Hey again fight fans to the UFC Staff Predictions! We’ve got a double-shot of fights this weekend, as UFC Fight Night 55 takes place on Friday, starting at 7PM ET on Fight Pass. Fight Night 56 is on Saturday, starting at 7:30 PM ET, so let’s dive into the prognostications!
Important Standings of Note:
UFC Fight Night 55
Bantamweight – Jumabieke “Leopard” Tuerxun vs Marcus “The Bama Beast” Brimage
Jessica: Jambalaya Twerkin has a pretty rad name, but I don’t think his power level is high enough to challenge Brimage. Brimage uses his mystical WRESTLING powers to get Tuerxun down and gets a ground and pound TKO stoppage in the third round.
Burnsy: The Bama Beast? ROLL TIDE! PAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWL. Also, I can’t pronounce that other name.
Middleweight – Luke Zachrich vs Daniel Kelly
Jessica: Two men with five first names, what madness is this? I’m taking Zachrich because I’m dubious about Kelly’s perfect record. He probably fought at least four hobos. Zachrich with a second round submission.
Burnsy: Daniel Kelly is not getting my undefeated fighter pick of approval. I’ll take Zachrich.
Welterweight – Vic “The Spartan” Grujic vs Chris “The Menace” Clements
Jessica: Clements got tapped by Matt Riddle while Matt was super-duper high, so I don’t have much faith in Clements’ abilities. Grujic wins by third round submission.
Burnsy: Oh, a Spartan? We all know my rule about Spartans by now. Either get together and schedule a series of fights to determine the one and only Spartan (this is a really good idea, BTW, Dana White) or I don’t pick any of you to win. Plain and simple, Clements wins this one.
Flyweight – Richie “Vas” Vaculik vs Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smolka
Jessica: Let da pidgin loose! I’m taking Smolka to win a fun fight because hey, flyweights usually have fun fights, right?
Burnsy: Something something joke about a vas deferens, I pick Vaculik.
Middleweight – Dylan “The Villain” Andrews vs “Smile’N” Sam Alvey
Jessica: This prediction has been made solely off of nicknames. I like Dylan’s, and Alvey’s looks really dumb, so I’ll go with Andrews to get a second round TKO
Burnsy: Burnsy Rule No. 2587628fhaf778: Have a rhyming nickname, I pick you. Dylan the Villain is chillin’ like a, um, villain.
Light Heavyweight – Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh vs Guto Inocente
Jessica: I’m taking the Brazilian version of Guy Incognito to win by decision.
Burnsy: I’m going to pick Perosh, but I want him to consider changing his nickname to King Hippo and fighting with a big Band-Aid on his stomach.
Lightweight – Jake “The Celtic Kid” Matthews vs Vagner “Ceara” Rocha
Jessica: Sadly, Ceara is the name of a state in Brazil and not the Portuguese way of spelling Ciara, which I think is a much better nickname option. I’ll take Matthews to take a decision.
Burnsy: This is the first pick I might regret, but I’m not giving my undefeated fighter pick of approval to Matthews either. I’m gonna give the W to the guy making the debut, mainly because I like pronouncing Vagner.
Heavyweight – Soa “The Hulk” Palelei vs Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris
Jessica: Palelei is the only good thing with the letters SOA, so I’m taking The Hulk to win by first round TKO and hopefully sing to us again.
Rini: No wikipedia page = no win for you! Soa by KO.
Spilled: Soa never seems to impress me other than how often he seems to find a way to win while looking lackluster. Harris seems to be similarly skilled but with a lot less experience. I’m assuming the matchmakers are gonna give the Aussie the edge. So am I. The Hulk by… y’know, whatever.
Burnsy: Hulk smashes.
Middleweight – Clint “Headbussa” Hester vs Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker
Jessica: Whittaker is moving up in weight, which isn’t as tricky as moving down, but it’s still got some problems. Hester hits things pretty dang hard, so I’m giving him the nod for a first round KO.
