Seriously, UFC? Another back-to-back weekend of two fights? At least they are on two different days this time. Anyway, UFC 175 and The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale are coming up, and that means a whole lot of fights to pick from, so here’s a whole bunch of people to predict the outcomes! From the deep south and the land of the ROLL EAGLE WAR TIDE, Jessica “Lobster Mobster” Hudnall. The fanciest man in all the fancy lands, Ashley “Burnsy” Burns. Returning from his hiatus of being a swarthy man about town is our good friend New York Ric from MMAFighting.com, and with us once again is the wonderful Spilled Bag of Ice. And joining us for the first (and hopefully not only) time is Sydnie Jones of Women’s MMA.
It’s going to be a bloodbath of expertise this week, with the UFC 175 action beginning tonight at 7PM ET on UFC Fight Pass (Fox Sports 1 prelims at 8 PM ET and PPV at 10 PM ET as usual) and the TUF 19 Finale kicking off on Fight Pass tomorrow at 6 PM ET and then airing on FS1 at 7 PM ET.
Important Standings of Note
Jessica: 141-71-2 (65%)
Burnsy: 137-74-3 (64%)
Vince: 75-37-1 (66%)
Danny: 106-52-1 (66%)
Eric: 32-20-1 (60%)
Ghost: 6-7 (46%)
Spilled: 12-9 (57%)
Chris: 9-1 (90%)
Before the With Leather panel of experts weigh in on the fights, here’s Don “The Predator” Frye to offer his thoughts and picks. Will we do better than him? I hope so!
Middleweight – Luke Zachrich vs Guilherme “Bomba” Vasconcelos
Jessica: LZR has way too many first names, and I can’t abide by that. Vasconcelos wins by third round submission, taking an arm and a name home with him.
New York Ric: Let’s play the name game again. I work with Guilherme Cruz at MMAFighting.com, so I’m going with his namesake and taking Vasconcelos.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Zachrich via decision.
Sydnie Jones: Vasconcelos, because he’s got the cooler last name. IDK. Zachrich is two shortened first names stuck together; what more criteria do you need?
Burnsy: As if it wasn’t hard enough losing to one female each week, now I’m picking against two. This is not a good week for my antiquated sense of dominance. Anyway, I love the nickname “Bomba.” Just try saying it – BOMBA! BOMBA! BOMBA! You can’t pick against that. Take THAT analysis, female experts!
Middleweight – “King” Kevin Casey vs Bubba “The Fighting Texas Aggie” Bush
Jessica: I should like Kevin Casey, but it’s hard when he does stuff like make terrible music videos. On the other hand, he’s got a chance to beat up a dude named both “Bubba” and “Bush”, and I imagine that’s pretty high up on a lot of people’s list of desires. Casey wins by second round submission.
New York Ric: The last time Casey faced a Bubba, he quit on the stool. Bush will represent for Bubbas everywhere and get the win.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Bush via 3rd round TKO.
Sydnie Jones: Bush. Bubba Bush isn’t part of the Bush dynasty, is he? I’m going with him, because his name is Bubba, he’s from Texas, and his nickname is ‘The Fightin’ Texas Aggie.’ I applaud their proper punctuation. Also, this Tweet. It may not be his joke, but he gets it, and he apparently loves bad puns. MMA needs this Bubba.
Burnsy: I’m picking Bush unless he either comes to the octagon with Johnny Manziel or does his stupid money hands thing. I don’t think we’re in any danger of seeing Manziel, though, because he doesn’t get out of bed for a prelim.
Bantamweight – George Roop vs Rob Font
Jessica: Roop, there it is! Part of me wants Roop to lose just to see if he’ll try to cut to flyweight. I don’t see that happening against “Comic Sans” Font. Roop is too tall and gangly to deal with, so he’ll probably get a third round TKO.
New York Ric: Roop. There it is.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Roop via dec.
Sydnie Jones: Roop, because who doesn’t want to see him win? Also, some of his losses are to high level guys like Cub Swanson and Hatsu Hioki, so despite the checkered nature of his record, I don’t think he too old and enfeebled yet to not be able to bust it out.
Burnsy: I have a friend named James Roop and he is a cool dude, so I pick the guy with the same last name.
Middleweight – Chris Camozzi vs Bruno “Carioca” Santos
Jessica: Until he changes it, I’ll never not hold a slight grudge against Camozzi for not calling himself or walking out to “Hot Stepper.” I’m pretty sure “Carioca” is what happens when you mix cachaca with tapioca, which sounds disgusting. I’ll take Ini Camozzi to win by decision for no particular reason.
