Well hello, fight fans. UFC 201 is here, and while there have been some card shuffling, I think there’s still a pretty solid night of fights, ending with a welterweight title fight, and those have been pretty great recently. The prelims start at 6:30 p.m. ET, so let’s see the main card predictions.
2016 Important Results:
Jessica: 137-105-4 (57 percent)
Burnsy: 99-101-3 (49 percent)
Ryan: 5-1 (83 percent)
Jason: 45-36-1 (55 percent)
Bill: 24-11 (69 percent)
Jared: 16-13 (55 percent)
Jackman: 7-5 (58 percent)
Enrique: 7-5 (58 percent)
Jamie: 16-13-1 (55 percent)
Justin: 13-4 (76 percent)
Marty: 20-12-1 (62 percent)
Parker: 3-4 (43 percent)
Team Davis: 72-52-3 (58 percent)
Flyweight – Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs Justin “Tank” Scoggins
Jessica: Oh dip, this should be a fun fight. McCall might have a slight edge across the board, but he sometimes doesn’t put in a complete performance. Scoggins is scrambley and very active, and I think his pace will get the better of McCall. Justin’s also got good range on Ian, and I think that combination will let him take over in later rounds. Scoggins wins by suuuuper late third round TKO.
Jared: The Uncle Creepy who put the boots to Demetrious Johnson is long gone, folks, and all that’s left is some creepy-looking hipster who lives with his parents and listens to boy bands “for the laughs.” The minute any fighter starts talking about retirement is the minute I stop picking them to win, and McCall’s been doing that for about three years now. Scoggins.
Jason: Man, I just don’t know what to make of Uncle Creepy anymore. He’s had four fights in the last four years after coming into the UFC hyped (appropriately) as one of the world’s top flyweights. He was seconds away from beating Mighty Mouse before the fight went to a draw, but has yet to really beat anyone of note in the UFC. Maybe a dehydrated Brad Pickett? I don’t know. I guess I’m picking him to win, but I don’t like it. I think Bill’s science is sound.
Bill: I’m picking against Uncle Creepy just because his nickname is Uncle Creepy, which is too close to Uncle Deadly, who is one of my favorite Muppets and the subject of my only Muppet-related tattoo to date. We don’t need that sort of confusion in the Uncle marketplace.
Burnsy: I’m always an Uncle Creepy fan, so I won’t pick against him to open the big show with a W.
NOTE: Scoggins couldn’t make weight so this bout is off. Dang it!
Bantamweight – Francisco “Cisco” Rivera vs Erik “Goyito” Perez
Jessica: Perez is okay, but I don’t think his wins are that impressive. Rivera is in a similar boat, and he’s got more losses, but those are mostly to top notch guys in the division. Plus, Rivera has really good striking. I’m going to say that Perez catches these hands. Rivera wins by second round KO.
Jared: Francisco may have had a rough run of things lately, but I’ll be damned if I pick against the guy who was one-half of the craziest exchange in UFC bantamweight history. WAR CISCO!
Jason: This is a fun fight where anything can happen, and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Rivera wins, but I’m going to go with Perez.
Bill: I don’t know a whole lot about either of these guys, so I yield to Jessica’s expertise, because she’s right 57 percent of the time, which in MMA is close to perfect.
Burnsy: I can’t say I know who these guys are, so here’s some scientific analysis for you — back in my swinging bachelor days, my JDate user name was Goy Toy, so I’ll take Goyito. BOOM take THAT, MMA journalists.
Suzanne: John Lineker vs. Francisco Rivera still gives me feelings that I have yet to come to terms with. I’m getting the feeling that maybe I’ve overvalued Rivera. He’s slowly working his way to that list of fighters that I wish were better, but they’re just not. Erik Perez has been a good win-loss-win-loss fighter that is probably most recognized for getting fish-hooked by Bryan Caraway. This bout feels like a coin flip, so I’m literally flipping a coin. Francisco Rivera, decision.
Welterweight – Matt “The Immortal” Brown vs Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger
Jessica: A few years ago, Ellenberger probably would have been more of a threat to Brown. Now, I don’t think Jake’s got much left in the chin department. He’ll have to look for takedowns, but that just kinda puts his head in Matt’s clinch range, which is THREAT ZONE ALPHA. Brown is gonna Muay Thai Ellenberger’s face to bits. Brown wins by second round TKO.
Jared: Matt Brown by murder.
Jason: Elbows are going to be thrown, blood will be spilled, and Jake Ellenberger will get his second win in the last three years. Oh, and can we just agree that Robbie Lawler took the souls of both of these men?
Bill: Matt Brown is going to take this one, for sure. I’m thinking second round submission.
Burnsy: The Immortal one takes this and gets back into the title hunt, but that’s a tall order considering welterweight is still jam-packed with talent.
Suzanne: Could Jake Ellenberger beat Matt Brown? Sure. Matt Brown’s liver is like a Legend of Zelda boss; it flashes so you know know when to hit it. The moment they announced this fight, I tweeted, “Oh my lord, Matt Brown going to kill the death out of Jake Ellenberger.” I’m sticking with that. Matt Brown KO/TKO, round 2.
