Hey, fight fans! We’ve got a load of fights this week, so the predictions are getting split, the free cards on one, and a separate post for the pay-per-view. UFC Fight Night 80 kicks things off on Thursday at 6:45 p.m. ET on Fight pass.
Important Standings of Note:
Jessica: 529-366-6 (59 percent)
Burnsy: 525-336-6 (61 percent)
Vince: 234-155-2 (60 percent)
Ryan: 10-5-1 (66 percent)
Danny: 161-77-1 (67 percent)
Spilled: 86-68-2 (56 percent)
Sydnie: 16-12 (57 percent)
Chris: 46-18-2 (71 percent)
NY Ric: 36-26-1 (57 percent)
Ghost: 6-7 (46 percent)
Seth: 32-15 (68 percent)
Biss: 41-39-1 (51 percent)
Jared: 107-56-1 (66 percent)
Melanie: 44-23 (66 percent)
Fake Mike Goldberg: 21-16 (57 percent)
Strawweight – Kailin Curran vs. Emily Kagan
Jessica: I honestly don’t remember a whole heck of a lot about either fighter, though I know I’ve seen both of them in action. I’ll take Curran because she’s younger, and I guess she’ll improve more between fights. Curran takes a decision.
Burnsy: COIN FLIP! I’ll take Kagan so both fighters are equally represented.
Featherweight – Zubaira “Warrior” Tukhugov vs. Phillipe “The Filipino Assassin” Nover
Jessica: Are you kidding me? The wash-out “future Anderson Silva” versus my main man out of Chechnya? Tukhugov is going to put a whomping on Nover and get a second round KO.
Burnsy: Yeah, this shouldn’t be much of a match. Warrior should handle Nover with ease.
Welterweight – Danny “Hot Chocolate” Roberts vs. Nathan “Soulforce” Coy
Jessica: Coy didn’t really impress me on his season of TUF. I don’t know anything about Roberts, but heck yes, I’m totally going with a guy nicknamed Hot Chocolate. Roberts wins a decision.
Burnsy: Hot Chocolate does, indeed, win the nickname game over Soulforce. What is Coy, a Sega Genesis RPG?
Welterweight – Santiago “Gente Boa” Ponzinibbio vs. Andreas “Real Steel” Stahl
Jessica: Stahl’s only loss is to Gilbert Burns, and there’s no shame in that. Ponzinibbio’s had a decent UFC career so far, and I think his experience will give him the edge. Ponzinibbio takes a decision.
Burnsy: Gente Boa has the experience that an expert like me craves in deciding fights like this one. He’ll be the better fighter this time and Stahl will learn from it.
Bantamweight – Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling vs. Johnny Eduardo
Jessica: Oh dang, I don’t like this match up at all. Both dudes are pretty neat and I don’t want either to lose. However, as good as Eduardo is at striking, he’s 35 and hasn’t fought in more than a year. Sterling is a young guy out of Serra/Longo, aka Team Infinite Breadsticks, under the tutelage of the Linguine Don. Sterling will use his wrestling to grind up Eduardo and get a third round submission.
Burnsy: That sound you hear in the distance, friends, is Burnsy’s handy dandy undefeated fighter siren blazing through the night’s sky for Funk Master. Eduardo is the more experienced fighter, sure, but he can’t handle the Funk.
Middleweight – Antonio “Cara de Sapato” Carlos Jr. vs. “King” Kevin Casey
Jessica: FACE SHOE, FACE SHOE, FACE SHOE! This could be a neat grappling match, or it will be super bad kickboxing. Either way, I’ve got Face Shoe nabbing a decision.
Burnsy: I don’t know… Face Shoe is off to a nice start in the UFC, while the so-called “King” is doing just okay. I’ll give the “King” the benefit of the doubt here, I guess, and pick him to win and begin a nice little streak.
Welterweight – Omari “Wolverine” Akhmedov vs. Sergio “The Panther” Moraes
Jessica: Dagestani Knucklegame Cartel all day! Akhmedov is going to punch and kick Moraes in the face parts a lot. Akhmedov wins by second round TKO.
