Welcome, punch fans! We’ve got a pretty big PPV coming up with a(n interim) title fight as Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum lock horns in the main event. The card will kick off at 7:00 PM ET on Fight Pass, so let’s dive right into the picks
Important Standings of Note:
Bantamweight – Marco “Psycho” Beltran vs Marlon “Chito” Vera
Jessica: I know nothing about these dudes (This will become a frequent observation), so I’m going to go ahead and pick Vera by second round submission for no specific reason.
Burnsy: I’ll take Psycho, I guess. I assume it means he’s crazy, and I’d be crazy not to buy into that stupid reasoning.
Bantamweight – Henry “Bure” Briones vs Guido “Ninja” Cannetti
Jessica: Briones has more experience, so sure, he gets the decision nod.
Burnsy: Based on both of their records and experience, these are some finishing mofos. I’m going to take Ninja because each of his wins has come by submission, TKO or KO. Of course they were probably against dudes who use the windmill fighting style, but I have to gain some ground on my counterpart up there.
Featherweight – Gabriel “Moggly” Benitez vs Humberto “El Gato Negro” Brown
Jessica: Wasn’t Moggly that big bear-thing that taught kids French? Oh, that was Muzzy? Whatever, I’m still picking Moggly to win by first round submission.
Burnsy: Black Cats are bad luck… for their opponents! Give me Brown.
Bantamweight – Jessica “Evil” Eye vs Leslie “Peace Maker” Smith
Jessica: HOORAY, I’VE ACTUALLY HEARD OF BOTH FIGHTERS! I hate to do this to a fellow Jessica, but I’m taking Smith, infrequently known as Chick Diaz, to punch Eye a whole lot and win by third round TKO.
Burnsy: Not to crap all over Eye’s hopes and dreams or anything, but she had her win against Sarah Kaufman overturned because she tested positive for the pot, and then she lost a split decision to Alexis Davis. And now she’s out there saying she’d fight the champ, Ronda Rousey, if the UFC asked her to? Get out of here with that jibber jabber. Beat Smith, then talk. I’m taking Smith.
Bantamweight – Alejandro “Diablito” Perez vs Jose “Teco” Quinonez
Jessica: Gotta go with Quinonez and his fantastic conquistador facial hair. That’s enough to give him a third round TKO.
Burnsy: I misread Quinonez’s nickname as Taco at first, so I’m picking him because I love tacos.
Featherweight – Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez vs Leonardo “Chimmy” Morales
Jessica: Apparently this is a TUF Latin America finale. I haven’t seen a second of that, so I’m picking Chimmy because that sounds like a fun nickname. Morales wins by decision.
Burnsy: m/ El Pantera m/
Welterweight – Edgar Garcia vs Hector “El Toro” Urbina
Jessica: Urbina’s got some losses to knockout and Garcia’s got some wins by knockout, so sure, Garcia to win this one by second round TKO
Burnsy: I don’t know enough about these guys, but I’m a sucker for a story of redemption. Garcia sucked his first time around in the UFC, so I’m picking him to turn that around.
Welterweight – Augusto “Dodger” Montano vs Chris “Stump” Heatherly
Jessica: Despite it being accurate about his lack of height “Stump” is a terrible nickname. I’ll take Montano by decision. MY LOGIC IS INFALLIBLE.
Burnsy: I assume that like most Dodgers I’ve watched – *stifles laughter* – this one will lose when it matters. Stump takes the W.
Featherweight – Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas vs Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez
Jessica: I’ve certainly done a 180 on Bermudez. Of course, he’s been out of the TUF house, which has been shown to warp personalities, plus he’s beaten up people in impressive fashion. I like Lamas when I can remember who he is, but I’m taking Bermudez to submit him in the second.
Burnsy: Bermudez is one of the hottest fighters in the UFC with a seven-fight win streak. Lamas is 5-1 in the UFC with that loss coming against Jose Aldo. This fight should be fantastic, and I’ll take Bermudez to keep the streak alive, and then demand that he should be in the Top 3 Featherweight conversation.
Welterweight – Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger vs Kelvin Gastelum
Jessica: With that unfortunate business surrounding Gunni Nelson, the undefeated welterweights me and Burnsy are fans of is kind of dwindling. I’m going to desperately cling to Kelvin and hope he can avoid Jake’s big punches for the round and a half that Ellenberger has gas for. Gastelum chokes out Ellengerber in the third and we all rejoice.
Burnsy: Took the words right out of my keyboard, Jessica. Kelvin’s all I have left for a dream of an undefeated steamroller becoming the next powerhouse face of the UFC. Ellenberger has lost his last two fights, but he’s hardly facing that 3-loss pink slip that I’m always babbling about in these predictions, what with those losses coming against Rory MacDonald and Robbie Lawler. I’m going with the reverse jinx here by saying that Ellenberger wins, because I just don’t think that Gasteleum is good enough to hang with the top contenders yet. Originally, I demanded that he and Gunnar Nelson get bigger matches, and Gunni proved that he wasn’t ready yet. I hope that Gastelum proves me wrong, but for now I’m going to roll with the guy who needs to win to prove he still belongs in the title hunt. (However, if and when Gastelum wins, he should get a 6-10 guy like Hector Lombard instead of a Top 5 guy, because there’s already such a log jam in the welterweights, so I’d like to see the 23-year old work for it a little more.)
(Also, speaking of Gunni, I was looking at the rankings and I think it’s kind of BS that Jordan Mein is ahead of Gunni. But instead of debating that idea in my own dumb brain, how about that as their next fight? That would not only be the potential start of a great future rivalry – that Gastelum can also play a role in – but it would help determine which one of them is more prepared to take on that bottom half of the Top 10. Just spit-ballin’ here.)
Heavyweight – Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt
Jessica: I BELIEVE IN HUNTO! Mark Hunt is going to punch Werdum in the face, hike up his shorts, and walk away the interim heavyweight champion in the first round. And then we all rejoice even more.
Burnsy: I very much want Mark Hunt to win and become interim heavyweight champion, because I know he’ll be the kind of champ who will fight once a month if it’s asked of him, despite the fact that he’s 40. However, while he apparently almost died on his way to Mexico City, I can’t stop thinking about the way that Werdum made Travis Browne look like an amateur in Orlando back in April. I’m giving the belt to Werdum.