Well, that was certainly a nice little vacation from what felt like nonstop UFC action over the past several months. Of course, it’s also great to have it back now and I would like to tell Dana White and everyone at the UFC to stop making me wait two weeks for punching and kicking, and especially Brittney Palmer. Thank you for considering my mature and well-thought-out concerns.
That said, tonight the No. 4 ranked UFC Welterweight Demian Maia takes on former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields, live from Brazil at 5 PM ET on Fox Sports 1 in a battle to remain relevant in the talent-packed division. Shields entered the UFC with a lot of hype, as he defeated Martin Kampmann via split decision in his debut and was immediately offered a shot at Georges St-Pierre for the title. Naturally, GSP defeated Shields and from there it was all kind of “Meh” as he’s 3-2-1, including a No Contest for a failed drug test. Drugs are bad, dummy.
So what does that mean for either of these fighters with a win tonight? It’s tough to say, really. GSP still has his highly-anticipated championship defense against Johny Hendricks coming up, and if he wins, he’ll either fight Hendricks again (hoping it’s a great fight) or he’ll face No. 2 ranked Carlos Condit for a rematch OR he’ll take on Rory MacDonald. You know, if they decide they could ever fight each other.
That leaves the all-important question: Could Maia actually earn a title shot against GSP or Hendricks with a win tonight? I say yes. Or no. Possibly maybe. That’s how f-ing confusing this Welterweight division is lately. And just wait until my boy Kelvin Gastelum wins a few more fights in a row. We’re talking total clusterf*ck. (Also, imagine if my other favorite fighter Gunnar Nelson gets healthy and keeps winning. I may eventually have to choose between him and Gastelum in the greatest Welterweight fight of all-time!)
But I digress.
As for the rest of the card for UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields, you can check our good friend Lobster Mobster’s handy dandy fight primer right here, and my predictions can be read as the fights happen or beforehand if you please. Whichever suits you.
And if you’re wondering if I’m actually going to be watching the fights while the Cardinals are playing in a Game 5, I will. Mainly because I’ll be studying new ways to punch my walls in case they lose later.
Prediction: I’ll take Goodnight all night. *high fives porn store clerk*
Prediction: I’ll take Kamikaze all… shit, that doesn’t work. Both of these guys are coming off of two consecutive losses, but both of Santos’ losses also came in his first two UFC fights. That’s never a great sign. I like Cariaso to bounce back.
Prediction: Cabral should have made his UFC debut on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2, but he was eliminated due to injury and this will instead mark his debut. You know my rule, though – no picking fighters making their debuts. They’re heartbreakers. So I’m going with Mitchell.
Prediction: Oh great, another versatile welterweight with an impressive winning streak. Alcantara it is.
Prediction: This is my pick for Fight of the Night, which I know is ballsy with bantamweights, but both of these guys are electric. I’m going with Dillashaw though.
Prediction: Two talented fighters that have been around for a while, but I think Palhares has lost a few steps in recent months, as evidenced by his two consecutive losses, so I’m going with Pierce.
Prediction: Burnsy UFC Rule No. 12 – Don’t ever pick against The Mexecutioner. It’s the best nickname in the world, even if he’s not the best fighter.
Prediction: Can I pick No Contest? No? Okay then I pick Silva and it will count even after he fails a drug test.
Prediction: I’m picking the Stun Gun every time. But I’d also like him to consider the nickname “Fun Hyun.” It’s a delicious idea.
Prediction: Maia. Why not? Why wouldn’t we want an even greater log jam at the top of the division? It would just lead to my idea for 10-MAN WELTERWEIGHT BATTLE ROYALE!!!