We made it, you guys. We survived the terrifying MMApocalypse last Saturday and now we’re back to one card, one day. On the plus side, this card looks pretty dang snazzy, or maybe that’s just the fine Albuquerque meth talking. Either way, there are eleven fights to predict, so here’s who’s picking: The only idiot brave enough to pick TJ Dillashaw would win but too stupid to put money on him, it’s me, Jessica Mobster Leg Kick Lobster TKO Hudnall! Taking time out of maintaining his Blake Bortles Shrine of Excellence, the fantastic BURNSY! The guy that would beat all of us in fighting, drinking, and drink-fighting, Danny “Boy” Downes!
STANDINGS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE
Jessica: 112-57-2 (65%)
Burnsy: 109-59-3 (64%)
Danny: 80-35-1 (69%)
Vince: 57-45-1 (55%) [57-23-1 (70%) without the cruelty of missing two events]
Eric: 32-20-1 (60%)
Ghost: 6-7 (46%)
Light Heavyweight – Patrick “Durkin” Cummins vs Roger “Silverback” Narvaez
Jessica: “Dave Barista” looked terrible against Daniel Cormier, but so has pretty much everyone else. I don’t know who Narvaez is, so I’ll go with Cummins by second round TKO.
Burnsy: Quick note – By the time these fights begin, I will be poolside or craps table-side in the Bahamas, but I’m going to try to watch this event, despite the UFC’s best efforts to burn us all out last Saturday. That said, let’s start off with a winning pick. I’m taking Cummins, because it’s not fair to judge him on his first UFC fight since that was against Daniel Cormier. I still love his story, coming from slingin’ coffee to beatin’ some ass. If he loses, though, he better see if his old job is still available.
Danny: The whole, “Patrick Cummins was a barista lolz” discussion really bothers me. Most fighters hold a number of jobs to make ends meet. Some of us (cough cough) even hold them when they’re in the UFC. By this logic, Pat Barry was just a pizza delivery boy and Luke Rockhold was a gigolo (that may or may not be true). Cormier crushed Cummins, but the “barista” has a lot of potential. He wins by second round TKO.
Lightweight – Jon “The Super Saiyan” Tuck vs Jake “The Librarian” Lindsey
Jessica: I can’t pick against a dude named “The Librarian”. Plus, Tuck will spend most of the fight yelling and trying to power up. Lindsey wins by second round KO.
Burnsy: You know what’s pretty terrible? That TNT movie series The Librarian. How dare you try to pretend that anyone can hunt for relics better than Nic Cage? Tuck out of pure, unrelated spite.
Danny: The 14 year old boy in me wants to cheer for any fighter that dubs himself “The Super Saiyan.” The responsible adult in me takes Tuck for different reasons. Lindsey’s aggression works against him and Tuck takes advantage. Unlike a DBZ episode, he won’t take three months to finish a fight. He wins by TKO in the first.
Flyweight – Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen vs Danny “The Gremlin” Martinez
Jessica: I usually always pick dudes called “Gremlin”, but not if they’re fighting No Longer Spotty Scotty. Jorgensen is gonna wrestle Martinez and win a decision.
Burnsy: Welp, I thought that his last loss would be Jorgy’s pink slip, but I guess he got another chance. I’m going to pick Scott “The Guy in the Next Cubicle” Jorgensen to win because nobody should lose four in a row.
Danny: Jorgensen hasn’t had success in his new weight class, but his power/wrestling advantage should carry him here. He wins the unanimous decision.
Welterweight – “Vicious” Bobby Voelker vs Lance Benoist
Jessica: I know that Voelker hasn’t beat anyone not named Roger Bowling in a while, but I’m picking him to punch Benoist really hard in the head and get a first round KO.
Burnsy: Voelker is 35 with a 3-fight losing streak. Benoist is 25 and has lost his last 2. I picked Jorgy because “nobody should lose four in a row,” but I think Benoist will use youthful exuberance to his advantage.
Danny: Voelker needs to prove that he has more valuable traits than the amount of damage he can take. He’s a brawler and Benoist wants to bring this fight to the ground. Benoist wins that battle and takes the decision.
Bantamweight – Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis vs Yaotzin Meza
Jessica: Baby Pettis is still a solid prospect, despite running into THE GLOW that is Bruce Leroy. I can never remember anything about Yaotzin Meza, other than the fact that his name looks ridiculous. Tiny Pettis wins by second round KO.
Burnsy: Everybody’s pretty high on Pettis for his potential, so I’ll pick him because Meza is 1-2 in the UFC, as if that’s a quality reason.
Danny: Sergio is a former training partner of mine. He has a ton of potential and explosion, he just lacks the killer instinct necessary at times. That being said, Meza doesn’t offer any offensive capabilities that worry me. Pettis takes the third round TKO.
Bantamweight – Erik “Goyito” Perez vs Bryan “Kid Lightning” Caraway
Jessica: Nobody should like Caraway. He’s dumb and bad and needs to get beaten about the head and neck for upwards of three hours with a tire iron. Perez is cool and wears a luchador mask, so he’ll win by decision.
Burnsy: On paper, this fight has a lot of potential. Caraway is 3-1 in the UFC and Perez is 4-1, so both guys are looking to score another W to get their names in the Top 10. I’ll take Perez by a KO or TKO because that’s when he’s at his most exciting.
