That sure was a quick turnaround on the fights, friends! I sure did poop the bed something ferociously on the Fight Night 45 picks, but no matter, it’s not like I need to do well to validate being part of the With Leather team, right?
UFC Fight Night 46 is upon us, so it’s time for the smartest, funniest, most insightful and most accurate predictions and analysis in the entire world (The theory is if we get enough people to make picks, we should cover all the potential outcomes). Despite my terrible showing, I’m still here and I’m still Jessica “Lobster Mobster” Hudnall. The king of this UFC picking shit, the fantastic BURNSY. The film buff that watches films in the buff, Vince “Film Drunk” Mancini! A man with a plan, a root canal and a hat from Panama, Danny “Boy” Downes! It’s the end result when jagged pieces of frozen water come in contact with a plastic container with poor structural integrity, Spilled Bag of Ice! And last but certainly not least, Chris Rini from Fightland and Sydnie Jones from Women’s MMA!
Important Standings of Note!
Jessica: 155-89-2 (63%)
Burnsy: 156-87-3 (63%)
Vince: 81-42-1 (65%)
Danny: 115-54-1 (68%)
New York Ric: 36-26-1 (57%)
GhostFace: 6-7 (46%)
SBoI: 22-16 (58%)
Rini: 12-3 (80%)
Sydnie: 5-5 (50%)
Flyweight – Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan vs Josh “The Gremlin” Sampo
Jessica: Patches O’Holohan versus the Gremlin? This is a tough choice, but I haven’t been impressed with Sampo in some of his recent performances. Holohan wins by third round submission.
Vince: Paddy The Hooligan Holohan sounds too cliché to be true, like the Irish equivalent of an Asian girl named Bad driver Q. Math Whiz. Or maybe not, since it doesn’t directly reference alcohol. Holohan has most of his wins by way of submission, which I have to imagine had to be easier against Irish guys than it will be against an American with two gnarly cauliflower ears. I’ll take the Gremlin via ear scar tissue.
Burnsy: I feel like I should pick all of the Irish guys in this event, because they’re scrappy and wiry and whatever. But I have to pick my fellow St. Charles, Missouri guy in Sampo.
Spilled: Sampo is “the Gremlin” so, with the time change from the US to Ireland, I’ll bet someone accidentally feeds him after midnight. Sampo with a 3rd rd sub.
Sydnie: Two tiny men both funny looking in the way that makes them adorable. Both nicknamed for mischievous, obnoxious beings. Sampo, because now I’m imagining two of the bad mogwais turning on each other and fighting, and it’s pretty cute.
Light Heavyweight – Cody “Donnybrook” Donovan vs Nikita “The Al Capone” Krylov
Jessica: Both dudes have lost to Ovince St. Preux, which isn’t that bad since I really like OSP. I’m honestly torn about Krylov, because half the time, I think his nickname and profile picture with the trenchcoat and fedora is so goddamn ridiculous, while the other half, I’m all for how ridiculous it is. I feel nothing for Donovan, so I’ll go with Krylov by TKO.
Vince: Donnybrook vs. Al Capone? What year is it, 1936? Joe Silva had to have chosen this based on nicknames alone. This one could go either way for me, but I’m taking the Russian on the strength of his awesome nickname/profile picture.
Burnsy: While they both lost to OSP, I think Krylov caught a much better OSP with a ton of momentum in his favor. Donovan has lost his last two, and maybe fighting in front of the home country will inspire him or something, but I like Krylov to bounce back.
Spilled: Let’s see how Krylov’s cardio holds up. That’s the question. I’m gonna go with Donovan weathering an early storm to come back strong & get the decision.
Sydnie: Well, they both lost to Ovince St. Preux, but Krylov walked out to Duane Eddy’s Rebel Rouser. On the other hand, Donovan’s a jiu jitsu black belt and Krylov got subbed with a Von Flue in short order last time. I’m torn. I’m going with Donovan because, like me, he went to an Art Institute school and probably regrets it, also like me.
Middleweight – Tor “The Hammer” Troeng vs Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith
Jessica: I liked Hot Sauce better when he was crossing up fools on the And1 courts. Troeng’s gonna hammer-fist his way to a TKO stoppage in the second.
Vince: Last time Tor Troeng fought on the same card as Fifi Latifi, he was victorious, and so shall he be on this night. In the battle of hot sauce vs. Iceland, Iceland wins.