Burnsy: I’ll let a terrible but wonderful ’80s Cold War film make my prediction here…
Welterweight – Tim “Dirty Bird” Means vs. John “Doomsday” Howard
Jessica: This should be a good scrap between two solid, mid-level guys. I think Means is better than Howard, even if Doomsday did defeat the evil Pendred. Means wins by third round TKO.
Burnsy: Means had himself a nice little run going before he lost in the first round at UFC 189, while Doomsday barely fought off a pink slip with a split decision that same night. Doomsday just can’t seem to show up to his own fights, so I’ll take Means to get back on track.
Middleweight – Elias “The Spartan” Theodorou vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Jessica: Santos had a super rad headkick KO against Steve Bosse his last time out, but Theodorou is a Handsome Boy and we are quickly approaching Best Pals status on Twitter. Theodorou will use his amazing hair and I guess also punches to beat up Santos. Elias wins by second round KO.
Spilled: Elias Theodorou via Canadian Handsomeness.
Burnsy: Theodorou is the one fighter with the Spartan nickname that I like, so he remains the only legitimate Spartan. So let’s make it a unanimous vote for him to win.
Lightweight – “Super” Sage Northcutt vs. Cody “The Fist” Pfister
Jessica: I could be cynical and say that Sage is going to suffer a terrible Pfistering, but I’m pretty certain that Dana White has told Joe Silva to give Northcutt the most cakewalk schedule possible. Northcutt wins by second round TKO.
Spilled: Sage Northcutt via some crazy move that appears to defy physics.
Burnsy: YES! IT’S SAGE NORTHCUTT TIME! Move over, Conor McGregor, because this kid is gonna have a faster path to the top than any fighter we’ve ever seen. LOOK AT HIM!
Lightweight – Jim Miller vs. Mike “The Maverick” Chiesa
Jessica: I feel like I’m always wondering if Miller is on the down-swing of his career. He’s had a rough patch recently, losing to Cowboy and Dariush, and edging out a split decision over Danny Castillo. That being said, I still believe in Miller enough to beat Chiesa. Mike’s okay, but other than his win over Iaquinta back in 2012, none of his victories really stand out as all that impressive to me. Probably has something to do with him training at SIK JITSU. Anyway, Miller submits Chiesa in the third.
Spilled: Mike Chiesa via being Badass Jesus.
Burnsy: Jim Miller is in a little bit of a funk right now, after two losses in a row and a SD win back in July. He could really use an easy win right about now, but Chiesa ain’t the fighter who will let him have that. My gut is telling me Chiesa wins this one, so I’ll go with my gut, but this one is as much of a toss-up as any fight can be.
Strawweight – “Thug” Rose Namajunas vs. “12 Gauge” Paige VanZant
Jessica: I’ve been a fan of both fighters since the Invicta days, so this should be a really rad fight. Now that Thug has gone Imperator Furiosa, I’m fully in the Namajunas camp. Rose submits Paige in the fourth.
Spilled: Thug Rose via THUG LIFE shit.
Burnsy: Damn, this is going to be tough watching Paige lose so soon after watching Ronda Rousey’s career flash before her eyes. I love Paige, but she’s still young and raw. Thug Rose is too good for her.
Performance of the Night
Jessica: Tukhugov, Theodorou
Burnsy: Namajunas, Northcutt
Fight of the Night
Jessica: Namajunas vs. VanZant
Burnsy: Theodorou vs. Santos
Lightweight – Chris “Gritz” Gruetzemacher vs. Abner “Skullman” Lloveras
Jessica: I’m torn here. I think Gruetzemacher is probably the better fighter, but he’s fighting a dude called SKULLMAN. Ehhhh, I’ll go with Chris to make some Gritz all up on Abner Loaves. Gruetzemacher wins by decision.
Burnsy: As a St. Louis Cardinals fan, I am required by law to pick anyone whose name has Grit in it.
