(Burnsy Note: I know the above image is five years old, but it’s my favorite photo of Ryan Bader ever taken, so I wanted to include it just because.)
Welcome back punch-friends! After an unprecedented three-week hiatus, thanks in part due to Jose Aldo’s inability to properly put on a suit, big time MMA has returned to us with UFC Fight Night 47, tomorrow night at 10 PM ET on Fox Sports 1! (Prelims begin at 8 PM ET on FS2.)
Important Standings of Note:
Bantamweight – Nolan Ticman vs Frankie Saenz
Jessica: I don’t believe either of these people exist, so nobody will win a fight that can’t happen. If I have to choose a winner, I’m going with Saenz, because he’s apparently fought this year, while Ticman hasn’t competed since 2012. Saenz wins by decision.
Vince: I pick Who via Huh? Saenz by coin flip.
Burnsy: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, who? Sure, Saenz.
Carlos B. Dog (Picking on behalf of Spilled Bag of Ice): I’m torn here. I am man’s best friend but Ticks are my enemy. I know it’s spelled without a K but still too close for comfort. Saenz by Decision. I just hope he doesn’t get lyme disease in the process!
Middleweight – “Smile’N” Sam Alvey vs Tom “Kong” Watson
Jessica: Both dudes punch faces pretty good, so I’m fairly intrigued. Alvey looks kind of unhinged, but in a good way, so I’ll go with him to knock out Watson in the second.
Chris: First up with his back against the wall is Tom “Kong” Watson, facing Smiling Sam Alvey. Alvey looked like he was going to make waves on TUF and then got out hustled in the first round. Sam still doesn’t have a wikipedia page, but I’m going against my usual approach and picking the Smiling one to shut off Tom’s Big Ben (jesus this is a hack writeup).
Tom’s willing to brawl, he’s 1-3 in the UFC and Sam’s specialty is turning people’s lights out. Look for the KO.
Vince: I’ve seen more Alvey fights, and he has a weird tendency to look totally lackluster until he nails someone with a knockout hook. Only sometimes it doesn’t come and he just loses a lackluster decision. I’m going to pick Alvey and hope he has something to prove.
Burnsy: I usually take the veteran over the guy making his debut, but Alvey is younger and has a nice little winning streak bringing him into the UFC, so I’m going to give him the victory.
Carlos B. Dog: Okay… this hard. I know a guy named Tom that’s really awesome but I like Alvey is “Smilin'” I smile too. (see pic) Smiling can be a sign of submission or maybe he’s bearing his teeth. I keep forgetting these aren’t dogs. So he must be smiling cause he’s happy. I’ll give him another reason to be happy and pick him by decision.
Bantamweight – Sara McMann vs Lauren Murphy
Jessica: This fight is gonna be hella rad, y’all! McMann might be a little gun shy and defensive of her liver after getting it blasted by Rousey, but she’s still going to be looking to wrestle the heck out of Murphy. Lauren’s BJJ is pretty good, and she’s got good hands, but her biggest attribute is the 45% bear DNA she’s got from being born in Alaska. Since McMann didn’t train in Dagestan, she’ll be unprepared for a bear-powered fighter, so Murphy wins by decision in what should be a fight of the night contender.
Chris: From a title shot to the prelims of a fight night. I can’t abide by this kind of matchmaking, especially when McMann is gonna come at Lauren with a vengeance. I’m a firm believer that fighters who lose via early stoppage come back to exact revenge on their following opponent. With little to no data to back this up, I still strongly suggest betting the house on McMann.
Vince: I’ve never seen Lauren Murphy fight, but I know that Sarah McCann was landing some decent knucks to Ronda Rousey’s dome piece before she took that knee to the lady-guts. McCann.
Burnsy: I have a friend named Lauren Murphy and she couldn’t hurt a fly, so I’m taking McMann. Thank you, that’s exactly the kind of analysis that keeps people coming back for more.
Carlos B. Dog: Dad, help me out here… Okay, he says “Sarah only lost to the champ. but Lauren has heavy hands and undefeated.” That doesn’t help. A dog is McMann’s best friend? Sure. Let’s go with McMann.
