We’ve got a big-time Pay Per View this weekend with a title fight on the line, folks! There’s also been a lot of bout shuffling going on in this card, so we’re going to lock in these picks before anything else changes. UFC 186 is on Saturday, starting at 6:30 PM ET on Fight Pass.
Important Standings of Note:
Jessica: 365-240-4 (60%)
Burnsy: 378-226-5 (62%)
Vince: 189-115-2 (62%)
Ryan: 8-2-1 (77%)
Danny: 161-77-1 (67%)
Spilled: 76-56-2 (57%)
Sydnie: 16-12 (57%)
Chris: 35-11 (76%)
NY Ric: 36-26-1 (57%)
Ghost: 6-7 (46%)
Seth: 32-15 (68%)
Biss: 41-39-1 (51%)
Jared: 22-11 (67%)
Strawweight – Randa “Quiet Storm” Markos vs Aisling “Ais the Bash” Daly
Jessica: I like Daly, but I think Markos is too good. I expect Randa to get the fight to the ground and submit Daly by the second. Then she can call out Esparza, yay!
Burnsy: After Daly beat Alex Chambers with a nice and easy armbar in December, I was sold. I have no reason to pick against this ascending Irish force.
Jared: Aisling has the kind of fighting style that Mike Goldberg would refer to as “Jardine-esque in its fluidity, Joe.” Markos, on the other hand, is the kind of fighter that Joe Rogan would call “A BEAST” or “A MONSTER” while screaming purple-faced into the camera. I like the Canadian here, but what I’d really like to know is: What the hell has become of Keith Jardine?
Chris: I’m torn because Markos is the scrappy feel good story from her season of TUF who has real potential to grow into a contender. I also believe that while Daly fights out of Camp Conor, the UFC is not interested in developing her into more than a Leben/Bisping/Matt Brown figure. This is pure conjecture but the tone of how her fight with Claudia Gadelha gave me this impression.
BUT, Randa Markos commits the cardinal sin of lacking a wikpedia page which eliminates my ability to pick her to win.
Strawweight – Jessica “Ragin” Rakoczy vs Valerie “Trouble” Letourneau
Jessica: Rakoczy has not been that good, and her record really shows that. She’s been fighting up in weight, and now she’s cutting down, which is kind of weird since there’s no flyweight division. Letourneau is also dropping, and if she has a bad cut, that will be an issue. Otherwise, Valerie shouldn’t have much trouble to punch Jessica’s lights out. I’ll take Letourneau to win with a first round TKO.
Burnsy: Too bad it’s not Mary Kay Letourneay. MMA would be a great new step for her, so she could try to be remembered as something more than the only teacher who slept with a student that everyone somehow remembers. Ragin’ isn’t exactly a top level fighter at 1-4, so I’ll take Letourneau’s 6-3 record.
Jared: The day I bet on a fighter with a 1-4 record will be the day that Dana White issues a public apology to CagePotato in print, reinstates our press passes, and personally invites us to join the secret, high-society group of polyamorous playboys known as The Smashers Club.
Welterweight – Nordine Taleb vs Chris “The Menace” Clements
Jessica: Clements has power in his hands, as evidenced by his stoppage victory over Vik Grujic, whereas Taleb took him to a decision. I’ll take Clements to win by second round KO.
Burnsy: I’m taking Taleb because he’s had two nice wins in the UFC and Clements is totally unpredictable. He was pummeled by Stephen Thompson, but then he slaughtered Vik Grujic. I’ll assume that Taleb is more patient and prepared.
Jared: Taleb. Team Tompkins just hasn’t been the same since Shawn’s passing a few years back.
Lightweight – Olivier “The Quebec Kid” Aubin-Mercier vs David “BullDawg” Michaud
Jessica: I feel bad doing this, but I’ve got to go with the Quebec guy. I think he’ll manage to out-grapple Michaud, but not get a finish. Aubin-Mercier takes a decision.