Jared: As much as I’d like to pick a guy whose name reminds me of my childhood pet pig (miss you Abner. You were delicious), I gotta go Gruetzemacher here.
Lightweight – Julian “Juicy J” Erosa vs. Marcin “The Polish Zombie” Wrzosek
Jessica: Uhhh, there’s only one Juicy J, and it ain’t this dingus. I’m not a fan of Wrzosek co-opting Chan Sung Jung’s nickname, but it’s still better than trying to be a Grammy winner. Also, why the heck has Erosa faced the same three dudes so many times? His record is littered with “Drew Brokenshire,” “Jason Gybels” and “Ryan Mulvihill.” Anyway, TPZ gets a TKO in the third.
Burnsy: The Polish Zombie should win this one, although I agree with my comrade’s stance on the nickname.
Jared: Q: What’s the difference between a smart Polak and a zombie?
A: Nothing, they’re both fictional characters
Flyweight – Geane Carlos “La Pulga” Herrera vs. Joby Sanchez
Jessica: Both guys probably had a tougher test than they should have in their UFC debuts, and they both lost those fights. However, I think Herrera going against Ray Borg is much steeper than Sanchez taking on Wilson Reis. I’m giving the nod to Herrera and say he wraps up a submission in the second.
Burnsy: I’ll take Joby just because his name is fun to say. JOOOOOOOOOOOOO-BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
Jared: When all else fails, go with the Jackson-Wink guy. Sanchez.
Featherweight – Tatsuya “CRUSHER” Kawajiri vs. Jason “The Kid” Knight
Jessica: How cool would it have been if this was CRUSHER taking on KID Yammamoto instead? Anyway, the most interesting thing about Knight is that he beat a dude named Harry Johnson. I’m in Kawajiri’s corner a billion percent. CRUSHER wins with a third round ground n pound TKO stoppage.
Spilled: Kawajiri via looking like a Japanese Praying Mantis.
Burnsy: Jason “The Kid” Knight sounds like a character that dies at the beginning of Bloodsport. Get out of here, The Kid. Crusher wins this one.
Jared: To quote some of my more esteemed colleagues, CRUSHER GON’ CRUSH.
Heavyweight – Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga vs. Konstantin “The Russian Bear” Erokhin
Jessica: Erokhin disappointed me when he lost to Vik Pesta. Gonzaga has had a really rough time. He’s 11-9 all time in the UFC and on a three-fight skid. He needs a win, and I didn’t see enough out of Erokhin that would prevent Gonzaga from coming out on top. Gabe submits Erokhin in the second.
Burnsy: As always, I’ll remind us of the time that I saw Gabriel Gonzaga at Sea World. He seemed nice. I’ll pick him.
Jared: Gabriel Gonzaga has always been a favorite fighter of mine, and better yet, he has the best entrance music of any fighter ever. Unfortunately, his chin has always been garbage, and his recent performances show that he’s only got about a round of gas in the tank (not that that’s unique in the heavyweight division). I’ll take the Russian to crush him early.
Lightweight – Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov vs. Ryan “The Wizard” Hall
Jessica: Lobov is a dangerous striker, but he plods forward, and I just expect Hall to be constantly diving for his legs. Hall nabs a first round submission.
Burnsy: Lobov has a career record of 11-10-1. That’s not a good sign for someone making his debut in the UFC. I have a feeling he’ll lose this one and we won’t hear from him much after this.
Jared: It’s absolutely astounding to me that Artem Lobov, with his low hands, 11-10 record, and “full diaper walking” (credit Jessica) style of plodding offense, somehow managed to make it to the finale of TUF 22 – must’ve been that McGregor bump. Even more astounding? I’m actually picking him to not get submitted by Hall, who *also* shouldn’t even be in this finale fight. Whoever wins, The Ultimate Fighter is still a goddamn joke and I need everyone to agree with me on this.
Welterweight – Mike Pierce vs. Ryan LaFlare
Jessica: Pierce hasn’t fought in two years because Rousimar Palhares is a big mean jerk. LaFlare managed to survive against Demian Maia, and might have won if it was a seven round fight. I like Pierce, but I don’t think he’ll be able to shake off the rust quick enough against LaFlare. Ryan takes a decision.
