We’ve almost made it, you guys! The ZuffApocalypse is nearly over. Fortunately for us, it ends with a really awesome looking free Fox card. You can check out more information on said card at the official UFC on Fox 11 page. In addition to myself and the fantastic Burnsy, we have Vince “Film Drunk” Mancini, Danny “Boy” Downes, and New York Ric joining in on the prediction fun! Don’t forget to submit your picks in the comments, too!
Jessica: 70-29-2 (69%)
Burnsy: 67-31-3 (66%)
Vince: 26-6-1 (79%)
Danny: 35-10-1 (76%)
New York Ric: 9-7-1 (53%)
Heavyweight – Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis vs Jack “The Outlaw” May
Jessica: Trashweight opening fight, woo! I don’t know much about these dudes, but Lewis seems to finish dudes at a slightly higher clip, so I’ll take “The Black Beast” to win by second round TKO
Danny: I’m excited for this one just because of the awkward white guilt Bruce Buffer will have when he points at Lewis and calls him “The Black Beast.” Lewis is not un-athletic (see how I deftly avoided coded racial language) and even knocked out current UFC heavyweight Jared Rosholt during their time in Legacy FC. Lewis takes it by TKO.
Vince: Dude, no way I’m picking against “The Black Beast,” that’s your mom’s favorite dildo.
New York Ric: Man, Dan Hardy has really let himself go. What’s that? Not the same guy? But he’s nicknamed… More than one fighter can… Pitbull. Spider. I see.
I’m going with former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Derrick Lewis.
Burnsy: Hey, have I mentioned that I’ll be sitting ringside with the actual media for this event? Pretty crazy, right? Anyway, looking at the pre-UFC records of these guys, we’re greeted by a bunch of TKOs and KOs, so this one has the potential to be both sloppy and exciting. I don’t know much about either of these guys other than those records, so I’m going to pick May based on his apparently insane stopping power. Six of his seven professional wins have come on TKOs and KOs in the first round. Lewis appears to be a monster, too, but May’s got the “on paper” advantage.
Featherweight – Mirsad Bektic vs Chas “The Scrapper” Skelly
Jessica: Chas is a terrible name, so he loses big points there. Plus, he’s fighting some dude from the Balkans? That’s super bad news in my book. Bektic is going to beat down Skelly and win in the third by TKO.
Danny: This is well matched fight between two featherweight prospects. Chas Skelly is a part of Team Takedown and relies on a strong wrestling game (surprise). Bektic is no slouch and the grappling department either and should be able to counter the takedowns. On the feet, Bektic has the power advantage and uses that to take the first round TKO.
Vince: How often do you think Chas Skelly has to correct people about his last name not being “Kelly?” No no, I said Chas… SSSkelly, not Chas Kelly. He’s the Jesús/hey, Zeus of MMA. Anyway, Jess is pumping up the Balkan factor, but I’m not convinced former Yugoslavs are as tough as people from predominately Islamic Russian republics. That’s just the way my quasi-xenophobic generalizations shake out, I guess I’m old school like that. I’m taking the ugly guy called “The Scrapper” over the former bodybuilder.
New York Ric: I’m picking Chas Skelly because it sounds like it could double as a character name from the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games AND a move from the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games. I expect Chas Skelly to pull off a Chas Skelly worth 1200 points and the win.
Burnsy: Two debuts by guys with undefeated records, and we don’t know much about either of these guys, other than Skelly’s one fight and win in Bellator. I’m picking Skelly (despite his horrible chin strap beard) because he has the advantage in experience and he has gone the distance in three straight fights. That’s not always an advantage, obviously, because it could mean that he can’t get the job done, and Bektic has finished his fights in the first round four of seven times. But I’ll still take Skelly’s experience and that one Bellator win as an upperhand.
Flyweight – Ray “The Tazmexican” Borg vs Dustin Ortiz
Jessica: Part of me wants to pick Borg based on that nickname, but I also realize he didn’t go with “Cy” instead, so that’s an issue. Ortiz should win by KO so long as his afro is humongous.
Danny: Ortiz is a former teammate at Roufusport so it should come as no surprise that I’m picking him to win. Dustin’s striking game has evolved, but this will be a fight between two grapplers. Dustin wins this war of attrition by decision.
