Oh goodness, fight fans! UFC has lost their ding-dang minds by scheduling two events for the SAME DAY. Two cards on the same weekend? That’s no problem, I can manage that easily. But to put on 22 fights in probably 15 hours? Who do you think you are, Zuffa, Japan on New Year’s? Anyway, there are two cards full of fights just waiting to get predicted, so let’s dive right in. If you want more information on UFC Fight Night 41 or The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale cards, check out their official pages. Now, on to who’s picking all of this stuff! I am, as always, Jessica “Lobster ‘Leg Kick TKO’ Mobster” Hudnall, there’s the ever-fantastic BURNSY, and our dear friend, former fighter, Danny “Boy” Downes. I guess Vince is too busy farting into wine glasses in San Francisco, while I assume New York Ric and GFK on MMA got into a fight over where to get the best slice of pizza (UH, HELLO, IT’S A LITTLE PLACE CALLED CICI’S), so they won’t be joining us (Unless they jump in at the last second and I forget to edit this part out.)
IMPORTANT STANDINGS OF NOTE
Jessica: 100-47-2 (67%)
Burnsy: 94-52-3 (63%)
Vince: 57-23-1 (70%)
Danny: 64-29-1 (68%)
Eric: 32-20-1 (60%)
Ghost: 6-7 (46%)
UFC Fight Night 41
Heavyweight – Viktor Pesta vs Ruslan Magomedov
Jessica: I’ve gotta go with My Main Man Magomedov just because he’s part of that Dagestani Knucklegame Cartel. Magomedov wins by third round TKO.
Burnsy: Oh Lord, two debuts? Ugh, this is my least favorite thing. I’ll take Magomedov because he’s the Leopard. *jungle cat noise*
Featherweight – Andy “The Little Axe” Ogle vs Maximo “Maxi” Blanco
Jessica: Blanco might have the lowest fight IQ in the world, surpassing even Denis Kang in terms of ability to do really stupid shit during fights. Ogle is that dude that cries a bunch, and I think he’ll end up doing some more after Blanco punches him in the face a lot. Ogle’s probably just bad enough for Maxi to throw down with some violence on his head, so I’m taking Blanco to win by second round KO.
Danny: Maximo Blanco
Burnsy: Holy crap, talk about a pink slip fight. Both fighters are 1-3 and they’ve both proven that they can go three rounds if they need to. Blanco could be 2-2, though, if he didn’t try to knee Akira Corassani’s head off for a DQ. I’ll take Blanco.
Welterweight – Peter Sobotta vs Pawel Pawlak
Jessica: I’ve seen Sobotta before, and he’s never really impressed me (Or if he ever did, I’ve since forgotten about it). Pawlak is a brand new entity, but for some reason, I’ve got a feeling he’s not super terrible. Pawlak wins with a first round KO via Polish hammerfists.
Burnsy: Sobotta is making his return to the UFC after being dropped for a sad 0-3 run back in 09-10, but I love Pawlak just because if he’s any good, I can add “Pawlak Jokes” to my repertoire. Hey, did you hear about the Pawlak who tried to fight Peter Sobotta? He won.
Bantamweight – Iuri “Marajo” Alcantara vs Vaughan Lee
Jessica: This looks like a pretty bad squash match. Lee’s not a bad grappler, but Alcantara is really good on the ground, plus he’s got decent enough striking to mush up Lee’s face if it stays standing. I don’t see that happening, though, because as a whole, the British are incapable of wrestling, either offensively or defensively. Alcantara takes out Lee with a second round submission. LET’S GO YOU MARAJOANA FIGHTER
Danny: Iuri Alcantara
Burnsy: Lee is one of the most confusing out there, with his 3-3 record and the fact that he wins, loses, wins, loses, wins, loses, etc. Based on that idea, he’s set to lose this one, but I’ll give Alcantara more credit than that and say that he’ll win easily.
Middleweight – Magnus “Jycken” Cedenblad vs Krzysztof Jotko
Jessica: I remember Cedenblad as the guy with that super-rad guillotine choke a while back. I have no memory at all of Jotko, so I’m going to pick Jycken (God I hope that’s Swedish for chicken) to win by first round submission.