Burnsy: Hot Sauce is like my favorite nickname for a guy who can’t seem to win. He’s 1-2 in the UFC with one loss and that lone win coming via split. Troeng’s debut win was fast and painful and his loss was against Rafael Natal, so I’ll give the Swede the favor.
Spilled: I gotta go with the man from the land of styling but affordable furniture and Black Metal. Tor via TKO.
Sydnie: It’s hard not to choose someone whose nickname is ‘Hot Sauce,’ because I want to encourage that type of absurdity, but Tor is a viking calling himself The Hammer who has a master’s degree in Engineering physics. He’s already the winner here.
Welterweight – Cathal “The Punisher” Pendred vs Mike King
Jessica: Pendred rescues dolphins. What the f*ck have you done with your life? Pendred wins by third round TKO.
Vince: I’m not making a pick until someone tells me who the f*ck is Mike King. All I know about him so far is that he has a lot of submission victories over the likes of Billy Garris and Colby Tierney. I haven’t seen much from Pendred to tell me that he’s a worldbeater, but I shall nonetheless choose him by virtue of me knowing his name.
Burnsy: Pendred is so confident in his UFC debut that he went ahead and got a “semi-permanent” UFC tattoo this week. Normally, I’d pick against a move like that, but Mike King doesn’t even have a profile photo on Sherdog.
Spilled: I dunno. Who are these dudes? Okay… I’m gonna guess Pendred via close perhaps controversial decision.
Sydnie: Cathal Pendred has a lot going for him. His name sounds like an interesting medical condition, he saved a baby dolphin, and King has a record full of cans.
Flyweight – Neil “2Tap” Seery vs Phil “Billy” Harris
Jessica: Seery had a much closer fight with Brad Pickett than I anticipated his last time out. He’ll win a close decision here and send Harris packing to World Series of Fighting where he can rejoin his brother, Paul.
Vince: Did Jessica already make a Palhares/Paul Harris joke? Dammit. Anyway, this one’s interesting, because Harris beat Seery back in 2010, but Seery showed some solid takedown defense against Pickett, which would make a Harris victory unlikely. I’ll take Seery to even their series, but I’m not feeling incredibly confident about it.
Burnsy: Harris has looked like crap since joining the UFC, so I’ll take Seery as the home crowd guy.
Spilled: Harris beat Seery before. So Harris via 3rd round submission.
Sydnie: Harris, because Seery lost to Brad Pickett, who I also didn’t choose, and Harris beat Seery once before. IDK, sorry this isn’t clever.
Middleweight – Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi vs Chris Dempsey
Jessica: This was going to be an interesting bout when Tom Lawlor was still involved. Now, I don’t really know or care about Dempsey, so I’m going with Latifi to win by submission.
Vince: I thoroughly enjoyed watching Latifi try to pop Cyrill Diabate’s head off like a doll in his last fight and I’m hoping it happens again because Dempsey isn’t even known enough to have a picture in his Sherdog profile. I will take Ilir “Pass My Fifi” Latifi.
Burnsy: I assume Latifi wins for simply being more prepared. But Dempsey’s joining the UFC out of Gladiators of the Cage, which sounds like a pretty badass promotion. Still, Latifi.
Spilled: Latifi via decision. Just cause I think that getting beat up my Mousasi lit a fire under his ass.
Rini: When I saw Latifi fight Gegard Moussasi it was tough to believe in his potential. Then Gus shook the Jon’s pedestal and Latifi made short work of The Snake. I love when people make the most of an opportunity and have got to pick him against Dempsey.
Sydnie: Latifi, his name is more fun to say. Also, I don’t put much faith in Dempsey’s record.
Lightweight – “Stormin” Norman Parke vs Naoyuki Kotani
Jessica: I really hope this is a super grappley fight. I love a good scramble-battle. Norman takes a decision win.
Vince: Aside from the fact that Stormin Norman is pretty good, I never feel too comfortable picking a guy who’s only fought in Asia. Parke.
Danny: Two grapplers going at it, so that means one thing — ugly striking! Kotani’s professional career spans over 13 years and 50 career fights so don’t count him out. Or… you could. It’s like a free country man. Parke may not set the world on fire with his stand-up, but he has the advantage in speed and technique. He’ll connect with his punches and blend in a couple of well time takedowns for the unanimous decision win.