Vince: “The Tazmexican Devil” is the UFC’s best failed overwrought nickname since The Muscle Shark retired. Psst. No one’s calling you that, bro. Anyway, Borg is an attractive pick considering he’s undefeated, but most of his wins come by way of sub, and Ortiz has never been subbed. I’m picking Ortiz, while wearing my afro and homemade “ORTIZ DON’T SUB” t-shirt.
New York Ric: Borg fought two weeks ago. I admire the toughness, but Ortiz is a UFC veteran with a full training camp – he’ll get it done.
Burnsy: I like that Borg is undefeated, obviously, because that means he’s good at what he does. I especially like that he’s pulled off two submission wins in the second rounds of his last two fights. Ortiz, on the other hand, has gone to decision in 6 of his last 8 fights, and he has only won 3 of those. My gut is telling me to take Borg, but my brain is telling me to go with Ortiz’s experience. I’ll take Ortiz.
Welterweight – Jordan “Young Gun” Mein vs Hernani Perpetuo
Jessica: Other than the Matt Brown fight, which isn’t a knock since Brown is on a crazy good run of late (Plus he’s a pretty good hype train de-railer), Mein has basically killed everyone he’s fought. I see more of the same, and Mein gets a first round knockout win.
Danny: Hernani is a Nova Uniao fighter making his UFC debut. A lot of the guys fighting on the Brazilian regional circuit fight have more squash matches than Goldberg did in WCW, but Perpetuo is an exception. Mein is a well-rounded former Strikeforce fighter, with a penchant for brawling. Mein has the experience advantage, but as Soren Kierkegaard once wrote, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Perpetuo wins by Danish existentialism/TKO.
Vince: “Hernani Perpetuo” sounds like a freaky deaky sex position from the kama sutra. But I think it’s going to be Hernani Interruptus Saturday night, as long as Jordan Mein brought enough lube. (I dunno, man. Just put down that I picked Mein.)
New York Ric: He’s been out a while, but I still expect Mein to end it early – knockout.
Burnsy: Man, I was higher than anyone on Mein’s chances in the UFC before his loss to Matt Brown at UFC on Fox 7. Prior to that, his last loss was to Tyron Woodley in 2012, and look where that guy is now. I’m going to stick with my hopes for Mein’s success, but if he loses this one, I’ll never pick him again. That’ll show him.
Middleweight – Caio “Hellboy” Magalhaes vs Luke Zachrich
Jessica: Caio makes me think of Joachim Hansen, which is cool. Luke has way too many first names, which is lame. Hellboy wins by third round submission.
Danny: Zachrich takes this fight on a week’s notice. That’s all you need to know. Magalhaes by submission.
Vince: I like Caio Magalhaes, because he just re-loooothened Nick Ring’th knee ligamentth in December. And when in doubt, I always go with the guy with more extraneous vowels in his name.
New York Ric: Magalhaes has some solid UFC wins on his record, while Zachrich took this fight on 11 days notice. Give me Caio.
Burnsy: Hellboy has two strong wins in a row since losing his UFC debut at UFC on FX 3, so I see no reason why that ends tomorrow. Zachrich’s record is impressive, but it’s hard to know how impressive it is when you’ve never heard of any of the guys that he’s defeated. Hellboy all the way.
Featherweight – Alex “The Spartan” White vs Estevan “El Terrible” Payan
Jessica: I wrote about Alex White, The Kid What Drank Gasoline, so I’m really hoping he does well. The only thing I can ever remember about Payan is when he got knocked out cold by a spinning backfist in Bellator a few years ago. White wins by third round TKO.
Danny: Ugh, another fighter nicknamed “The Spartan.” Sure it’s not as bad as the disturbing angel wing tattoo trend, but it’s still a pet peeve of mine. As much as I want to pick against him on that alone, I have to choose him. Payan is a banger that keeps charging forward no matter what, but that’s about all he has in his arsenal. White has had a pretty cushy fight career up to this point, but as long as he doesn’t panic he should take the decision win.
Vince: I know pretty much zip about Alex White other than that he drank gasoline and got a speech impediment, which is my new favorite fun fact about a human being. Payan is the Vegas favorite, but White is 9 and 0 and I gotta think the UFC has a raging backstory boner for White. I really have no idea, but I’m picking White by a combination of human interest and fire burps.