Flyweight – Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky vs Jussier “Formiga” da Silva
Jessica: TINYWEIGHTS, WHEEEEE! This is going to be a fast-paced, fun little scrap. Makovsky is a really active fighter, even for flyweight standards, and Formiga is pretty solid. Jussier’s stumbled against the mega-punchers of the division, but that’s not Makovsky’s bag, so he should stay awake this time. That’s unfortunate, since Zach’s going to wrestle on him for fifteen minutes. Makovsky wins by decision.
Vince: Both guys have wins over Scotty Jorgensen, but Jussier also has one over Chris Cariaso. That’s a big win. Jussier.
Burnsy: I’m not going to let their recent fights against Scott “The Accountant Whose Socks Don’t Match” Jorgensen be my decider, so I’ll go with da Silva’s “win one, lose one” record and give Makovsky his third win in a row since entering the UFC.
Carlos B. Dog: “Fun Size”? I’m a funsize bad ass too. I’m also a good wrestler. Checkout my side-control! Makovsky via submission. Speaking of treats… I get one for this, right?
Featherweight – Thiago Tavares vs Robbie “Problems” Peralta
Jessica: Tavares is a grappler making his debut at 145 pounds, and that’s always cause for concern, especially against a dude with knockout power like Peralta. Robbie’s gonna weather the BJJ storm and get a KO win in the third.
Danny: Tavares is the better grappler, but I don’t think he’ll be able to bring this fight to the ground. His offensive wrestling lacks technique and Peralta should out-hustle many of the takedown attempts. Peralta isn’t the most technical striker, but enough of his bombs find the mark for him to take a unanimous decision.
Vince: I really like the name “Problems Peralta,” but I think Tavares is better than he gets credit for. Tavares.
Burnsy: This could be a really good one. Tavares bounced back from that bad loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov with a great win over Justin Salas, while Peralta has won three of his last four. I’m going to take Peralta.
Carlos B. Dog: Tavares since his brother is on the card. They’re not brothers? Still Tavares by decision.
Heavyweight – Shawn “The Savage” Jordan vs Jack “The Outlaw” May
Jessica: May looked kinda decent in his debut back in April, until he got his face obliterated by my new favorite, THE BLACK BEAST. I’ll continue to hate Jordan for beating Pat Barry, so I’m going with May to win by fat-guy KO in the first.
Chris: Another back-against-the-wall fighter, but I don’t know what the story is with Shawn Jordan. I’ve read glowing articles about how he’s the future of the HW division, but watching him falter against Kongo put a permanent mark of suspicion on the Team Jackson fighter. While I can’t see him as an upper echelon player without some seriously dominating performances, I’m still going to pick him against Jack May. Jordan is one bad loss away from getting cut, even in this thin HW scene.
Danny: A fighter named Jack May? No way that’s his birth name. I feel like that should be the name of a character on the show Deadwood that performed feats of strength and bare knuckle boxed for whiskey. Knowing Deadwood, he’d probably also have an opium addiction and say the word “cocksucker” a whole bunch. To this day, I’m still pissed at how that show ended. I have to imagine that there are people out there with estranged fathers who would rather have closure from that television shown than their own parents. I know I would.
Anyway… the popular notion is that Jordan has “heavy hands” and is incredibly explosive. I would place him at slightly above average for the division. May controls distance and takes the first round TKO.
Vince: I can’t remember ever seeing May fight, but he looks like a bassist in a rockabilly band. Meanwhile, I hate that Jordan lost to Mitrione, but he has that giant football ass that makes me think he could punch really hard. I’ll take Jordan by superior haunches.
Burnsy: And this one has all the makings of a hot, hairy turd. May’s the guy who lost to my newest favorite fighter, Derrick Lewis, in Orlando back in April, and Jordan’s probably staring at a pink slip if he loses this one, as it would be his third in a row. On top of that, Jordan has been KO’d in the first round in both of those losses, so I have no reason to pick him. May it is.
Carlos B. Dog: These big people scare me. Grrrr…. Jordan has more experience and that means something. Like how I can give high five because I’m awesome and have experience. Jordan by TKO.
