Welcome, fight fans! UFC 181 is coming to us live, from Las Vegas on Saturday, December 6th, starting at 7:00 PM ET with 11 fights, and most of them look pretty dang good. Today, we add new friends to the pick party, Seth Falvo of Cage Potato, and Inspire Pro Wrestling honcho, Justin Bissonnette. Let’s jump right into the predictions!
Important Standings of Note:
Jessica: 270-156-2 (63%)
Burnsy: 261-164-3 (61%)
Vince: 137-84-1 (62%)
Danny: 161-77-1 (67%)
Spilled: 66-44-1 (59%)
Sydnie: 16-12 (57%)
Chris: 25-9 (74%)
NY Ric: 36-26-1 (57%)
Ghost: 6-7 (46%)
Featherweight – Alex “The Spartan” White vs “Cassius” Clay Collard
Jessica: Once I learned about Alex’s story of gas-drinking, I became a fan. Unless he turns out to be an awful person, I’ll continue to support the dude, so I’ll say he wins by first round KO.
Seth: Serious question: Who the hell is Clay Collard? Is that his real name, or is that just his UFC persona; I’m not convinced that “Clay Collard” doesn’t play every generic mid-western undercard fighter I don’t care about. Maybe the same way bad indie wrestling promotions pad their rosters by sending wrestlers back out after competing in masks as “one of them Mexican wrasslers,” the UFC is asking some poor jobber to put gel in his hair every other week and get beat up on the undercard.
What I’m trying to say is, Alex White has this.
Justin: White via Sub round 1.
Burnsy: I’m very intimidated by newcomers so I have to really try hard this time. I typically hate the Spartan nickname, but Alex White is my boy. Also, there’s only one Cassius Clay in anything. This is a battle of bad nicknames, but I take White every time.
Bantamweight – Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis vs Matt “The Crowbar” Hobar
Jessica: I gotta go with Baby Pettis on this one. I think his kickboxing is going to be too good for Hobar. Sergio knocks out Matt in the second.
Seth: Is Sergio Pettis overrated? Of course. Is Matt Hobar going to defeat him on Saturday? Probably not.
Justin: Pettis via Sub Round 3
Burnsy: Burnsy MMA prediction rule No. 948439: Pick the rhyming nickname every time. Hobar.
Bantamweight – Raquel “Rocky” Pennington vs Ashlee Evans-Smith
Jessica: I’ve been impressed with the little bit of Ashlee I’ve seen on the regional level, so I’ll give her the nod and say she TKOs Rocky in the second round.
Seth: Raquel Pennington was initially brought in to lose to Holly Holm. Middle, middle, middle, now she is going to lose to The Woman Who Beat Up Fallon Fox, and I’m willing to bet that something utterly repulsive is said during this fight about Fox, because this is MMA and we can’t have nice things. Hey, jobbers can’t be choosers.
Justin: Evans-Smith via KO round 2
Burnsy: Ashley is a boy’s name, Ashlee is a ruthless winning fighter’s name.
Light Heavyweight – Corey “Beastin 25/8” Anderson vs Justin “Lazybones” Jones
Jessica: I really identify with being a Lazybones, so Jones gets my love. Justin will snag a submission in the second.
Seth: Wait, is his name really Justin “Lazy Bones” Jones? Sheesh, everything about that reeks of “brought in to get beat up by a TUF Champion.” Which is good, because that’s totally what’s going on here.
Justin: Anderson via KO round 1
Burnsy: Holy crap, these nicknames get worse and worse. Beastin 25/8? I get it, but come on, dude. You can’t overthink nicknames. You can, however, just steal and twist someone else’s nickname, and that’s why Jones loses.
Middleweight – Eddie “Truck” Gordon vs Josh “Anqa” Samman
Jessica: Samman seemed like a dork on TUF, so I’ll take Gordon to win here. I’ll say Eddie gets a decision nod because he seems to do that a lot.
Seth: I’m probably going to use this fight to go pick up some wings. By the time I get back, Josh Samman better have knocked Eddie Gordon out. Yep, I have that little desire to watch this fight.
Justin: Gordon via Decision round 3
Burnsy: Samman looks like a model from a 7 AM workout infomercial. Whatever, this is a coin flip so I’ll take that dude.
Bantamweight – Urijah “The California Kid” Faber vs Francisco “Cisco” Rivera
Jessica: C’mon, it’s Urijah Faber in a non-title fight. Ol’ Butt-Chin’s going to get a first round submission win.
Seth: [sarcasm] Gee, this looks like a close fight. I better consult the Official UFC Ranki-[/sarcasm] HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA WOW I COULDN’T EVEN SARCASTICALLY FINISH THAT SENTENCE.
(Pick Faber, you idiots).
