Hey friends, welcome back to the UPROXX Sports Staff Predictions! On today’s agenda, UFC 178, which is taking place this Saturday night, live from Las Vegas, Nevada. Fight Pass prelims start at 7:00 PM ET, Fox Sports 1 prelims at 8:00 PM ET, and the main pay-per-view card begins at 10:00 PM ET! Let’s get to pickin’, shall we?
Important Standings of Note:
Featherweight – Manvil “The Anvil” Gamburyan vs Cody “The Renegade” Gibson
Jessica: Second only to Brazilians losing and getting all MAD FACE about it is Armenian dudes losing and getting all MAD FACE about it. So I’m going with Gibson to take a second round TKO here.
Burnsy: Manvil the Anvil sounds like an Aquabats stage character, so I’ll go ahead and take him just to get these fights started with one of us being a loser.
Vince: I don’t know how many times my Armenian brother Manvil has to prove me wrong before I stop picking him. I don’t know how he beats Cole Miller then loses to Nik Lentz, he just doesn’t make any sense. Meanwhile, Cody Gibson coaches wrestling at a high school I used to play basketball/waterpolo/golf against in high school. Tough to say whether that’s a plus or minus for him, since I hated that school. See how scientifically I take these things? Anyway, Gibson’s wrestling should nullify Manvil’s judo, plus he should have a reach advantage, seems to have a solid chin, and he’s from the central valley so I have to think he’s dealt with Armenians before. Who the hell ever knows with Gamburyan though. Gibson.
Lightweight – Jon “The Super Saiyan” Tuck vs Kevin “Motown Phenom” Lee
Jessica: Motown Phenom back again, gettin’ take downs, score a win. I’ll never not use that, unless Lee fights someone I actually like. Lee wins by decision.
Burnsy: A battle of 8-1 fighters with limited experience in the UFC, so I’ll take the guy coming off the more impressive win in Tuck.
Vince: I had to look up Tuck’s last fight, just to see what a “submission to heel strikes” looks like. I’ve never seen a guy win by breaking another guy’s rib from back mount before, so I’ll take Mr. Tuck from Guam.
Welterweight – John “Doomsday” Howard vs Brian “Bad Boy” Ebersole
Jessica: I’ll always hold a special place in my fight-heart for Howard’s fight against Dennis Hallman, but seriously, I can’t bet against the Hairrow. Ebersole takes this by second round TKO (Hopefully by cartwheel kick)
Burnsy: Pink slip fight for Ebersole, so I’m going to take Doomsday to rebound from that last loss and send Bad Boy packing.
Vince: Ah, Ebersole, my favorite whack job. He started out being fun to watch, but looked pretty dog sh*t his last couple of fights. Doomsday, who’s sort of the San Francisco weather of fighters. Never that exciting, never that terrible.
Welterweight – Patrick “The Predator” Cote vs Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson
Jessica: Thompson is a DYNAMIC striker, which I think is a buzzword that means “throws flashy stuff that lands a foot in front of his opponent”. However, when he does connect, it does hurt, a lot. Thompson will spin his way into getting a first round KO.
Burnsy: Oh man, I want this fight to be as great as it looks on paper. Both fighters have a 3-fight streak going, but I just think that Thompson is better. Also, I hate typing Côté’s name because of the little whatever they’re called over the vowels.
Vince: Hmm, both guys on win streaks against less-than-stellar competition… I want to pick Wonderboy (WHAT IS THE SECRET OF YOUR POOWAAAAAHH…), but Cote is a guy who keeps coming forward and has the chin from hell. The one time he’s been stopped by KO or TKO was via knee injury against Anderson Silva. Can he grind Wonderboy down a la Matt Brown? Or will he clown down and make me frown all the way to brown town? I have to think Thompson learned something from that fight, and I don’t think Cote is as good as Matt Brown. Thompson by decision.
Lightweight – Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal vs “The” James Krause
Jessica: I really like Masvidal, and that rarely takes a backseat to logic. Masvidal will kickbox Krause a lot and take a decision victory.
Burnsy: I’m not picking against Masvidal, especially against the Ohio State of fighters.
Vince: Tough one to pick. Masvidal has great boxing, but he’s giving up a lot of reach against Krause, who showed some pretty good head movement against Varner and has faced top competition. Masvidal seems tougher, faster, and the much better boxer, but I’m going to take Krause in this one, it just seems like he has more ways to win.
Bantamweight – Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz vs Takeya Mizugaki
Jessica: Mizugaki has won five in a row since Cruz last fought. Takeya is unstoppable and that makes me kind of sad, because I like Cruz and his super-janky footwork and knee-tap take downs. Mizugaki wins by decision.
