Sport: UFC Vegas 36: Tom Aspinall is the fighter to watch

UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Chikadze odds, predictions: MMA insider releases surprising fight card picks

  UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Chikadze odds, predictions: MMA insider releases surprising fight card picks Ian Parker went 58-14 on MMA picks and just locked in his Giga Chikadze vs. Edson Barboza predictionsThe fight is listed as a pick'em in the Barboza vs. Chikadze odds from Caesars Sportsbook, with both fighters listed at -110 (risk $110 to win $100). In the co-main, Bryan Battle is the -165 favorite in the UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Chikadze odds as he takes on Gilbert Urbina (+145) in a matchup of middleweight prospects that is part of the recruiting show "The Ultimate Fighter." Before making any UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Chikadze picks, make sure you see the expert MMA predictions from SportsLine analyst Ian Parker.

UFC heavyweight Tom Aspinall is the fighter to watch at UFC Vegas 36.

a man holding his hands up © Provided by Fansided

The UFC heavyweight division continues to be one of the most fascinating groups in all of MMA, and Tom Aspinall is one of the fastest rising stars in it. Aspinall faces Sergey Spivak at UFC Vegas 36 with a chance to extend his winning streak and make the case for a big-name opponent for his next octagon appearance.

Aspinall enters UFC Vegas 36 as the 13th-ranked heavyweight in the UFC, just behind marquee names such as Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai. He has won six fights in a row including a dominant submission win over former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC Vegas 19.

A decade into his UFC career, Edson Barboza's MMA game still a work in progress

  A decade into his UFC career, Edson Barboza's MMA game still a work in progress A lot of athletes believe that reaching the UFC is the end of the journey. For all that Barboza has accomplished in more than 12 years as a professional mixed martial arts fighter with 25 UFC bouts to his ledger, Barboza said he feels like a newbie just about every day he heads to the gym. “If I didn’t learn every day, I wouldn’t be fighting any more,” said Barboza, who faces Giga Chikadze on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Apex in a sensational featherweight match in the main event of UFC Vegas 35. Barboza has faced the best of the best in his tenure in the UFC, which included a lengthy stop at lightweight before a drop to featherweight.

Aspinall's rise to potential UFC stardom began with a flawless tenure in the amateur ranks, earning big knockouts over Tom Bankevic and Ryan Hennessey on the U.K. regional circuit. He was signed by the UFC after a brief but successful run in Cage Warriors, with two fights and two knockout wins.

After a series of Cage Warriors prospected who haven't lived up to the hype in the UFC, Aspinall silenced any doubters with a vicious knockout of Jake Collier in his UFC debut. He has showcased incredible knockout power combined with an impressive grappling game that continues to improve with each fight.

Tom Aspinall is a rising heavyweight who has won six fights in a row

The 28-year-old Aspinall faces a tough challenge in Spivak, another bright prospect who has dominated his last two fights over big names such as Alexey Oleynik and Jared Vanderaa. The Aspinall vs. Spivak fight features two fighters with plenty to prove and could be the start to a potential title run.

The UFC Vegas 36 co-main event features two of the hottest heavyweight prospects on the biggest stage in MMA, and Aspinall has a big opportunity to make a name for himself and pass another big test on his rise to the UFC's elite.

UFC Vegas 36 takes place on Sept. 4, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.

Opinion: Las Vegas fans hit jackpot in Raiders' season opener with boisterous performance .
Raiders fans in Las Vegas passed their first test: in an OT victory against the Ravens, they performed, helping the team "pull out that win."Is Las Vegas truly worthy of an NFL team? 

See also