Burnsy: On one hand, Jotko looked pretty solid in his UFC debut, a win over Bruno Santos. On the other hand, he has a chain link fence tattoo, which is No. 1 on my list of “Tattoos that you just can’t explain, bro.” On a third, freakishly small hand, Cedenblad made up for his UFC debut loss with a quick and easy win over Jared Hamman. Eh, f*ck it, I’ll take Jotko.
Lightweight – Drew Dober vs Nick “Sergeant” Hein
Jessica: I don’t know either of these dudes, so I’ll go with the American, the Dober Man, to win by TKO in the third (HOPEFULLY OF THE LEG KICK VARIETY, HA HA, GET IT?)
Burnsy: It drove me nuts for about 10 minutes trying to figure out who it is that Dober reminds me of, and then I figured it out – Flat Top from Necessary Roughness.
I’m still picking Hein.
Featherweight – Tom “Stoneface” Niinimaki vs Niklas Backstrom
Jessica: Backstrom has the advantage of being friends with the uncrowned champion, Alexander Gustafsson. He also punches faces really hard. Niinimaki is going to look for his weird Scandinavian BJJ, but he’s no Gunnar Nelson, so that won’t work on Niklas. Backstrom wins by third round TKO.
Danny: Niinimaki looked great in his UFC debut against Roni Yahya where he out-grappled the former Abu Dhabi champ from every position. Despite his large six foot frame for featherweight, Bäckström is another grapple first fighter. Don’t let the umlauts in his name fool you, Bäckström isn’t as cool as Motörhead. Niinimaki kill(meister)s Bäckström on the mat for the decision.
Burnsy: Stoneface has won 11 straight, so I’ll take him to keep that going.
Middleweight – Luke “The Bigslow” Barnatt vs Sean “Tarzan” Strickland
Jessica: I like Barnatt because he is gangly and goofy looking (DEM EARS), but he doesn’t look like a goblin-monster, like the former bantamweight champion. Plus, Barnatt’s kind of putting his reach to good use, which can’t be said for a lot of lanky fighters. I’m taking Barnatt to win by decision.
Danny: Barnatt is another one of those extremely tall fighters that doesn’t know how to utilize his reach to its full potential. He does land significant strikes at a freakishly high rate, but he also absorbs damage at far below average. Strickland should be able to get on the inside, finish the takedown and ground and pound his way to the second round TKO.
Burnsy: Barnatt is just 8-0, but 3 of those wins are in the UFC so I’m starting to thing there’s something to this guy. I say he makes it 4 UFC wins in a row.
Middleweight – Francis “Limitless” Carmont vs C.B. “The Doberman” Dollaway
Jessica: FUCK YOU JOE SILVA, THIS IS BULLSHIT. I hate this fight so much. Since picking for a double DQ or whatever is stupid, I’m going to unfortunately pick Clarence Byron Dollaway and his stupid face to win by second round submission. I’ll be rooting for a light fixture to crush both of them, though.
Danny: Clarence Byron Dollaway. No, it’s not the name of an English lord, it’s a TUF 7 veteran with a relentless attack and ingratiating voice. Francis Carmont likes to pick and choose his attacks, but that’s just a polite way of saying that he doesn’t have a high output. As long as Dollaway doesn’t gas out, he takes the decision.
Burnsy: Before his loss to Ronaldo Souza in February, Carmont had a nice run of victories to help him climb the middleweight ladder. But I also think that Dollaway is just a better fighter. Inconsistent, sure, but he’s a better fighter. Dollaway should take this one.
Middleweight – Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz vs Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi
Jessica: Remember when Mousasi got taken down at will by KEITH BY GOD JARDINE? Munoz is about a billion times better at wrestling, and a jillion times scarier with ground and pound than the king of Herk n Jerk. Munoz is going to Donkey Kong smash the sleepiest fighter in all the lands. Munoz wins by second round KO.
Danny: This fight is much closer than the betting lines would have you believe. Munoz does have strong wrestling skills and Mousasi has been stifled by strong grapplers (e.g. King Mo) before. The only problem is that Munoz has never showcased those Division I wrestling skills we’ve heard so much about in the Octagon. He only succeeds on about a quarter of his attempts, and that won’t be good enough. Mousasi may have to be a bit hesitant on his feet, but he nickels and dimes his way to the decision.