Welterweight – Seth “The Polish Pistola” Baczynski vs Alan “Brahma” Jouban
Jessica: Jouban makes me think of Yves Jabouin, and that makes me think of Yves Edwards. I’ve got a weirdo brain, shut up. Anyway, I don’t know anything about Jouban, but I’m familiar with Baczynski. I’ll say Seth wins via Egyptian god powers.
Danny: Jouban may be pretty, but Baczynski is a grinder. The “Polish Pistola” will crowd the range and wear Jouban out. He takes the UD.
Vince: I’m sick and tired of people assuming guys with chiseled features and washboard abs like me and Alan Jouban can’t be tough. Plus Baczynski has never impressed me all that much, and neither of Jouban’s losses have come by way of grinders. I’m picking Jouban to show people how tough us really really ridiculously good looking guys can be.
Burnsy: Jouban is a male model when he’s not fighting in the octagon, so the ladies have something to get excited about for once. His nickname is “Brahma,” which is a lot of fun if you say it like, “BRAH! MA!” Still, it’s always fun to watch a good-looking person get roughed up, so bring this one home, Seth.
Carlos B. Dog: I was gonna pick Seth Baczysmjhgfliu Do you know how hard it is to type that with paws!? Anyway, I’m looking at Jouban’s picture on… what’s this site? Sherdog? Nice name! and he looks like a psycho. Looking bad ass is very important in the dog world. If Jouban had hackles they’d be up. Scary. Jouban by TKO.
Middleweight – Brad Tavares vs Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch
Jessica: Big Time Timmy B is going to judo the heck out of B-Rad. He might also unleash some uppercuts, but I mostly expect Tavares to rack up some serious frequent flier miles. Boetsch wins by second round TKO.
Chris: Is Tim Boetsch the Icarus of the MW division? After his stellar comeback against Yushin Okami he has had a very difficult run since entering into “the mix.” He’s got two weirdo-wins against Lombard and Dolloway, and the losses have been disheartening. Dominated by Munoz, TKO’d by Philippou and a shutout by Luke Varsity Rockhold. It seems like the Barbarian can’t catch a break and the ambitious Tavares might be entering the Boetsch-zone himself. Tavares wants to be a contender and Boetsch just exited that territory. Look for the Barbarian to seek redemption and escape stepping stone status. With his back to the ocean, Tim is going to either destroy Brad or go down in a blaze of glory.
Danny: My how the Barbarian has fallen. There was a time when Boetsch was the dark horse candidate to get a middleweight title shot. Now, he has his back against the wall after losing three of the last four. Tavares is like the Tim Duncan of the division. He doesn’t do anything incredible, but he’s solid overall. I’m not ready to say that Tavares is championship material, but he does enough here for the decision win.
Vince: I can’t say as I’ve ever been impressed with Tim Boetsch outside of the Yushin Okami fight. The fact that Tavares went the distance with Yoel Romero is enough for me to pick him over Boetsch.
Burnsy: Saying “Boetsch” makes me sound like I’m dry heaving. I like Tavares to bounce back from that last loss and BOETSCH to continue his recent run as that guy who shows up and loses.
Carlos B. Dog: Tavares because his brother is on the card…. and he’s Hawaiian and Hawaiians are like Tropical Mexicans. It’s cool. I’m mostly Chihuahua. Hawaiians and Mexicans are tough. That’s science. Plus Tavares is all lean and mean like me and that means he’s probably fast. Zoom! Brad for the TKO.
Lightweight – Gray “The Bully” Maynard vs Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson
Jessica: I used to not have much of an opinion about Maynard, he was kind of generic lightweight wrestler number three for a while, but then all sorts of bad stuff started happening to him. He had to be part of that terrible Clay Guida fight, then his doggies died and now he can’t stop getting knocked out. Pearson’s not the kind of guy to fight with a steadily-crumbling chin, so Maynard’s slide continues as Pearson drops him in the second.