Danny: The dislike for Bryan Caraway far exceeds his fighting profile. Maybe it’s because he’s referred to as “Miesha Tate’s boyfriend.” Maybe it’s because he had the audacity to claim that frequent marijuana consumption is a bad thing. Regardless, he’s a one dimensional fighter. Perez has gradually improved all aspects and strikes his way to a second round TKO.
Lightweight – Yves “Thugjistu Master” Edwards vs Piotr “Pletwal” Hallmann
Jessica: Yves is great, if you don’t like Yves you are a dumb and also bad person. Yves wins by decision, offers Hallmann chips at some point between weigh-ins and post-fight press conference. THUGJITSU, BABY!
Burnsy: At 37 and with his last three fights consisting of two losses and an NC, Yves is toast, you guys. He’s had a good career and any guy who wins 42 fights deserves a huge round of applause, but I’ll take the fresh 26-year old.
Danny: Whenever you have a fighter with as much experience as Edwards, you wonder about how his chin can hold up. It may have diminished, but he still has the counter striking ability that can give a lot of opponents a hard time. Hallman has KO power, but he can be reckless. Edwards lands a counter hook and wins with a TKO in the third.
Lightweight – Rafael dos Anjos vs Jason “Kansas City Bandit” High
Jessica: Both dudes are solid grapplers, but RdA is much better on the ground. I really like High, but I just don’t see him winning this thing (Watch as he blows Rafael out of the water on Saturday). Dos Anjos snags himself a third round submission victory.
Burnsy: High said that he has wanted to drop down to lightweight since his loss to Erick Silva, but he’s a guy who wants to keep fighting and proving that he belongs, so he fought and won two more times at welterweight before this lightweight debut. I definitely would love to pick him, but I can’t pick against dos Anjos. But remember that I was on the fence so I can later say that I really wanted to pick High.
Danny: High was powerful at welterweight and he should be even more so at lightweight. Much like the previous fight, though, the Kansas City Bandit doesn’t offer much more than a grapple heavy attack. Furthermore, his work rate slows considerably as the fight progresses. Unlike RVD, RDA has broadened his skill set and can hurt opponents at any and every level. He takes this by decision.
Flyweight – John “The Magician” Dodson vs John Moraga
Jessica: Man, I just want to feed Dodson acorns and yell at him for getting into the bird feeder (I WILL NEVER NOT CONTEND THAT JOHNNY DODSON IS A SLIGHTLY LARGER THAN AVERAGE SQUIRREL). Dodson is gonna starch Moraga in the second and then do some KILLER FLIPZ
Burnsy: Both of these guys lost to Mighty Mouse and then came back and won their next fights. Except Dodson KO’d Montague in one of my favorite fights from last year, so I’m going to pick him.
Danny: Both these fighters are two of the hardest hitters in the flyweight division. Couple that with their lax defense, this fight is a knockout waiting to happen. In that case the edge has to go to Dodson. He has more speed and movement and drops Moraga in the second with his let hand in the second
Lightweight – Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson vs Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez
Jessica: Every time I pick Diego, my heart breaks a little after the fight. Much like Diego, I’ll never learn. Diego uses his rediscovered crazy to win this by third round TKO.
Burnsy: Sanchez really needs a win to stop his losing streak and get back to being that guy who gives us the Fight of the Night every time he steps in the octagon. He didn’t look that great against Miles Jury at UFC 171, so I don’t feel comfortable picking him. I’ll take Pearson to win this guaranteed FotN.
Danny: Diego has the same strategy every fight. Run forward and brawl. Pearson is too smart and too technical to be goaded into a brawl. Even if Diego avoids the steak tartare, he loses the decision.
Lightweight – Benson “Smooth” Henderson vs Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov
Jessica: This should be a neat fight. Bendo is good at take downs without maintaining control. Khabilov is good at suplexing dudes out their skeletons. Also, the winner’s deity is real, the loser must convert, it’s in the contract. Anyway, I think Rustam will get a little tired as the fight goes on because despite cutting like fifty pounds, Bendo can keep a high pace. Despite that, I think Rustam Hobby Lobby will do enough in the early rounds to get the Bendo special – a split decision victory.
Burnsy: The lightweight division is kind of a mess right now and that annoys me more than it should. I don’t understand how Smooth dropped to No. 2 in the rankings behind Gilbert Melendez, whom he defeated, but Pettis and Melendez are coaching against each other on TUF later this year, so it doesn’t matter what I think. Still, I think Henderson gets the win here, and that means he should get the winner of Pettis/Melendez, but since that won’t happen for a while, I’m guessing he’d get Josh Thomson or Khabib Nurmagomedov next. That’s not really fair, but the more I think about it, it’s pretty awesome. So I really don’t know what I’m bitching about. Smooth wins.
Danny: I wrote an excellent article about Khabilov for the latest issue of UFC 360 Magazine (on newsstands now). He’s much more than a human suplex machine and much taller than Taz. He may not have the same distance striking ability as Henderson, but he won’t get stalled against the cage like other Henderson opponents. The Dagestani scratches and claws his way to the decision win.