New York Ric: Camozzi desperately needs a win here and I think he gets it against the less experienced Santos.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Camozzi via dec.
Sydnie Jones: Camozzi, because 11 of Santos’ 13 wins are by decision, and I do not support that.
Burnsy: It’s tough to say whether or not Camozzi is on the ropes for a pink slip if he loses here, but at 27 he shouldn’t be in any real danger despite his losing streak. Santos, on the other hand, lost his UFC debut to Krustytheklown Jotko and I think he’s just the kind of fighter that Camozzi needs to get back in the W column. Also, Jessica makes her picks first so she always gets to beat me to the punch, but…
And screw YouTube for making me watch a 30 second Geico ad before that video. Especially that awful Pinocchio ad.
Welterweight – Kenny Robertson vs Ildemar “Marajo” Alcantara
Jessica: I like it when grapplers develop decent striking skills, and both of these guys at least have some KO power. Of course, that sometimes leads to Jorge Gurgel Syndrome, where top level grapplers only want to get in sloppy brawls (Sometimes known as Stand and Wang), which can look fun but is infuriating if you actually WANT a grapple-fest. I’ll take Alcantara to win by decision because he’s a Marajo-ana fighter, just like Nick Diaz!
New York Ric: Alcantara looked better than expected in February, beating a game Albert Tumenov, but Robertson will be able to show off his slick grappling and finish Ildemar. Then it’s back to woodshop class on Monday.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Robertson via 2nd rd sub.
Sydnie Jones: Robertson, because almost all of his wins are stoppages or submissions, and I want to show my support for that.
Burnsy: This is tough because Alcantara is 3-1 since joining the UFC and Robertson is Mr. Win One Lose One in his last four fights. But Robertson’s quick and awesome win against Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo, whose name is just so much fun to say, at Fight Night back in March makes me hope we’re going to see the same guy.
Bantamweight – Urijah “The California Kid” Faber vs Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres
Jessica: I like Bruce Leroy, but Faber basically murders anyone that doesn’t have a belt strapped around their waist. Faber is going to Dougie all over Caceres and get a second round Brollitine choke, using his SIK BROZILIIAN BRO-JITSU SKILLZ, BRO.
New York Ric: This fight will not be as one sided as people expect. Caceres is an ever-evolving martial artist and creative with both his stand-up and mat work. At some point though, the superior fighter in Faber will take Caceres’s back and lock up a choke.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Faber via 2nd rd. Guillotine.
Sydnie Jones: Faber. Because he’s my Faberite and bias is fundamentally illogical, I’m not even going to explain myself.
Burnsy: Longtime readers of this amazing, Pulitzer-winning UFC predictions post know that I LOOOOOOOOVE Caceres because I am a sucker for anything that reminds me of The Last Dragon. Also, despite his NC against Kyung Ho Kang for failing a drug test, Caceres has been a hot hand with a 5-2-1 record since his 2011 debut. That said, I have to imagine that Faber is PISSSSSSSSED that he’s relegated to a prelim just four months after his title shot (that was obviously lackluster and disappointing, but I also understand that the UFC needs a strong match to sell the FS1 show, so maybe he’s not mad at all). Caceres said that we shouldn’t bother ordering the PPV because he and Faber are going to “steal the show,” and I can’t see how any of the fights on this card, with the exception of the main event, come close to this in terms of on-paper potential, so I hope and pray he’s right. In conclusion, I think Faber bounces back hella strong and gets the decision after three, and we get a Fight of the Night on the free show.
Bantamweight – Marcus “The Bama Beast” Brimage vs Russell Doane
Jessica: Marcus Brimage has the power of Dragon Ball Z behind him. Russell Doane is a guy that, as far as I’m aware, has never professed his love for any sort of anime. That’s going to hurt him against higher level competition, and he’ll find that out the hard way against Brimage. Marcus wins by unanimous decision.
New York Ric: Considering the long layoff, Brimage will need some time to find his legs, but he should still have enough to beat Doane.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Doane via 3rd rd. armbar.
Sydnie Jones: I’m going with Doane because as a grappler myself, I’m always rooting for what JoRo might call a ‘submission artist.’ Wikipedia tells me he’s submitted a bunch of guys who have no Wikipedias of their own, so maybe they’re cans, but I like his aggression in going for chokes.
Burnsy: We haven’t seen Brimage in action since he was pummeled by Conor McGregor on FUEL TV in 2013, but he’s still one of those names that makes me immediately excited about a fight’s potential. He goes the distance and takes a punch, while Doane proved in his UFC debut in January that he’s a technical badass. I’ve been burned by power before, but I think Brimage holds his own and goes the distance again. ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE.