Burnsy: This one has potential for a cool submission move, so I’ll give the advantage to the Quebec Kid for that kimura he pulled off against Jake Lindsey in October.
Jared: Aubin-Mercier via muscles.
Lightweight – Chad “The Disciple” Laprise vs Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberena
Jessica: Bam Bam has too much power and beard, plus there’s only one good fighter named Chad, and it ain’t this guy. Barberena wins with a second round KO.
Burnsy: This fight has some potential to be fun and end with one guy completely oblivious as to where he is on the planet. I’m not ready to slap my Undefeated Fighter Seal of Approval on Leprise just yet, because while 2-0 in the UFC is a nice start, Bam Bam had a nice TKO against Joe “Not Jake” Ellenberger. I’ll take Bam Bam for the upset.
Jared: I have nothing to say about this fight other than that “BA-BA-BA-BA” Barberena would be the coolest MMA nickname ever (and Laprise will win.)
Bantamweight – Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis vs Sarah Kaufman
Jessica: Their first fight was pretty good, and I think this one is going to be rad, too. I think Davis is going to have trouble getting take downs off Kaufman’s jab. Kaufman wins a tough decision.
Burnsy: Ally-Gator needs this win because her ego is probably still very badly bruised from her :16 loss to Ronda Rousey last July. She gets my sympathy pick.
Jared: Kaufman has already beaten Davis on two occasions, first in 2007 and again in 2012. Picking against her here would be nothing short of ludicrous.
Chris: Neither of these women have been very active so I guess that cancels the rust out? Either way it’s hard to get a read on Davis, because of how media-averse she is. Kaufman on the other hand has a nice collection of bruisers on her somewhat recent resume and based on her activity on social media, I’m picking her to win via decision.
Welterweight – Patrick “The Predator” Cote vs Joe “Diesel” Riggs
Jessica: Despite him being a FIGHT MASTER, Riggs is not that great. Cote’s going to punch his face really hard and Joe will fall down. Cote wins with a second round TKO.
Burnsy: Cote should win this easily, because Riggs is probably ready to fall apart like a poorly-assembled Lego castle. His neck injury against Ben Saunders was a really bad sign of what’s left, so I’m assuming the well-traveled 32-year old is on a steady decline.
Jared: Oh God, this fight. Joe Riggs is 32 pushing 80 and nearly broke his neck while taking his last opponent down. It makes me sad Cote has a chin of iron, throws the raddest house parties in all of Montreal, and is incredibly handsome. I think we can all agree who takes this.
Chris: Even though Riggs is younger in years, that man has some serious mileage on him. I like this late career resurgence for Cote on the other hand. He’s not going to crack the top 10 in such a deep division like welterweight, but something about his chipper attitude and the fact that he still has his legendary chin make him an easy pick. Riggs is evolving in to the Bad New Bear of MMA. Shot, injured in-ring and now fighting a Canadian in Montreal.
Cote by decision
Bantamweight – Yves “Tiger” Jabouin vs Thomas “Thominhas” Almeida
Jessica: Almeida’s pretty decent and undefeated to boot, but he hasn’t faced a lot of great competition. Jabouin’s a decent kickboxer, and I think he’ll manage to eke out a decision over Almeida.
Burnsy: Almeida gets my Undefeated Fighter Seal of Approval against the win one/lose one Jabouin just because someone has to remain undefeated. So, sorry in advance for cursing you, Tommy.
Jared: Thomas Almeida may have gone the distance in his UFC debut, but just look at the dude’s record. 17-0, with 13 KO’s. Jabouin just doesn’t have it anymore, and is being sacrificed to add some footage to the prospect’s highlight reel here. Almeida by KO.
Lightweight – John “The Bull” Makdessi vs Shane “Shaolin” Campbell
Jessica: Campbell is that Hadouken guy and screw it, I’m backing him here. Campbell will throw another fireball and take out Makdessi with a third round KO.
