Hey again fight fans. There was a slight setback on the UFC 180 predictions in the sense that both myself and Burnsy shat the bed quite ferociously. Hopefully Fight Night 57 in Austin will be a little better for everyone’s records. The fights kick off at 7:00 PM ET on Fight Pass, so let’s jump right into the predictions.
Important Standings of Note:
Featherweight – Juan “Fenix” Puig vs Dooho “The Korean Superboy” Choi
Jessica: Gotta go with the Korean Superboy because that sounds cool. Choi takes a first round knockout.
Burnsy: Normally, win or lose, I take the guy who has even a fight’s worth of experience over the guy making his debut, but Puig got knocked the F*CK out in the first round of his debut, so I’ll take Choi in this one.
Vince: Interesting fight here, a Mexican guy who has only fought other Latinos vs a Korean who has only fought other Asians. This is a really battle of racial supremacy here. I love Choi’s nickname, and he has the edge in having a Wikipedia page. Based on their records, Choi looks like a striker whereas Puig seems to have a lot of submission victories. I tend to favor the grappler in striker vs. grappler battles, at least with relatively inexperienced fighters. Fenix FTW.
Strawweight – “12 Gauge” Paige Van Zant vs Kailin Curran
Jessica: I remember seeing Paige fight Tecia Torres on an early Invicta card and being moderately impressed. On that basis alone, I’ll take Van Zant to win a decision.
Burnsy: Burnsy Nickname Rule Numero Uno – If it rhymes, it wins. But 12 Gauge Paige is so much better than a simple rhyme. It’s certified bad to the ass.
Vince: Curran has three decision wins against people I’ve never heard of. Van Zant has at least fought people I’ve heard of and trains at Alpha Male. Plus she came out to Fun against Torres, which I enjoy. Van Zant.
Lightweight – Yves “Thugjitsu Master” Edwards vs Akbarh “El Caballero” Arreola
Jessica: THUJITSU ALWAYS AND FOREVER! Even if it wasn’t against Yves, I still couldn’t pick in favor of Admiral Nipples. Edwards will offer him chips at the weigh in and then knock him out in the second round.
Burnsy: With all due respect to the man who could kick my ass, Akbarh Arreola sounds like a foreign porn star’s name. Edwards, on the other hand, is probably facing a pink slip, so I’m going to pick him. I don’t like to see people fired in the holiday season.
Vince: Akbarh Arreola is just an incredible name. That said, I have no idea who he is. Yves has had some losses of late, but none of them seemed like particularly bad losses. I’m taking the sentimental favorite here, Edwards.
Lightweight – James “The Texicutioner” Vick vs Nick “Sergeant” Hein
Jessica: Hein is way too stumpy, plus I love Vick’s nickname. James is going to submit Nick in the first.
Burnsy: Only 6 fights as a pro and this Vick fella marches into the UFC and wins his first two. Is he my new favorite fighter? Not yet, but I think he keeps winning.
Vince: James Vick made me a fan against Nijem. Hein is built like a shick brithouse, but he doesn’t look fast enough to get inside Vick’s reach, plus Vick seems like his chin is solid. Vick.
Middleweight – Luke “The Bigslow” Barnatt vs Roger “Silverback” Narvaez
Jessica: He may be big and slow, but Barnatt is good at fighting, especially when he throws knees. I’ll take Barnatt to TKO Narvaez in the third.
Burnsy: Barnatt had a really nice string of three victories broken against Sean Strickland in May, while Narvaez lost to Patrick Cummins in his debut. It’s a coin flip for me, but I’ll take Narvaez to win this one.
Vince: Narvaez is going to have to get inside The Big Slow’s reach if he wants to win this fight, and it’s hard for me to judge whether he can do that based on the only other fight I’ve seen him in, against Patrick Cummings, a wrestler Narvaez was surely trying not to overcommit against and get taken down. Barnatt will be the exact opposite of that. I guess I’ll take Barnatt.
Heavyweight – Ruslan “Leopard” Magomedov vs Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland
Jessica: Dagestani. Knuckle. Game. Cartel. Magomedov will punch Copeland in the face a whole lot and get a second round TKO
Burnsy: I don’t care if he’s 9-0, I’m not picking a guy who is not only making his UFC debut but is also named “Cuddly Bear.” Leopard it is.
Vince: I can’t keep these damned Dagestanis straight, so I just assume they’re all badasses. Cuddly Bear is an attractive pick, however, because he’s 1) undefeated 2) trains with the beasts at Grudge Training Center and 3) is named Cuddly Bear. Magomedov gave a lot of gnarly shots in his last fight but also took a few, which proves he can take a shot, but could also be dangerous against a monster like Copeland. Magomedov should have a reach advantage as well. I gotta go with the Dagestani.
Lightweight – “Handsome” Matt Wiman vs Isaac Vallie-Flagg
Jessica: I’m a goober for it, but I still hold a small grudge against Vallie-Flagg for beating Yves Edwards by decision a while ago. Also, considering how much I call dudes handsome, I might as well pick the guy with that as his actual nickname. Wiman submits Ike in the second.
Spilled: Wiman has been out for a while. Ike is hungry for a win and if he’s on point his pressure beats Wiman. Also Ike is my friend so of course I pick him. But I really think he’s got this fight if he doesn’t let the pressure get to him. Ike via decision or TKO via knee and strikes.