Burnsy: This is a tough one. Payan has lost his first two fights in the UFC, so he’s definitely on pink slip watch if he loses his third in a row. If you’re not familiar with White’s story, he’s basically like Kenny from South Park, and I really don’t mean that as an insult. When he was four, he accidentally drank gasoline that was, for some ungodly reason, in a milk jug placed right next to some lemonade jugs. The story is that he died four times en route to the hospital and doctors gave him zero chance to survive. Tomorrow, with a 9-0 MMA record, he makes his UFC debut. I can’t pick against him. I just can’t. Sorry, Payan.
Lightweight – Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal vs Pat “Bam Bam” Healy
Jessica: Ugh, this fight is super hard for me to pick. Both dudes have recently lost to Dagestani fighters, and both dudes did some neat things in StrikeForce. Ultimately, I think that since Bobby Green made Healy look like a doofus for fifteen minutes, Masvidal gets the edge in my book. Masvidal wins a razor-thin split decision.
Danny: Healy will try to bring the fight to the ground, but Masvidal’s speed should help him avoid the takedowns. Masvidal doesn’t have the greatest wrestling in the division, but his athleticism should lead him to the decision win.
Vince: Before he fought Jim Miller, the best compliment you could pay Pat Healy was that he was “durable,” which generally means a guy that’s going to go out there and get his ass kicked in entertaining fashion. But somehow he beat Jim Miller (before pot beat him, #420NO), which is a huge win for anyone. I think there’s a decent chance Healy grinds out a UD over Masvidal, a slick boxer who’s more susceptible to a grinding than your sister at a nightclub. Still, I can’t pick Healy after the turd he laid against Green who was another boxer more slick than my boxers after grinding your sister. What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, Masvidal by UD.
New York Ric: I don’t think Healy, try as he might, will be able to take Masvidal down. On the feet, Masvidal beats him up for a decision win.
Burnsy: Over his long career in multiple promotions, Healy has fought four times for the UFC. His record? 0-3-1. He’s either due for a hell of a win or Masvidal is going to beat him with little problem. Masvidal is 2-1 since joining the UFC and coming off a loss to the seemingly unstoppable Rustam Khabilov. I’ll take Masvidal to bounce back and Healy to bounce out to another promotion.
Welterweight – Thiago “Pitbull” Alves vs Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski
Jessica: I’ll always find Alves charming for rendering Jon Fitch into “Joke Fish”. Plus, he kneed Matt Hughes in the face like super hard, so that’s rad. Baczynski ain’t bad, but his name’s too hard for me to spell, so nuts to him. Alves wins by second round KO.
Danny: Remember when Thiago Alves fought GSP for the welterweight title in 2009? If it helps to put things in context, Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” debuted a week later. Seth Baczynski is good at a lot of things, but not exceptional at any one thing. You always worry when a fighter has as long of a layoff as Alves (he last fought in March 2012), but he outclasses the Polish Pistola via TKO.
Vince: I hate picking Alves, because he always seems to find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and there’s always a chance of him getting wrestlefucked or flash submitted, like against Kampmann. And he hasn’t fought since 2012. Cripes. Still, I gotta think he’s too powerful for Baczynski. Alves. Incidentally, “Snatch Defeat” is the name of my all-girl punk trio.
New York Ric: It’ll be good to see Alves back in the Octagon after several setbacks. He’s still younger than you’d expect for a guy who has so many UFC fights while simultaneously missed so much time in his career due to injuries. If he’s half as good as he looked in his last fight against Kampmann (and I think he will be), Alves wins.
Burnsy: Alves hasn’t fought since 2012 and that’s typically a red flag for me, but it’s also a question of which Seth Baczynski we’re going to get. Baczynski is reportedly “primed for a run” and other such jargon at 170, but while he’s coming off a win over Neil Magny, he lost his two fights before that in very underwhelming fashion. I’ll take a healthy Alves by coin flip.
Lightweight – Rafael Dos Anjos vs Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov
Jessica: Ha ha, is this even a question? RDA has good jiu-jitsu, but it’s hard to submit a guy when you’re constantly in the middle of getting suplexed. Dagestanis Rule Everything Around Me, and this is the first and last time I’ll ever say the following as an Auburn graduate: WAR EAGLE! Nurmagomedov wins by first round KO.