Middleweight – Uriah “Prime Time” Hall vs Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Jessica: Maybe it is because I am “racist” against Brazilians (Which is not a race), but I stared at the name THIAGO SANTOS for like ten minutes, trying to remember which dude this was. After figuring out it wasn’t the cop (Paulo Thiago) or the guy that got in trouble with the cops (Thiago Silva), or the guy that is involved with destroyed genitals, I remembered that this Thiago Santos is the guy with that cool body kick KO. Hall, of course, is a former TUF monster and he’s looked kinda crappy ever since he hasn’t had Chael P. Sonnen yelling encouragement at him. Since Sonnen just got fired for having ALL THE DRUGS, I don’t think he’ll be allowed to guest-corner Hall any time soon. For that reason, I’m taking Santos by third round TKO.
New York Ric: Hall via Dragon Uppercut into Tsunami Kick combo.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Santos via split decision.
Sydnie Jones: I’m pulling for Hall, because despite him being hella obnoxious on TUF, I ended up liking him for lacking a killer instinct and not wanting to destroy Gastelum because they were buddies. That’s not a good reason to think a fighter will win; in fact, it’s basically the opposite of a good reason, but Hall is always in his own head and now that it’s been pointed out to him and he’s agreed with the criticism, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some of that TUF hunger. Pre-TUF-finale TUF hunger.
Burnsy: Hall desperately needed a win at UFC 168 last December, because despite being one of the most exciting guys in the UFC, he couldn’t buy a win in a whorehouse with a hundred dollar bill hanging out of his zipper. Of course, he got that win in a most unusual and depressing way, as Chris Leben just gave up and retired after the first round ass-kicking he received, which actually left him confused and thinking he’d been KO’d. I assume that win bought Hall a little breathing room, but if he loses this time, he’ll be on pink slip watch again. So he faces Santos, whose UFC history consists of two one-round fights, one of which involved him getting worked by Cezar Ferreira and the other had him working Honey Markes for a TKO. Since I have no clue which Santos shows up, I’ll resort to picking Hall based on me wanting him to be awesome, and I know how that’s going to work out. Sigh.
Heavyweight – Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve vs Matt “Meathead” Mitrione
Jessica: I’m really glad Struve is back in action. I’ve missed that giant version of Joe Lauzon (INYUK CHUK!). I used to like Mitrione because he was kind of a goofus, and then he said terrible things about Fallon Fox, so now I basically hate him forever. Struve wins by not being a Garbage Person and submits Meathead in the second round.
New York Ric: Early, I expect Struve to land some punches and control the exchanges, but Mitrione can eat all those shots and then some. At some point, Mitrione will hit Struve with the sledgehammer and ruin the comeback party.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Struve via 2nd round sub (RNC).
Sydnie Jones: Given that Struve has 9 inches on Mitrione, I fully expect he will envelope Mitrione with his preying mantis limbs before messing around with gender roles and taking Mitrione’s head off. Figuratively. Whether it’s from striking or cutting off oxygen, it’s fine by me. More than any actual feeling I have, this is just what I would like to see happen.
Burnsy: Despite his lack of success on TUF, Mitrione got off to an awesome start in his UFC career, which I loved because I’m always a huge fan of the NFL player turned MMA fighter. Then he ran into a brick wall of Cheick Kongo and Roy Nelson, but has since bounced back with first round KOs against Philip De Fries and Shawn Jordan, with a first round loss to Brendan Schaub mixed in there. I guess my point is that I don’t know what to expect from Meathead anymore, and Struve beat Stipe Miocic back in 2012, so I still love Struve’s potential more. Struve takes this one with a KO of the Night.
Women’s Bantamweight Title – “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis
Jessica: I like Alexis Davis, and I really like her tiny little mascot pal, Chompers. The bad things is, Rousey is still an unstoppable, terrifying judo monster that collects arms like lawn gnomes and can now destroy livers at will. Davis is going to put up a good fight and her BJJ should make things last a little longer, but Rousey still gets a second round submission (Move #794, ARM-BAR)
New York Ric: Rousey via armbar*.
*Unless she wants to win via TKO for whatever reason
Spilled Bag of Ice: Rousey via 1st rd. armbar.
Sydnie Jones: Rousey. Is anyone picking Davis?