Burnsy: Kotani had a lousy two-loss run in the UFC back in 2007. Nothing changes today. Parke mops the mat with him.
Spilled: I think Parke is able to keep it standing and get the better of the striking exchanges eventually wearing Kotani down and taking the Decision.
Rini: I enjoyed Parke’s determination on the Smashes season, and while he’s not established exactly what level he’s at in the UFC, at least there is potential for him. Kotani is back in the UFC, whether because of his late career 12 fight win streak, or just because the UFC is simultaneously the pinnacle of fighting and a developmental league… I’m picking the crafty veteran this time.
Sydnie: In part, this comes down to the nickname. STORMIN’ NORMAN PARKE. Also Kotani’s recent win streak seems to be due largely to the Japanese equivalent of XFS, but maybe we’ll see some awesome grappling out of him. Still, though. I’m expecting Parke to rain down some inclement weather on Kotani. Like a storm.
Flyweight – Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs Brad “One Punch” Pickett
Jessica: Pickett has a nice trilby, but McCall’s got a great mustache. McCall wins via facial hair superiority, mainly so something can go right in his life for a while.
Vince: Oh snap, hat guy vs. mustache guy! I guess this one all comes down to what you want in your hipster. With these two slugging, well-rounded flyweights, I’m predicting a slugfest that looks like someone sped up the tape. I’ll take Uncle Creepy by a hair (get it? because he has a mustache).
Danny: It’s amazing how much fans like a guy named Uncle Creepy that looks like he uses the word “mixologist.” Unfortunately for all you vinyl record listening fans out there, I think that Pickett pulls off the upset. It will certainly be a close, back and forth fight, but Pickett has the ability to change the momentum of a fight with a single punch. He’ll win the war of attrition and take the decision.
Burnsy: I think Uncle Creepy finally got over the hump with his last win and he’s poised to become a successful fighter in the UFC. I’ll give him the win here.
Spilled: Uncle Creepy should be able to out perform Pickett across the board. The only way McCall loses is if he starts having too much fun and forgets the brawling with Pickett is a bad idea. If Pickett tries to wrestle and he might, I see McCall out-scrambling him and being able to lock in RNC.
Rini: This fight has huge potential, and is my pick for FOTN. Both guys have resumes with good winning percentages, faltering only at the highest level. Their losses are primarily to champs and #1 contenders (albeit with a botched draw in there for McCall against Mighty Mouse). With all that in mind, I’m going to pick One Punch. He’s a little angry, getting up there in age and it’s do or die time for him.
Sydnie: I like Pickett’s hollow, thousand yard stare and haggard, worked over face, I really do. When I was a kid we’d take road trips to Dawson City, a tiny, hardy gold rush town in the middle of nowhere, Yukon Territory. The entire place is a scrapbook of the 1898 gold rush, with historical plaques and blown up old timey photographs all over the place (go there IMO). When I look at Pickett, his doleful eyes and grim countenance remind me of a gold miner with regrets. Maybe the kind who struck it rich, but not without compromising his morals and integrity, or maybe the kind who toiled endlessly on a claim that never “panned” out and saw some Sam McGee type shit and now he’ll never be the same.
However, those gold miners, while tough, were also tore up from the floor up post rush, so despite my Klondike-related nostalgia, I’m going with Uncle Creepy.
Welterweight – Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson vs Zak Cummings
Jessica: I’m kind of upset that Ryan LaFlare got hurt, because him versus Nelson would have been an awesome fight that would have torn apart the Mobsy/Burnsy tag team. On the positive side, Gunnar is gunna run through Zak Cummings and sub him in the first.
Vince: Gunnar Nelson is not only named after me and Burnsy’s favorite flaxen-haired rockstar, he’s also a bad, bad muhfuh. Imma take homeboy from Iceland while rocking out to “Love and Affection” and home the amount of whiteness involved doesn’t kill me.
Danny: Did you know that Zak Cummings is 29 years old? It’s almost as surprising as the fact that Chris Horodecki is 26. Cummings has a distinct size and power advantage. Nelson keeps his hands low, so there’s always the possibility of a punch sneaking through. For that to happen, though, Cummings needs to find a way inside Gunnar’s range and that won’t happen. Nelson stuns Cummings with a head kick, takes him down and wins by rear naked choke in the second.