Danny: Dos Anjos is the forgotten man of the lightweight division. He’s riding a five fight win streak with wins over Donald Cerrone, Evan Dunham and Mark Bocek. He should be in title talk, but instead he’s on the undercard. The news isn’t getting any better as he squares off against sambo expert Nurmagomedov. Neither one of these fighters in tremendous on the feet, so expect them to stall there. This fight comes down to grappling and when that’s the case, you always bet on the Russian. Nurmagomedov by decision.
Vince: The two things that stick out in my mind about Rafael Dos Anjos are 1. Jeremy Stephens nearly tearing his ears off with the force of his tiger uppercut, and 2. the fact that he kind of looks like a Ferengi.
God I hope the guy who fights people for a living doesn’t see that I made this.
Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, is the badass Russian people are usually thinking of when someone brings up Rustam Khabilov. Also, the fact that his nickname is “The Eagle” always makes me think of Borat describing his religion as “I follow the hawk.” Aaaanyway, I gotta think the undefeated Nurmagomedov takes Dos Anjos to whatever the Dagestani version of the woodshed is. The ox shack? The pelt kiln? The potassium silo?
New York Ric: I think Nurmagomedov can be champ at 155. This will be his toughest test, because dos Anjos is a powerful striker and slick grappler, but Khabib’s unrelenting aggression will be the difference. LITTLE EAGLE SOARS AGAIN!
Burnsy: Nurmagomedov. I think I picked against him once. I’ve learned my lesson.
Middleweight – Brad Tavares vs Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero
Jessica: Tavares has serviceable boxing, but Romero has crazy knockout power plus really amazing wrestling. If Yoel gets in trouble standing, he can easily put Brad on his back and just smash him from on top. Romero wins by second round TKO.
Danny: Romero is a silver medal winning Olympic wrestler from Cuba, but he has been winning fights with his hands. He also gives some crazy post fight interview, so that alone should make you a fan. Tavares is like the spouse you settle for once you hit your 30s — safe, but nothing really exciting. Sure he can get the job done, but where’s the spark? WHAT ABOUT MY NEEDS!?!
Romero by TKO.
Vince: Romero always manages to look like absolute shit until the very last second of every fight that he always wins by some miraculous display of face-smashing. I’m sure I’ll be commenting on how dull and lackluster Romero looks once again, just as he’s hadoukening Tavares’ face into Bruce Buffer’s pile of cocaine.
New York Ric: Tavares doesn’t get the respect he deserves. He’s well rounded and highly effective.
Romero is built like your favorite superhero’s favorite superhero (and hits like it too), but tends to have stretches of listlessness, which will give Taraves the advantage when it goes to the cards. It’ll be dicey at points, but I’ve got Tavares by decision.
Burnsy: I have such ridiculously high hopes for this fight. These guys are both on winning streaks and are hanging out at the bottom end of the now-Top 15 rankings for Middleweights. I’m convinced the rankings were expanded just for guys like these two, as they’re both looking to make a nice leap with a W. I’m picking Tavares because he’s won 5 straight and has the experience edge, but I won’t be shocked if Romero wins with a statement KO.
Lightweight – Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs Edson Barboza
Jessica: Holy heck, this is going to be another super awesome fight. Cerrone is probably going to be too stupid or macho or embiggened by the warrior spirit or whatever to try and wrestle with Barboza, which is a shame, since his BJJ is pretty good. I assume that Barboza isn’t bad on the ground, being Brazilian, but I’m not super certain. If these two just throw leg kicks at each other in a weird version of Frye versus Takayama, it will become the most glorious thing ever. I don’t see that happening, but I do see Barboza kicking Cerrone a bunch and winning by second round KO.
Danny: Barboza has a lot of holes in his boxing defense, but I don’t see Cowboy being able to sustain a prolonged attack. Cerrone does his best when opponents stand in front of him. Don’t expect Barboza to give Cerrone the opportunity. The Brazilian sticks, moves and low kicks his way to the decision.
Vince: I cannot wait for this one. Barboza is a trained killer who seems to have the edge in all major categories, even reach, which is amazing because Donald Cerrone is built like a redneck giraffe. I do think Cerrone is tougher and more of a gamer (insert other commonly-used descriptions of white athletes here), and Barboza’s loss to Jamie Varner does give me pause (paws?). But that win required a quickness and smothering wrestling style that Cerrone doesn’t seem to have. I’ll be rooting for the Cowboy, but he’s going to have to show me something I’ve never seen in order to win. Barboza. PS, “Edson Barbroza” is my new favorite thing to call my bros.