Burnsy: Rousey, obviously. But here’s the thing – this has to stop. Gina Carano’s not going to do it. Miesha Tate is never going to do it, bless her heart. Dana White is never going to let Cyborg try to do it. And maybe Cat Zingano can eventually do it, but she’ll have to be healthy enough to fight, and even then I doubt she’ll do it. People already don’t like Rousey and she’s the face of the UFC’s women’s division. The UFC desperately needs a female fighter who can take the belt from Rousey and not just settle for a moral victory of making it out of the first round. I hope it’s Davis and we’re all wrong, but until we all watch it with our own eyes, Rousey’s going to keep winning until she leaves for a career in the WWE and more Entourage movies.
Middleweight Title – Chris “The All-American” Weidman vs Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida
Jessica: Ooooh maaaan, this fight. This fight, you guys. Weidman is really good at the two main aspects of MMA – face punches and grab attacks, so it’s hard to pick against him. Lyoto is one of the tougher fighters to prepare for, though, as so few sparring partners can best approximate his skills in karate, sumo, ultra-harsh dad abuse, monkey hugs and hardly any gym mates are willing to drink they own pee-pee. There are a million tiny, little technical things that will have to happen for either man to have success in the cage, but there’s one key factor at play here: it’s July 4th weekend, and Chris Weidman is a god damn American. Weidman wins by fourth round TKO. USA! USA! USA!
New York Ric: I’m all over Machida here.
Weidman is a fantastic fighter with a complete package of striking and grappling, but he will run into a style in Machida’s that I don’t think he can overcome. The following are concerns:
• Cardio: Weidman frequently slows as the fight wears on. Machida has been in five round fights his entire career, looking just as fresh in the fifth as the first. If Weidman can’t end it early, Machida will take over and cruise.
• Takedowns: Weidman is a very good wrestler, but Machida’s takedown defense is otherworldly – he is custom-made to thwart wrestling. If Weidman can’t get Machida down (I don’t think he will be able to) and be effective when he does, Machida will pick him apart standing.
Machida is a tough match-up style-wise for everybody at 205 and 185, but since dropping down a weight-class, he’s looked impeccable. The Machida era begins again at middleweight.
Spilled Bag of Ice: Weidman via Unanimous Decision.
Sydnie Jones: Machida. Anyone with as squeaky clean a reputation as Weidman and who’s nicknamed himself ‘all-American’ gives me the willies. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Machida, on the other hand, drinks his own urine, which, while supposedly sterile for him, doesn’t say ”squeaky clean” to me. This is a toss-up, because both of these things freak me the fuck out. Self-proclaimed patriot wrassler versus pee-drinking karateman? I’m going with Machida because his face bugs me less and also because I suspect/hope he can deflect Weidman’s takedown attempts.
Burnsy: I hate having to make this pick. I also hate how Weidman’s marketing gimmick is “I’m the underdog champion, nobody gives me any respect.” The dude beat Anderson Silva twice. The UFC should be throwing parades for him in every city before every event, regardless of whether or not he’s fighting in it. He should be sitting ringside for every middleweight fight, stroking his belt and taunting the ranked fighters. We should be absolutely sick of Weidman by now, because he’s the f*cking best the UFC has to offer and they won’t stop letting us know it. Unfortunately, I think Machida is going to be a harder fight for him than Silva was either time. I think Machida is going to win, but I’m picking Weidman because I want him to win.
The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale
Light Heavyweight – Robert Drysdale vs Keith “Sha Bang Bang” Berish
Jessica: Drysdale is a grappling ace, so I should probably pick him to get knocked out hilariously. I’m not going to do that, though, for no particular reason. Drysdale by first round submission.
Burnsy: I’ve been working on rebuilding my old baseball card collection lately as a hobby, and I’ve been adding a lot of the classic cards that I could never get my hands on when I was younger. I lost out on a Don Drysdale rookie card last week and I’ve been really bitter about it. So I’m taking that as a sign and am picking Berish. Also, SHA BANG BANG! SHA BANG BANG! SHA BANG BANG!
Women’s Bantamweight – Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras vs Alexis “Sneaky Zebra” Dufrense
Jessica: I don’t know much about Dufrense, but I know that Moras has experience fighting veldt animals when she took on Peggy Morgan on TUF. Moras also has amazing CRAZY HAIR and CRAZIER EYES, so I’ll take “Cheesecake” to win by decision.
Burnsy: Sneaky Zebra? F*ck yes, Sneaky Zebra.
Light Heavyweight – Patrick Walsh vs Daniel “Dragon” Spohn
Jessica: Walsh looks like he’s never heard of fighting at times, while Spohn has shown some competency. Spohn by second round TKO because Walsh won’t keep his goddamn hands up.