Burnsy: This is an interesting fight, not because it could be exciting but because Makdessi is popular for all the wrong reasons right now. Specifically, his apparel line allegedly owes Gegard Mousasi and some other fighters a lot of money, so he could probably use a bonus to keep himself out of court. I’m a fan of the dramatic, though, so I’m going to say Campbell wins and then Makdessi’s car blows up as he’s walking toward it after the event.
Jared: I don’t see how it’s possible to pick against a guy who threw a Hadouken in his last fight.
Middleweight – Michael “The Count” Bisping vs CB “The Doberman” Dollaway
Jessica: DJ Mikey B versus Clarence Byron is my personal hell. I don’t want to benefit from either man’s victory. Ugh, I’ll go with Bisping and his wonky eye to take out Clarence’s stupid fart face. Bisping wins by decision, because it’s not like he actually finishes people.
Burnsy: Thanks a lot, Dollaway, for getting Bisping all fired up with your “forcing him into retirement” trash talk. Now the Count is acting like he’s some sort of god in the octagon. Worst thing about this is I’m picking Bisping to win, and then we’re going to have to hear about how he’s somehow in a title hunt.
Jared: My dislike for Bisping is only outmatched by my respect for the consistency of his game. He is truly a piece of human garbage, but one that only loses to elite-level competition. Launchpad McQuack is not that competition.
Chris: This is exactly the kind of fight Michael Bisping should win and for that reason, I’m going to say that he will. Looking at his record the lowest level fight he’s ever lost is perhaps the Kennedy fight, which I’ll give him a pass on as having come back too soon from his injury. While the Brit is fading, I don’t see Dolloway as the man to put the nail in his career’s coffin. Dolloway’s best wins haven’t even gotten him into fights against opponents that Bisping regularly loses to.
Bisping by TKO
Catchweight – Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs Fabio “The Iron Hillbilly” Maldonado
Jessica: Even before he got injuncted, I don’t think Rampage was getting in shape for a fight. He’s going to be flabby and probably miss the catchweight. Maldonado loves punching the body, and that’s going to ruin Rampage’s life. Maldonado wins with a second round TKO.
Burnsy: Two guys north of 35 who have won recent fights against nobodies and lost to the fighters that matter. Are we sure this isn’t happening on Bellator? I’ll take Rampage for the win just to keep him around. Although, I’d still like that A-Team sequel, please.
Jared: While it’s hard to root for a guy who has shown nothing but apathy and contempt toward his own career for as long as Rampage has, I just don’t see him losing to the likes of Maldonado. On his worst day, Jackson is still a top 15 light heavyweight, if not higher, and Maldonado has already absorbed approximately 2 million strikes in his UFC career. Rampage by UD.
Chris: How much better than Joey Beltran or M’Pumbu is Fabio Maldonado? Not much? Kinda? Sorta?
Rampage by TKO
Flyweight – Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs Kyoji Horiguchi
Jessica: Kyoji is a fisherman, but DJ can commune with squirrels! That’s incredible. I’m taking DJ to out wrestle the Horiguchi Mane and nab a second round submission.
Burnsy: Horiguchi is certainly exciting and fun to watch, but I’m not picking against Mighty Mouse. Here he comes to save the day.
Jared: “Mighty Mouse” has looked damn-near untouchable as the UFC’s one and only flyweight champion. He’s dynamic, technical, and absolutely relentless with his pressure, yet no one seems to give two sh*ts about him because he’s small, I guess. In any case, he’ll outhustle Horiguchi for a solid 2-3 rounds before catching him in a bad spot and submitting him.
Chris: I feel so bad for Horiguchi. Not long ago he claimed he wasn’t ready to be considered for title contention and I don’t even think he’s getting “fuck you, money” to be the latest lamb let to DJ’s table.
Mighty Mouse by however he so chooses.
Performance of the Night
Jessica: Mighty Mouse, Maldonado
Fight of the Night
Jessica: Jabouin vs Almeida