Strawweight – “Thug” Rose Namajunas vs Karolina Kowalciewicz
Jessica: Karolina’s got good striking and whatnot, but I just don’t know if she’ll be able to deal with Thug Rose and her solid mix of kickboxing and submissions. If Rose can turn up the intensity, I think Kowalkiewicz will make a mistake and get tapped. Rose wins by first round submission.
Jared: This fight is a real no win scenario for me. Thug Rose was one of the only fighters ever brave enough to don the CP logo (and we only had to pay her money to do it!) and Karolina Kowaiapkljxzc is one of the most adorable people to ever break faces for a living. That being said, Thug Rose 2.0 has destroyed something beautiful before and will likely do it again come Saturday night. I can only hope that Kowlkjklzxcklkjkjzx is able to come out the other side with her pride and her cheekbones intact.
Jason: I’ll never pick against Thug Rose. Ever. She’s the MMA version of ’11’ from Stranger Things.
Bill: THUG ROSE. Karolina doesn’t even have a nickname. That should tell you all you need to know, people.
Burnsy: Thug Rose all day, every day.
Suzanne: Since losing to Carla Esparza on the TUF 20 Finale, Rose Namajunas has been on a hot streak and seems to be putting her game together. However, having to fight herself mentally before engaging her physical opponent has made her a slow, nervous starter. Her past three fights have shown her dealing with that struggle, but now she’s in the co-main event with a lot more on her shoulders. Karolina Kowalkiewicz wins the first via wink and Rose wins the rest of the fight. Rose Namajunas, decision.
Welterweight Title – “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler vs Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley
Jessica: I really don’t think Woodley should even be in this fight, but it’s not like I’ve ever been consulted about what UFC should do regarding matchmaking before, so I’ll just let that go. I think Robbie will defend against Tyron’s takedowns, roll with the punches and land some big shots of his own. Please, momma Woodley, don’t scream so loud as your baby boy is going down. Lawler wins by second round KO.
Jared:I hate hate HATE this matchup, you guys, and mostly because it seems perfectly
suited to end Lawler’s incredibly entertaining title run in the least entertaining imaginable. “Ruthless” is the Sultan of Swingin Them Bungalows, the King of KO’s, the Colossus of Crushing Your Damn Face Into a Thousand Pieces, and you’re gonna let Woodley go out there and lay an egg on him for five rounds when he hasn’t won a fight in close to two years and even that fight was a split decision over Kevin “Extra Gravy Please” GastelumGAHHH WHY IS THIS FIGHT EVEN HAPPENING. I’m gonna place my faith in Fifth Round Lawler to pull out the win here, and I’m probably going to pray harder than I’ve ever prayed before that he can shuck off Woodley’s takedowns long enough to blast him into the NetherRealm, but in the back of my mind I’m already preparing for the worst four words I have ever put onto paper: Tyron Woodley, Welterweight Champion.
Jason: I’m with you, Jared! I hate this fight. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Woodley is a fine fighter, but I just don’t think he deserves a title shot. The only reason he got it was because he was as loud as his mom in angling for it. I swear to god if he lays and prays Lawler to a decision… Ugh! Lawler’s resurgence has been one of the greatest stories of the last few years, and it seems like few good stories end with anything but a wet fart when it comes to MMA. Tyron Woodley is going to take the decision from Lawler, and it’s all going to be a wet fart. I hate life. Please prove me wrong, Robbie. Please… I pick Woodley because I’m stupid. Whatever.
Bill: Robbie Lawler is going to eat some lunch, for sure. Woodley’s lunch. It’s a big bag of wood. And Robbie is going to eat it.
Burnsy: Woodley and I are both Missouri men, fans of the St. Louis Cardinals, too, which means that we’re classier and more intelligent than other baseball fans. I am going to pick Woodley to fight and win the Cardinal way — by benefiting from the other guy’s mistakes, getting ridiculously lucky when it matters most, and getting some really lucky calls at the expense of his opponent. Also, he’ll be gritty and scrappy.
Suzanne: Every second of Bobby Lawler’s 2nd UFC run has been fun to watch. Right up there with Sea Level Cain and Motivated BJ Penn, 5th Round Lawler is a thing of horrifying violence.
In contrast, outside of the Josh Koscheck and Jay Hieron knockouts, Tyron Woodley has been more boring than watching someone watch paint dry. I mean, he got outstruck 132-97 by Jake Shields. JAKE SHIELDS! If there’s anyone that can make a Lawler fight nearly unwatchable, it’s Tyron Woodley.
All week, I’ve had a nagging voice telling me to pick Woodley. Over the past couple of years, Robbie has taken a lot of damage and fought a lot of rounds. Surely it’s catching up, right? But, I just can’t. So, for the sake of everyone watching, I’m picking and hoping that Cthulhu’s blood-letter takes this one home. Robert Glenn Lawler by TKO, late fourth.
Performance of the Night
Jessica: Krylov, Namajunas
Jason: Lawler, Namajunas
Bill: Brown, Namajunas
Burnsy: Brown, Woodley
Jared: Namajunas, Brown
Fight of the Night
Jessica: McCall vs. Scoggins UH, I MEAN PEARSON VS MASVIDAL
Jason: Lawler vs. Woodley
Bill: Namajunas vs. Kowalciewicz
Burnsy: Brown vs. Ellenberger
Jared: Pearson vs. Masvidal