Burnsy: Spohn’s Bellator run wasn’t exactly stellar, but I’ll take his experience and the nickname Dragon over Walsh. Especially since Don “The Dragon” Wilson doesn’t get the action star credit he deserves. He’s 59 and still making movies, and yet he’s not good enough for The Expendables? That’s cold, Stallone.
Lightweight – Adriano Martins vs Juan Manuel “Fenix” Puig
Jessica: Puig gonna get destroyed. Martins wins by first round knockout.
Burnsy: I love Martins. Sure, he got rocked by Cowboy back in January, but he’s still a great fighter. In fairness to Puig, his nickname reminds me of this:
So he has that going for him. Oh pop punk singers with your facial mannerisms that make no sense, don’t you ever leave my memory.
Bantamweight – Jumabieke “Leopard” Tuerxun vs Leandro “Brodhino” Issa
Jessica: I’ll go with Jambalaya Twerkin on the basis of having a way more fun name to say. Since I always give a method, I’ll say Twerkin gets a decision.
Burnsy: BRO, do you even DHINO? BRODHINO.
Lightweight – Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee vs Jesse “The Body Snatcher” Ronson
Jessica: Motown Phenom, back again. Gonna beat up Ronson, get the win. Lee wins by third round TKO.
Burnsy: The Motown Phenom is my second favorite nickname of the weekend, behind Sneaky Zebra. Obviously, I love Bruce Leeroy, but that’s in my nickname Hall of Fame.
Flyweight – Justin “Tank” Scoggins vs Dustin Ortiz
Jessica: Oooh, snap! This fight is gonna be good, y’all. Ortiz had a fun fight against teeny little Ray Borg in Orlando, though he was defending submission attempts a lot. Scoggins is one of my new faves, and a guy I called the top UFC prospect of 2013. Scoggins is going to TKO Ortiz in the second because MMA needs at least one dude named Tank doing well in order to survive.
Burnsy: I try not to read the other predictions before I make my own, but because it’s just me and LobbyMobby making picks for TUF, I couldn’t help but notice what she wrote and it’s basically what I was thinking. Ortiz won me over when I got to see him at UFC on Fox in Orlando in a hell of a fight against Ray Borg. But I think Scoggins is a better all-around fighter.
Heavyweight – Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis vs Guto Inocente
Jessica: Lewis had one of the better post-fight interviews, at least from a non-crazy person, wherein he said that he’s got to keep winning because his “kids are HONGRY”. Guto Inocente, which is basically the Italian version of Guy Incognito, is not going to take food out of Lewis’ children’s mouths. Lewis wins by first round KO.
Burnsy: Guto Inocente sounds like a pope’s name. The Black Beast stole the show in Orlando and I want him to become the working man’s UFC star. He’ll win again.
Middleweight – Eddie “Truck” Gordon vs Dhiego Lima
Jessica: Lima’s got an amazing Jimmy Durante nose, doesn’t he? Eddie Gordo(n) doesn’t do enough capoeira for my tastes, so that’s why he loses. Dhiego wins by second round TKO and gets to make fun of his brother, Douglas, for being the first Lima in the UFC. Suck on that Bellator belt, boyee!
Burnsy: I don’t know much about either fighter so I’m going with Lima based on his experience. Three whole fights more than Gordon, what an expert I am!
Light Heavyweight – Matt “Gutter” van Buren vs Corey “Beastin 25/8″ Anderson
Jessica: I like both nicknames in this fight, yet I recognize that they are both kind of terrible. Speaking of terrible, this season of TUF was kind of bad, other than the always wonderful Mark Coleman Moments. I’ll take “Gutter” to win because I need Van Buren last long enough to fight Tim Kennedy, preferably on President’s Day.
Burnsy: I’m taking Anderson, because GUTTER IS A TOOL! GUTTER IS A TOOL! GUTTER IS A TOOL!
However, if he comes out wearing a flannel shirt tied around his waist, I’ll change my pick.
Featherweight – Frankie “The Answer” Edgar vs B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn
Jessica: Baby Jay Penn has a lot of things going for him. He gave the best answers in those terrible Mickey’s ads, he fought Lyoto Machida at “heavyweight”, and he sometimes wakes up too light and has to eat breakfast teriyaki burgers to slow down his metabolism. However, when it comes to beating Frankie Edgar, Penn ain’t got a lot in that category. Edgar’s gonna put some Jersey stank on BJ for a third time and take a unanimous decision victory. Pour one out for Bruddah Iz after this loss, brah.
Burnsy: I respect BJ Penn as much as the next guy, but come on. He’s not beating Mr. Fight of the Night. Edgar gets the trifecta against Penn.