Burnsy: This is a tough one, so I’m going to use a very basic process of elimination. Both of these fighters lost to Lyoto Machida in their last fights. Munoz in the first round, Mousasi by decision after 5. So I’ll take Mousasi.
The Ultimate Fighter Brasil 3 Finale
Bantamweight – Pedro “The Young Punisher” Munhoz vs Matt “The Crowbar” Hobar
Jessica: I appreciate the rhyme in Crowbar Hobar’s name. For that reason alone, I’m picking him to win this fight by decision.
Danny: Munhoz — Matt “Crowbar” Hobar does have a lot of potential in the club promotion business, though. Who wouldn’t want to visit the “Crowbar Hobar?”
Burnsy: I’ll take the Young Punisher, which sounds like it should also be an adorable Saturday morning cartoon about a baby set on vengeance.
Heavyweight – Marcos Rogerio “Pezao” de Lima vs Richardson “Rick Monstro” Moreira
Jessica: Again, the nickname choice displayed by Moreira is fantastic. I would have liked “Ricky Monsters”, but it’s still pretty solid. I’ll take Dick Monster (SO DOES YOUR MOM) by first round KO.
Danny: Marcos de Lima
Burnsy: I don’t really know much about these guys, but de Lima seems to have more KO potential and I like that.
Middleweight – Ricardo “Demente” Abreu vs Wagner “Wagnao” Silva
Jessica: I know nothing about these chumps, but after minimal research, Abreu is 4-0 against dudes with a combined 1-10 record, while Silva is 3-0 against dudes that are 34-26. I’m giving this to Silva because it looks like he’s fought dudes that aren’t living in a boxcar. Silva wins by decision.
Danny: Wagner Silva
Burnsy: Again, no clue. Three of Abreu’s four wins are by TKO, so I dig that.
Featherweight – Mark Eddiva vs Edimilson “Kevin” Souza
Jessica: Kevin is the best nickname ever. I have no other analysis or thoughts, but Kevin is going to win by second round KO. C’MON KEVIN!
Burnsy: Souza, yet another guy whose brief record leads me to believe he’ll give us a sweet KO victory.
Welterweight – Paulo Thiago vs Gasan “Cobra” Umalatov
Jessica: This is one of those Joe Silva sneaky-brilliant matchmaking fights. Thiago is a special forces police officer fighting COBRA. Unfortunately, Umalatov is a good sambo dude, though I’m nervous because he lost to my nemesis, NEIL MAGNY. Good thing I don’t think Thiago will be a huge threat. Umalatov wins this by decision.
Burnsy: I can’t pick against a guy named Cobra. I just can’t.
Lightweight – Ernest “The Mad Titan” Chavez vs Elias “Xuxu” Silveiro
Jessica: Bro, how can you call yourself a Titan if you fight at 155? Demetrious Johnson knows how big he is, he’s not Mighty Moose, he’s Mighty Mouse. Accept your size and go back to the nickname lab. Silveiro takes this by decision because he doesn’t have to lie about how big he is.
Burnsy: I like Silverio. He’s 2-0 in the UFC with his last win over Isaac Valley Forge, and I can see him winning his third UFC fight with little problem.
Lightweight – Rodrigo Damm vs Rashid “Highlander” Magomedov
Jessica: First fact – Damm is not as good as his sister, Carina (There’s no shame in that). Second fact – Damm does not use any variant of “It Feels Good to be a Gangster” for his nickname or walkout song (This is terrible). Third fact – Magomedov continues to have the best Twitter account in the world, as long as it stays exactly the way it is. Magomedov is going to make the Dagestani Knucklegame Cartel proud by starching Damm in the second.
Burnsy: Highlander, clearly. By decapitation.
Featherweight – Rony “Jason” Bezerra vs Robbie “Problems” Peralta
Jessica: Honey Jason is a lot better at punching doors and walls than dudes. Peralta has pretty serious knockout power, so I expect Jason to cry again after this fight. Peralta wins by first round KO.
Danny: Both of these fighters swing with bad intentions. Jason does have a wider variety of skills, though. I still haven’t decided if I’m impressed or annoyed at how far he’s taken the Jason motif, but Jason takes this fight to the ground and wins by first round RNC
Burnsy: Jason is one of my favorite fighters, so I’ll stick with him until he finally makes me say, “F*ck this dude.”