Chris: Is Gray done? You have to go back to 2010 to find a stellar win in his record (because that Guida fight was junk, though not Gray’s fault). Now within the losses and draw, he did lay two exceptional beatdowns on the unkillable Frankie Edgar, so it’s not like he’s just rolling over. But that first draw with Edgar seemed like a blow to The Bully’s spirit. The TKO loss in the third frame of the trilogy was even worse because it pushed Maynard out of the title contention. I don’t see Maynard as a threat to Pettis, maybe not even Melendez. The losses to Grant and Diaz were very bad, both coming less than 3 minutes in the first round. Where can he go from here? A 10-0 career 4 years ago has been stalled for some time. With his back against the wall and facing a counter striker in Pearson I’m hard pressed to pick a winner. Normally, I’d say that Maynard’s wrestling (especially against a UK fighter) would be the difference, but Pearson is also struggling to remain relevant and will be a vicious competitor.
No matter what, I love this fight. I’m most excited for this because so much hangs in the balance and it’s happening in the most exciting division the UFC has to offer. We may see a man’s career end on Satuday.
Danny: Ross Pearson has done what few Englishmen can do — make Americans feel sorry for them. After a rough no contest against Melvin Guillard, he was a victim of one of the greatest robberies in Albuquerque’s history against Diego Sanchez. And considering all the crime that goes down in that city, that’s saying something.
Maynard has the grappling advantage, but I don’t think he’ll be able to close the distance to secure the takedown. Couple that with a suspect chin, Pearson gets back in the win column with a second round TKO.
Vince: Pearson was totally robbed against Diego Sanchez, but also, come on, man, you couldn’t get an obvious win over Diego Sanchez? Maynard has, as everyone has already mentioned, a crumbling chin and pretty much zero good performances in the last four years. I’m going to say he’s due for one! Don’t prove me wrong, you tramp-stamped son of a bitch! USA! USA! USA! (This pick is idiotic and I don’t care).
Burnsy: I know I’m going to regret this, but I’m going with Maynard strictly as a fan, because I’d like to see him win a good one.
Carlos B. Dog: Maynard is named the Bully after his love of Bully dogs. So Spilled tells me. Those dogs scare me even though they’re usually cool. Pit Bulls and Chihuahuas are the number one and two most common dogs in shelters. Go to a shelter and adopt one. We’re both misunderstood. People think Pitbulls are vicious and Chihuahuas are yappy and high strung. It’s not true! That’s breedism! Don’t prejudge us, man! Ohhh right. Maynard by close decision.
Light Heavyweight – Ryan “Darth” Bader vs Ovince “OSP” St. Preux
Jessica: Bader is a goober, and I’m sure Vince will expound on his terribleness via Mancini’s “ZONIES IS TRASH PEOPLE” theorem. All I know is you’d have to knock out at least a hundred dudes to even start to get some of that “lost to Tito Ortiz in 2010″ stench off, and Bader’s nowhere near that level. St. Preux is a cool dude that recently won by Von Flue choke submission like it’s 2003, so he’s obviously a cool, fun dude. St. Preux’s SEC SPEED, PPPAAAWWWLLL will be too much for Bader, and Ovince will make Ryan tap in the third. Yeah, I’m down with OSP, you know me.
Chris: Ryan Bader was supposed to be big time, and OSP was never supposed to get the time of day. Somehow their opposite trajectories have landed them on opposite sides of the cage, headlining a Fight Night. I’m a firm believer in market corrections and Bader has consistently righted the ship when necessary (with the exception of the loss to Tito Ortiz). I can’t pick against Darth unless there is belt talk on the line. Bader by stoppage.
Danny: Bader is probably doomed to “gatekeeper” status, but that’s still quite an accomplishment in the UFC. He’s rounded his game out to be more than “just a wrestler,” but he still leaves a lot of defensive gaps. OSP may not have the same capabilities as a Glover Teixeira or Lyoto Machida, but he’ll have the same success as them. Bader has shown more patience since the loss to Glover, but he’ll fall prey to his over-aggressiveness once again. Saint Preux by TKO.
Vince: Jesus, tough fight to pick. Both big, athletic guys without technical striking skills who both hit pretty hard. I want to say Bader is more technical and more experienced, OSP stronger and more athletic. But as my grandfather always said, when in doubt pick the black guy.
Burnsy: O-S-P! O-S-P! O-S-P!
Carlos B. Dog: Bader has more experience against higher caliber guys so I gotta go with him.Plus his nickname is Bark so… what? Darth? What the hell is that? Star Wars? Before my time, bro! Follow me on twitter @CarlosBDog or just send treats. Whatever.