairly hefty 9-4 clip.

In the women’s strawweight co-feature, Carla Esparza (14-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) meets Alexa Grasso (11-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC). Grasso is a slight favorite at around -130, and our staff members are fairly torn. Esparza, the UFC’s inaugural champ at 115 pounds, has a slim 7-6 lead in the picks.

Also on the main card, unbeaten newcomer Askar Askarov (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his promotional debut at flyweight against Brandon Moreno (15-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC). Askarov is the favorite at -170, and he has a big 9-4 picks lead.

Irene Aldana (10-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) is by far the biggest favorite on the card at -550 against another promotional newcomer, Vanessa Melo (10-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Aldana nearly is pitching a shutout in their bout at 12-1. The fight will be at a 140-pound catchweight after Melo missed weight at the official weigh-ins.

And to open the main card, Martin Bravo (11-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) meets Steven Peterson (17-9 MMA, 1-3 UFC) in a featherweight fight. The oddsmakers have the fight dead even at -115 each, but our pickers have given Peterson a big 9-4 advantage.

In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Rodriguez (55%), Grasso (61 percent), Moreno (61 percent), Aldana (76 percent) and Bravo (63 percent) are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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