Justin: Rivera via Decision round 3
Burnsy: Faber wins in quick and impressive fashion and immediately demands a title shot and gets it, so he can lose in quick and impressive fashion again.
Lightweight – Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson vs Abel “Killa” Trujillo
Jessica: I don’t want good things to happen to Abel Trujillo because he’s a bad person (Multiple arrests for domestic abuse tend to do that), so I’m taking Ferguson to knock him out in the second.
Seth: The easy joke would be “Who do you cheer for, the Asshole from TUF 13 with Terrible Angel Wing Tattoos or the Guy With Multiple Domestic Violence Offenses, LOL?” And you know what? I’m going with the easy joke.
That being said, The Asshole from TUF 13 is the more complete fighter, and should be able to take a decision.
Justin: Ferguson via Sub Round 2
Burnsy:I’m very excited about this fight’s potential, but like Jessica said, Trujillo is not a guy we should cheer for. Get ’em, Fergy.
Heavyweight – Todd Duffee vs Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton
Jessica: DUFF MAN, OH YEAH! Todd wins by first round KO.
Seth: Todd Duffee just tweeted that he was in a car accident. That’s not going to be enough for Anthony Hamilton to win this fight, though.
Justin: Hamilton via Decision round 3
Burnsy: Duffee hasn’t fought since 2012, when he beat the crap out of Phillip French Fries. Hamilton is a video game jobber brought to life. I’m picking Duffee to begin his ascent to the middle of the Heavyweight rankings.
Heavyweight – Travis “Hapa” Browne vs Brendan “Big Brown” Schaub
Jessica: Browne versus (Big) Brown? This is just madness, Joe Silva! Even though a lot of the time he fights like a doofus that doesn’t know he’s 6’7″, I’ll go with Travis to knock out Schaub in the second.
Seth: I’ve never seen an MMA fight between two heavyweights who were riding more hype for beating absolutely no one than Travis Browne and Brendan Schaub. Yeah, I know that some of you in the comments section are going to try to make the case for the 2013 remains of Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett, the incredibly sad 2011 version of Cro Cop, Matt Mitrione, Gabriel Gonzaga, and YAMMA Pit Fighting Runner-Up Chris Tuchscherer. I look forward to ignoring those comments.
Browne has the better stand-up and the infinitely better chin. Browne by KO.
Justin: Browne via KO round 2
Burnsy: I’m still really mad at Browne for losing in front of me in Orlando, when I was so excited about watching him become the No. 1 contender. He’ll get back to his first round domination with this fight.
Lightweight – Anthony “Showtime” Pettis vs Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez
Jessica: Pettis had some troubles in the past with decent wrestlers, and Gilbert’s a pretty solid grappler, but I think Anthony’s BJJ game is good enough to make Melendez uneasy about heading to the ground. On the feet, Pettis is one of the best strikers, while Melendez got knocked silly by Diego Sanchez, who only knows how to throw haymakers. I’m taking Pettis to win by third round knockout in what should be a fun fight.
Seth: Melendez is a tough match-up for Pettis, but Showtime still walks away with the decision.
Justin: Pettis via KO round 3
Burnsy: Let’s get crazy with these title predictions – Pettis suffers the Wheaties box curse and Melendez takes the belt.
Welterweight – Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks vs “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler
Jessica: Holy cow, the first fight was amazing, and I expect the rematch to live up to the hype. Yeah, Hendricks had a bum arm in the first fight, but hot cheese, Robbie Lawler just keeps getting better and better. I’m taking Lawler to put the sentient beard to sleep in the fourth round in what I’m going to predict as the fight of the night.
Seth: I’ll finish on a strong take: I’m not buying the Hendricks Narrative. I think labeling him as the future of the Welterweight division is a cheap attempt to recreate GSP immediately after he retired, and frankly, I’m not convinced that GSP wouldn’t beat him in a rematch. That all being said, he definitely beats Lawlor again. Lawlor is just tough enough of a fight to make things interesting, but not tough enough of a contest for me to question whether or not Johny gets his hand raised tomorrow night. Bet with confidence on Hendricks, and enjoy the fight.
Justin: Hendricks via KO round 4
Burnsy: The second belt change of the night, as Lawler gets his revenge and dominates Hendricks to set up Hendricks-Lawler III.
OF THE NIGHT BONUSES
I’ve sometimes mentioned fights that I thought were going to be rad, but Justin Bissonnette’s predictions email had his full Of the Night predictions, so sure, let’s get that on record!
Fight of the Night
Jessica: Lawler vs Hendricks
Justin: Hendricks vs Lawler
Burnsy: Pettis vs Melendez
Performance of the Night
Jessica: Urijah Faber, Todd Duffee
Justin: Pettis, Browne
Burnsy: Travis Browne, Robbie Lawler