Burnsy: My favorite fighter in the UFC keeps his winning streak alive. And then we all sing…
Spilled: Man, I dunno about this one. It means a lot to be undefeated. I think this one is going to be a fun fight for the educated fans. Cummings has the experience but it only takes one mistake for Nelson to capitalize. Nelson by 2nd rd choke.
Rini: Kudos for Zak, stepping up and putting himself in harm’s way. Have you seen Gunnar’s interviews this week? Rory MacDonald takes notes whenever the Icelandic Psycho speaks. Strangulation abounds.
Sydnie: His nickname is ‘Gunni’ and he’s an accomplished jiu jitsu player (and black belt), soooo I don’t know what else I could ask for. I look forward to seeing him unload that jiu jitsu ammo as he’s “gunning” for Cummings. Not that Cummings is a jiu jitsu slouch, and between them they have a buttload of submissions, so I’m really hoping this goes to the ground. And if it does, I give it to Nelson via some awesome jiu jitsu submission like a flying baratoplata or flying sorcerer or flying bow and arrow choke. These are reasonable predictions, by the way (I train jiu jitsu, so I would know), and I went 5-5 in my last predictions so siding with me is a pretty safe bet.
Featherweight – “Notorious” Conor McGregor vs Diego “DB” Brandao
Jessica: I kind of liked McGregor until he started calling out EVERYBODY under UFC contract (Except for Bisping, which is weird). Brandao’s a decent fighter, but kind of a real-life shithead, since he threatened Dustin Poirier with a pen-stabbing, and it’s tough for me to condone that. I’ll take McGregor with the hopes that he faces a dude like Nik Lentz or some other corn-fed Midwestern wrestler that’s just going to grind him into paste for an extended period of time.
Vince: Here we have a battle of the UFC’s new crush (McGregor) vs. its old new crush (Brandao). Brandao looked like an unstoppable Mormon killing machine in the TUF finale a few years back, and has never quite managed to live up to the hype. Meanwhile McGregor is riding peak hype, despite never having really beaten anyone. Still, Max Holloway (who McGregor beat in his last fight) is probably undervalued, and I see McGregor as similar to Dustin Poirier (who Brandao lost to in his last fight) but with faster striking. I’m going to assume McGregor has a weak ground game because he’s Irish, but I’m betting on McGregor doing enough on the feet to keep Brandao from exploiting it. McGregor.
Danny: Some people may want the McGregor hype train to derail, but it’s not going to happen here. Brandao is a wildman, but all that aggression won’t help him here. McGregor is too dynamic and he showed in his last fight against Holloway that he can strike going forwards and backwards. He’ll counter punch his way to a first round TKO.
Burnsy: I’m picking McGregor because I want him to be the guy that he’s proclaiming to be. He thinks he’ll be fighting for the title by the end of the year? Awesome, win this weekend. The UFC needs a cocky winner right now, so let’s hope McGregor is that man.
Spilled: McGregor has a ton of talent and even more self-confidence plus an arena full of crazy Irish folk losing their McMinds rooting for him. That’s a lethal combination. I don’t think he’s top 10 yet but he should be able to land a well-timed counter punch and take Brandao out via TKO. And the McGregor hype train rolls on… until he meets the likes of a Cub Swanson and gets temporarily knocked of the rails.
Rini: I’ve never heard of Conor McGregor, and am shocked that the UFC would put their TUF winner who is rocketing towards a showdown with Jose Aldo against him in a main event. I get that he’s probably Scottish or Welsh or something, so they wanted to give something to the hometown crowd to cheer about… but Brandao has been through the second toughest tournament in fighting (after Bellator).
Good luck to the hometown boy. Say your hail marys and swing for the stars.
Sydnie: Despite not liking McGregor or his swaggery cockiness or his ironic juxtaposition of overgrown, sprawling beard with fitted, buttoned-up-tight suiting, I’m still going with him for this one. I don’t know why; maybe I’ve boarded the UFC hype train and have internalized the message that Conor McGregor is worth taking seriously and caring/thinking about. Whatever the unknowable brain geography is, I think McGregor’s urgency, his own ride on the hype train, and fighting on the home turf will result in a win, so he’s my pick. Despite this:
As an added bonus, here is an impressive piece of art that Chris Rini made for the main event.