Rini: I like both guys but like the Pearson vs Iaquinta fight, this is going to be a stand up fight and I think that is to Hester’s advantage. He’s the guy fans theoretically want in the UFC: a boxer with takedown defense. I was at his fight at UFC 169 and that one shot he landed on Andy Enz sent ripples through the crowd. He should get the job done on the feet, by decision.
Spilled: Hester is undefeated inside the octagon and Whittaker is 3-2 in his UFC career but he’s tough and well-rounded. I’m definitely not counting him out but still gonna pick Hester.
Burnsy: Hester has one four in a row since joining the UFC, so I’ll stick with that momentum.
Lightweight – Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson vs “Raging” Al Iaquinta
Jessica: This should be a really good fight. Pearson is solid and he got terribly screwed out of that fight against Diego. On the flip-side, Iaquinta is a Serra-Longo dude, and I’m still sticking with those Strong Island boys. Iaquinta wins by second round submission.
Rini: This is a killer fight. I can’t see either of them believing that they can’t win this on the feet. With that said, Pearson has the better resume and in my fight watching fatigue I forgot that he KO’d Gray Maynard. Jeez, that is quite the feather even if the Bully hasn’t been himself lately.
Spilled: Pearson for the simple reason that he’s well… a better fighter than Al and fought higher caliber opponents. No cannoli for Al!
Burnsy: I’m taking Iaquinta because, while I like Pearson and think he’s talented and tough as hell, Iaquinta has looked better in his recent fights. Pearson TKO’d Gray Maynard in August, but that seems to be something everyone does now.
Middleweight – Michael “The Count” Bisping vs Luke Rockhold
Jessica: Bisping always seems to lose when it counts, like when title shots are on the line. I know Belfort and Jacare are the next two challengers for Chris Weird-Man, but I think this is a big enough fight for Bisping to lose in hilarious fashion. Rockhold wins by third round TKO.
Rini: I want to believe in Michael Bisping. I’ve always wanted to see him versus Anderson Silva and would still welcome that match. Whether he’s got a title run left in the tank is doubtful and Rockhold seems to finally be on track for a title shot of his own. Between a slight advantage in youth, reach and momentum I’m picking Rockhold via death from a thousand tiny cuts.
Spilled: Bisping certainly lost some luster these last couple years, huh? This is a tough one to pick. My gut wants to say Bisping wins a decision by volume of punches landed but I see Rockhold maybe keeping him at bay with kicks. Okay. Going with gut – Bisping by decision.
Burnsy: I want Bisping to win, but I know Rockhold will win. Gotta go with the brain here.
UFC Fight Night 56
Welterweight – Wagner “Wagnao” Silva vs Colby “Chaos” Covington
Jessica: There’s nothing like starting off a Fight Night in Brazil with a Brazilian fighter getting beat, so I’m taking Covington to win by decision.
Burnsy: I won’t take a fighter who abuses alliteration. Silva.
Bantamweight – Thomas “Thominhas” Almeida vs Tim “The Psycho” Gorman
Jessica: Gorman has beat a lot of dudes with terrible records, so I question how good he actually is. Plus, he was really stupid on TUF 18, so I’m taking Almeida to win by first round KO.
Burnsy: Finally, my undefeated fighter pick of the weekend. Almeida makes his UFC debut in spectacular fashion and keeps his win streak alive.
Lightweight – Leandro “Buscape” Silva vs Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman
Jessica: What terrible things has Charles Brenneman done to Joe Silva to warrant this kind of punishment? Silva doesn’t have a ton of knockout power, but I still expect him to rock Brenneman and get his afro flailing around before finishing things off with a first round submission.
Burnsy: Buscape sounds like the worst SyFy series ever produced. I’ll take The Spaniard to get back in the W column and avoid his pink slip.