New York Ric: Not a damn clue. Flipped a coin and it came up Cerrone.
Burnsy: This one is so tough. On one hand, I love Cerrone’s macho confidence and Texas BRO arrogance, but I also know that Barboza is a certified badass. I’m going to take Barboza just because he seems more focused and disciplined, and I feel like that has been a theme in fights that have featured my preferred fighters losing.
Bantamweight – Meisha “Cupcake” Tate vs Liz “Girl-rilla” Carmouche
Jessica: Tate’s wrestling is pretty okay, and she’s got some solid BJJ skills. Carmouche is gonna be stronger and be able to land harder punches, whether it’s standing (An area Tate has proven to be lacking in), or if Carmouche gets on top for some ground and pound. All the Lizbos and Lizbros are gonna party on Saturday because Carmouche wins this by third round TKO.
Danny: Miesha Tate often employs the Homer Simpson defense to win fights. She’ll absorb opponent’s attacks, and just keep charging forward until she gets the takedown. Against someone with the volume striking of Liz Carmouche, that’s a recipe for disaster. She may not have the pure wrestling ability of Tate, but her fists will lead her to a decision win.
Vince: I really want Meisha to win because watching her come out to “Roar” while singing all the lyrics in her last fight was cuter than two gay Care Bears 69-ing. That said, Bryan Caraway’s corner advice (“You’re breaking her, Meisha!”) was probably the worst corner advice since one of Hitler’s bros was like “Do it, man, Russia ain’t shit.” Which is to say, I respect her skills, but I hope she fights a lot smarter than trying to shoot single legs on an Olympic judoka this time. Other than that, they’re pretty evenly matched. I think the X-factor here is that Tate is tougher than Nick Nolte’s ox saddle. Tate by decision.
New York Ric: Tate really needs a win here and I think she gets it. Carmouche’s physical advantages will be neutralized by Tate’s experience and superior technique both on the mat and standing. It’s not often Tate is the better striker, but it’ll count in this one.
Burnsy: I’m not allowed to cheer from the media section, so CARMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUCHE!!!
Heavyweight – Travis “Hapa” Browne vs Fabricio “Vai Cavalho” Werdum
Jessica: I super love Werdum’s nickname (“GO HORSE”!), his epic trollfaces, and his propensity for inviting dudes into his side control. Browne moves like a weird spaz most of the time, but other than the time he destroyed his knee like a goober, it’s somehow worked out for him. Werdum won’t be able to take down Browne (Don’t shoot a take down against the fence and leave your head on Browne’s hip, that is a death sentence!), and Browne probably isn’t dumb enough to jump into Fabricio’s guard. I like Werdum’s Muay Thai, but it’s not gonna cut it against Browne, who is way to tall and, after the Overeem fight, tough, to get roughed up by that. Browne is gonna TKO Werdum in the third.
Danny: Browne’s size and reach will be too much for Werdum to overcome. Werdum needs to bring this fight to the ground, and I don’t see that happening. Expect a frustrated Werdum to pull guard in a desperation move and try to work from his back. He arguably has the most dangerous guard in the division, but Travis Browne is dangerous from top. “Hapa” ground and pounds his way to the TKO win.
Vince: As a rugby player, I’m terrified of all islanders, so a six-foot-seven half Hawaiian with stun guns for elbows is pretty much my worst nightmare. Browne brains everyone who tries to take him down, so I don’t see Verdum’s ground game being much of a factor. If Josh Barnett ain’t taking him down, I don’t see Fabrice Fabrice getting it to the mat either (FYI: ‘Getting it to the mat’ is my go-to euphemism for having sex). Browne could theoretically get outboxed, but until I see that happen I have to go with Hapa. By the way, shouldn’t it be “Hapo,” for a boy?
New York Ric: Werdum will not make the mistake that Gonzaga and Barnett both made, attempting to take Browne down against the cage. I don’t envision him having much success in that regard in the middle of the Octagon either. Browne should be able to use his unorthodox striking game to stifle and frustrate Werdum. That said, Werdum’s clinch game is legit and if it hits the mat for even a minute, expect the submission to hit hard and fast. I’m picking Browne, but I’m not confident.
Burnsy: I’m picking Browne with a ton of confidence, and then as soon as he wins, I’m going to run outside so I can cheer.