Burnsy: DOMINICK CRUZ BACK??? I’ll believe it when I see it. Mizugaki takes this one by rust.
Vince: I think I’ve picked against Mizugaki in his last five fights and been wrong all five times, but I see no reason to break that streak now. If the old Cruz from however long ago he last fought shows up, he takes this easily.
Bantamweight – “Alpha” Cat Zingano vs Amanda “Lioness” Nunes
Jessica: Nunes is solid, but I really want Zingano to obliterate and get the title shot she deserves. Zingano wins by second round TKO.
Burnsy: I want Cat Zingano back, so she can dominate a fight or two and then finally lose to Ronda Rousey.
Vince: I wish Amanda Nunes’s nickname was “Hugginkiss.” Zingano.
Middleweight – Tim Kennedy vs Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero
Jessica: Romero has the greatest ankle pick in the history of MMA, but I’m a goober what’s a big fan of Kennedy. Romero is a really good wrestler and throws a lot of heavy stuff, but Kennedy is solid at mixing things up. Honestly, I’m just trying to convince myself of how Kennedy will win, so I’ll just say Tim wins by decision.
Burnsy: Romero is on my list of guys I always pick, and I have been punished so much lately by picking those guys against the more experienced badasses like Kennedy. But you know what? I don’t learn. I’m taking Romero again.
Vince: Tim Kennedy is one of those guys I feel like I could hang with but whose fights I don’t especially enjoy watching. TK tends to win by wrestling, and I don’t see him outwrestling the Olympic wrestler. It’s possible that Romero’s big muskles make him gas, but I pick Romero to win and give an impassioned speech in favor of Christ.
Featherweight – “Notorious” Conor McGregor vs Dustin “Diamond” Poirier
Jessica: I’m kind of tired of McGregor’s schtick at this point, so I’m really just waiting for Poirier to grapple the heck out of him and win by first round submission.
Burnsy: I, for one, love McGregor, mainly because he needs to win so he doesn’t end up looking like a blabbermouth douchebag.
Vince: I think this fight is a total pick-’em, highlighted by the fact that McGregor TKO’d Brandao at 4:05 of round 1, whereas it took Poirier until 4:54. Poirier is solid everywhere and has only lost to the top guys, while McGregor has run through everyone, though Poirier will be a step up for him and his grappling is still a bit of a question mark. I have to think Poirier will have a smarter game plan than Brandao, who doesn’t have the highest fight IQ, but I can’t count on Poirier to get the take down with McGregor’s weird, karate range. I guess I’ll take McGregor. He may have flaws, but they haven’t been exposed quite yet.
Lightweight – Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs Eddie Alvarez
Jessica: Holy cow, this should be a RAD AS HECK fight! I’ve heard some rumors that Cerrone’s got a bum leg (Possibly from jetski jousting), but even if he was 100%, I’d probably be edging towards Alvarez. EA is prone to getting touched, but I think he’ll manage to avoid Cerrone’s power and out-box Donald. The man with the tightest fade in the game takes a third round TKO.
Burnsy: Hoo boy, this is a tough one. I like Cowboy a lot, but I haven’t really been impressed by the quality of his last two wins. Alvarez is coming in with plenty of hype, too, and I typically don’t like to pick the new guy. I’m going against that, though, and am taking Alvarez for some new blood.
Vince: Wait, did Burnsy say he wasn’t impressed by Cowboy’s kick upside Miller’s head or him choking out Barboza?? That’s the real travesty here. He’s right though, this is tough to pick. Eddie Alvarez looks crazy fast and powerful, but on the other hand, he’s only fought in Bellator and Cowboy has been on an absolute tear. I’m not sure whether Alvarez hasn’t fought anyone of Cerrone’s caliber or vice versa. Anyway, I’m going to take Cerrone, because he’s the gamer of all gamers and I’m going to be rooting for him anyway.
Flyweight – Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso
Jessica: I know I’ve seen Cariaso fight at least two times before, but nothing about him has ever stuck in my mind. He’s basically A Dude being thrown in against the best fighter on the roster. Mighty Mouse is going to beat the heck out of Chris and finish things in the third by TKO.
Burnsy: I’m still a little confused as to how Cariaso got this opportunity, but I don’t care. He’s not beating Mighty Mouse.
Vince: Cariaso is a high-level gatekeeper who I’d feel comfortable picking against just about anyone in the division. Anyone except Mighty Mouse, I mean c’mon, son. Until I see someone at least threaten him there’s no way I’m picking against him.