Welterweight – Demian Maia vs Alexander “Bad Boy” Yakovlev
Jessica: Maia is crazy good on the ground and stinks out loud standing. I think Yakovlev’s sambo (All Russians do sambo just like all Brazilians do jiu-jitsu, right?) will keep him mostly standing and wait, I just looked at his Wikipedia page. Yakovlev is also a rapper? I’M PICKING YAKOLEV TO WIN BY FIRST ROUND KO.
Danny: Considering that Demian Maia is fighting a guy making his promotional debut whose name sounds like the wacky cousin from Perfect Strangers, you might be tempted to call this a squash match. I understand the temptation, but don’t make that leap quite yet. Yakovlev is an accomplished fighter who is coming off an impressive win over Paul Daley.
He’ll give Maia some troubles on the outside, and things will be competitive, but Yakovlev thrives when he can grapple opponents. He’s good, he’s just not Demian Maia good. Maia wins by submission in the second.
Burnsy: Maia’s coming off back-to-back losses to Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald, so I think fighting a guy making his UFC debut is just what he needs to get back in the win column.
Middleweight – Warlley Alves vs Marcio “Lyoto” Alexandre Jr
Jessica: I understand that it’s likely fighters are going to get nicknamed after famous fighters based on emulating a particular style or technique. However, it’s kinda weird to be nicknamed for a dude that’s still fighting, and now, conceivably, you could end up matched against, right? I figure Alexandre has to be at least okay at striking to get called “Lyoto” (Unless it is for his pee-drinking skills), so I’ll say he kick-punches his way to a decision victory.
Danny: Alexandre’s nickname is “Lyoto” because of his karate based approach to MMA. First of all, your nickname can’t be another person’s name. Especially if they’re a contemporary of yours IN THE SAME SPORT! That’s like Johnny Manziel’s nickname being “Brady.” Secondly, Alexandre won’t be able to handle Alves’s pace and power. Warlley comes through and smashes his way to the first round TKO.
Burnsy: I don’t normally read my colleagues’ picks before I make mine, but I noticed Danny made the same point I was about to make regarding Alexandre’s nickname. It’s just not cool. Still, I’m taking him to win, but I won’t like it.
Heavyweight – Antonio Carlos “Cara de Sapato” Junior vs Vitor “Lex Luthor” Miranda
Jessica: FACE SHOE! FACE SHOE! FACE SHOE! I watched the first episode of TUF, became fascinated with FACE SHOE and promptly never watched another episode again. So I’m picking FACE SHOE to win by thunderous knockout in the first round.
Danny: Gotta say that I really like the fact that we finally have a “Lex Luthor vs. Shoe Face” fight. Nicknames aside, this will be another one of those striker vs. grappler affairs we hear so much about. Junior has impressive jiu jitsu, but I don’t see how he brings Miranda to the mat. Miranda does damage in the clinch and from distance to take the second round TKO
Burnsy: Not that I was looking, but Miranda looks like he has a boner in his UFC profile picture. I’ll take that to mean he’s excited about this fight.
Heavyweight – Stipe Miocic vs Fabio “The Iron Hillbilly” Maldonado
Jessica: I’m a little disappointed that Junior Dos Santos isn’t fighting Miocic here, but I think Maldonado will be a decent replacement. Every time Fabio leaves his face unguarded so he can throw body shots, my heart grows in size. Plus, with him recently announcing that his nickname is THE IRON HILLBILLY, there’s no way I can ever pick against him. My brain knows he’s got a limited avenue for victory against Stipe, but I’m still predicting Maldonado to win by body punch TKO in the fifth round. IRON HILLBILLY!!!
Danny: After a few fights that made me yell this at my television set, it was nice to see Maldonado drop down to 205 and pick up some wins. Stepping in for an injured Junior dos Santos, I have the sneaking suspicion that I might be yelling at the TV again. Maldonado can box (he attacks the body especially well), but he is outgunned here. Miocic wins by first round TKO.
Burnsy: Stipe will wipe (pronounced wee-pay) the floor with Maldonado.