Spilled: Pierce via PUNCH.
Burnsy: Winner of four-straight fights since entering the UFC, LaFlare went the distance against Maia in a main event, so that’s as much of a moral victory as a fighter can have in the UFC. He’s too good to lose to Mike “Two Years Off and On the Wrong Side of 35” Pierce.
Jared: Wait, Mike Pierce can still walk after succumbing to the infamous Palhares bear trap of death? Congratulations are in order to the big guy, but a two-year break from the sport doesn’t bide well against an upper echelon fighter like Laflare.
Lightweight – Joe “J Lau” Lauzon vs. Evan Dunham
Jessica: It’s rare for me to pick against Lauzon, and this isn’t one of those times. Dunham’s good enough, but I just think Lauzon edges him out. It’s going to be gritty and scrappy and whatnot, but in the end, Lauzon takes a third round submission.
Spilled: Lauzon via wicked Boston Submission.
Burnsy: Dunham avoided a pink slip with a gimme fight against Rodrigo Damm in January, and then he doubled down on his resurgence by defeating Ross Pearson in July. What I like in Dunham is that he’s going for his third win in one year, so I’m going to give him the hat trick to close 2015 on a really high note for him.
Jared: He may be on the decline, but Joe Lauzon is the Bonus King. You can’t pick against the Bonus King, you guys. You can’t.
Lightweight – Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson vs. Edson “Junior” Barboza
Jessica: Look, it’s two solid dudes with their last losses coming against Michael Johnson! Ferguson has been on a super roll lately, but Barboza has been a top talent for a while. Barboza has had some problems with guys that put a lot of pressure on him, and Ferguson is more than capable of getting in his face, either with punches or take downs. Ferguson gets a second round TKO.
Spilled: Barboza via flying something or other… knee?
Burnsy: This is a HUGE fight for El Cucuy, winner of six in a row since losing to Johnson in 2012. He’s ranked No. 7 in the division, one spot behind Barboza, so it’s safe to assume that the winner of this one should get the next title shot (against Donald Cerrone, but we’ll deal with that next week). I think Barboza is probably the more well-rounded fighter, but everything seems to work for Tony, so I’ll take the guy riding the hot streak to win and then sit back and watch UFC on Fox 17 with a great deal of interest.
Jared: As powerful of a kicker as Barboza is, “El Cucuy” just has more ways to win this thing. It doesn’t hurt that he’s in the midst of a ridiculous win streak in the UFC’s most stacked division.
Featherweight – Frankie “The Answer” Edgar vs. Chad “Money” Mendes
Jessica: Two dudes who only lose in title fights, what on Earth is going to happen? Oh, the same thing that happened when Edgar took on Faber, only not quite as dominant. Mendes is a very good wrestler with more power in his hands than Edgar, but Frankie has excellent boxing and movement. Plus, he’s taken punches from huge lightweights without faltering, so I don’t think Mendes will put him away. Frankie probably won’t stop Chad, either, but it’s going to be a great fight. Edgar takes a decision.
Spilled: Frankie via being speed, footwork and volume.
Burnsy: I really, really thought Mendes had Conor McGregor’s number when they fought for the interim belt, but The Notorious One continues to be The Fortunate One. In this one, I’m gonna take Edgar, too, but only because he last bested Uriah Faber in the ongoing game of guys who want to be the bridesmaids. In fact, if you ever get into a street fight with one of these guys, lift up your shirt and point to your belt, because they will lose.
Jared: Full camp Mendes can beat anyone on this planet except Jose Aldo. That is an objective fact, so when determining who should win this fight, you need ask yourself just one question: Is Frankie Edgar Jose Aldo? No, no he is not.
Performance of the Night
Jessica: Ferguson, Kawajiri
Burnsy: Dunham, LaFlare
Fight of the Night
Jessica: Edgar vs. Mendes
Burnsy: Edgar vs. Mendes