Welterweight – Dhiego Lima vs Jorge “Blade” de Oliveira
Jessica: I really like Oliveira’s hair style, but the dude has beat a bunch of imaginary people. Lima’s got a quality Jimmy Durante nose, so I’m taking him to win by third round TKO because I don’t let logic enter my predictions.
Burnsy: I’ll take Blade, but only because I want to imagine this is his fighting team:
Middleweight – Caio “Hellboy” Magalhaes vs Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith
Jessica: Look, there is only one Hot Sauce, and he’s not some dorky looking fighter. I’m taking Hellboy to win by second round submission.
Burnsy: Magalhaes is one of my favorite young fighters right now (a kiss of death, I know) so there’s no way I’m not taking him.
Featherweight – Diego “Pitbull” Rivas vs Rodolfo “Fito” Rubio
Jessica: It looks like the people Rubio has beaten are actual fighters, while Rivas has faced a lot of Some Dudes. I’ll take Rubio to win by third round submission.
Burnsy: How the fuck is this not the first fight of the night? How is this fight even on a card? Who are these people? I’m picking Rivas because he shares a name with a Mexican singer who glorified drug cartels with his music, and his death made for a hell of a news story.
Strawweight – Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima vs Nina “The Strina” Ansaroff
Jessica: There’s a strong chance I’d go with Ansaroff under most circumstances, but since she’s dropping down to 115lbs, I’m going to give an edge to Lima in cardio and pace. I think Lima will out-work Nina and be more active and take home a decision victory.
Burnsy: I have to go with Nina the Strina. Rhyming name, obviously.
Welterweight – Claudio “Hannibal” Silva vs Leon “Rocky” Edwards
Jessica: I wanted to believe that Leon is cousins with Yves Edwards, who is The Coolest, but Leon’s from England, so f*ck that. Since he’s from England, he probably knows nothing about take downs, so I expect Silva to get the fight to the mat quickly and submit Leon in the first round.
Burnsy: Hannibal has a win in the UFC while Edwards is making his debut. Blah blah blah, slight experience prevails.
Welterweight – Warrlley Alves vs Alan “Brahma” Jouban
Jessica: Handsome Alan Jouban is going to punch-kick and kick-punch the heck out of Whirled Alves. Jouban wins by very pretty KO in the second.
Burnsy: Jouban shut a lot of us fuglies up after his KO win in his debut, but Alves is 1-0 in his UFC career as well. I’m going to take the home country fighter here, mainly because Jouban is just too handsome for his own good.
Flyweight – Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs John “Hands of Stone” Lineker
Jessica: I’m a little confused by the betting lines of this fight. Lineker is a slight underdog, when I would have guessed he’d be a heavy favorite. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if John makes the weight or not, he still hits dudes super hard for tiny (or not so tiny) weights. Lineker wins by first round KO.
Spilled: Uncle Creepy wins every fight where he has fun and doesn’t get fucked by judges. I think he’s in a good head space so barring something crazy, I see no reason he doesn’t beat Lineker. If he’s on point he’ll get the finish.
Burnsy: I hope that McCall wins and is finally on the right track after that awful three-fight stretch that he opened his UFC career with, but I don’t think he’s good enough to beat a solid fighter like Lineker.
Light Heavyweight – Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Ovince “OSP” St. Preux
Jessica: Shogun has no knees and terrible cardio, so I’m having problems seeing how he wins. Plus, I’ve been down with OSP (Yeah, you know me) since he was in StrikeForce, fighting five times in a month or whatever. St. Preux wins by third round TKO.
Spilled: OSP is a talented guy getting better but Shogun is a legend and if he gives half a shit he should win this easily. If his heart isn’t in it anything can happen but I think Shogun. Motherfucking Shogun!
Burnsy: I’m picking OSP because I think that he was just surprised that Bader was a better fighter and therefore couldn’t adjust, and that’s why he made us all look like A-holes for picking him last time. Rua’s a legend and all, but he’s done. If OSP is aggressive from the start, he’ll win pretty easily.