Burnsy: I have a feeling Ike is facing a pink slip here with a third straight loss, and I like him too much to see him get the boot. I like Ike.
Vince: Ahh, the baddest man with a hyphen name vs. Watt Miman, as Goldie likes to call him, this should be good. Anyway, Miman has been a gatekeeper at the highest level for as long as I can remember, but hasn’t fought since January 13. And Ike has been looking tough as hell despite a couple decision losses. I don’t know, I think Wiman is faster and has more skills, but it’s hard to know if his heart is still in it after an almost two-year hiatus for non-specific reasons. Hmm, I’m going to take Wiman anyway, don’t ask me why. I think I just hate hyphenated names.
Flyweight – Joseph “Joe B Wan Kenobi” Benavidez vs Dustin Ortiz
Jessica: Dang, I really like Ortiz, but Joe B is way better at this point. I’ll take Benavidez to use his Joe Jitsu and submit Dustin in the first.
Spilled: Ortiz is a damn good fighter but Joe B. is better. Joe B. all the way.
Burnsy: The only fighters who can and have beat Joe B. are Demetrious Johnson and Dominick Cruz. That won’t change.
Vince: Rogan keeps telling us we should love the flyweights because of their great technique. I love me some technique, but what drew me to MMA over boxing in the first place was all the finishes. I don’t need to see a dude unconscious, I just appreciate closure. Which you often don’t get in a flyweight fight, especially with Dustin Ortiz being involved in three straight split decisions. I’ll agree with the crowd here, it’s hard to beat the master of Joe Jitsu and his piano key belt. Does the piano key belt have degrees, by the way? I gotta think Joe B is at least a Billy Joel-degree piano key belt in joe jitsu.
Heavyweight – Jared “The Big Show” Rosholt vs Oleksiy “The Boa Constrictor” Oliynyk
Jessica: Can’t go wrong with Oliynyk, the King of Oplot. I’m picking him to submit Rosholt in the third, either with a no-gi Ezekial choke or that cool chest compactor he’s been using lately.
Spilled: I always lean towards the guys with a ton more experience than their opponents and that strategy seems to be right as often as it’s wrong. But fuck it. Oliynyk is a submission guy, I can see Jake shooting in for a TD and getting guillotined.
Burnsy: Normally, I would not pick the 37 year old with 58 fights under his belt by the time he made his UFC debut, which he also won. However, Oliynyk is a finishing machine and Rosholt has three UD wins in a row. Not happening this time, Big Show (stupid nickname). Oliynyk wins quick and easy.
Vince: Oh God, Jared Rosholt vs. the king of the scarf hold, I would not bet on this being Fight of the Night. Don’t worry about Oliynyk’s age, 37 is 28 in heavyweight years. Jared Rosholt is great at the old clinchf*ck, but a sambo guy like Oliynyk should be used to that, and anyway, I’m just going to take Oliynyk because that sounds like the more entertaining of possible outcomes. Also, he did look like he could bang against Anthony Hamilton, whoever the hell that is (a fighter without a Wikipedia page).
Flyweight – Brad “One Punch” Pickett vs Chico “The King” Camus
Jessica: I still don’t like that Camus has never even once gone by “The Stranger”, so I’m picking Pickett to nab a decision.
Spilled: Pickett via 2nd rd TKO. Cause.
Burnsy: Pickett is a win one, lose one kind of fighter, so if I stuck with that strategy he’d be my guy this time. I like Camus, though. He makes me look at fighting from a philosophical perspective.
Vince: F*cking flyweights, you might as well flip a coin unless Mighty Mouse is fighting. I guess I’ll take Pickett, he seems to have a slightly more impressive record, and I always appreciate his hats.
Lightweight – Bobby “King” Green vs Edson “Junior” Barboza
Jessica: This is a super tough fight for me to call. I really like both dudes, but I’ve got to give this one to Green. Barboza is super rad and he’s got several Leg Kick TKOs to his credit, which I super love, but Green’s had such a terrible run of family luck, I’ve got to give him some predictive love. Green is going to KO Barboza in the second.
Spilled: Green via 3rd round TKO. I think he out toughs and out works Barboza.
Burnsy: I can’t pick against Green’s four-fight streak. He’s in my stable of favorites. I’m now calling them Burnsy’s Brawlers. It’s Green, Gunnar Nelson, Kelvin Gastelum and some other guys I can’t remember right now. Jordan Mein, I think. Also, that model dude. Other people.
Vince: Jeez, tough to pick, these guys are almost mirror images of each other, both lanky and super quick. Barboza’s more of a striker while Green has the wrestling background. Barboza has the reach advantage. I hate to sound like the hoary old sports columnist here, but Bobby Green seems to have that indefinable quality that makes him rise to the occasion in big moments, whereas Barboza has take upsets to Varner and Cerrone. I’ll take the guy on the 8-fight win streak, Green.
Featherweight – Frankie “The Answer” Edgar vs Cub Swanson
Jessica: This is another tough fight for me to pick. I feel like I’ve been predicting Cub to lose for a long time and he keeps proving me wrong. Of course, if I finally go with him, he’ll let me down and lose to teach me about jumping on bandwagons. On the flip side, if I pick Frankie, I’ll probably get proven wrong about Cub for the tenth time in a row or something. Screw it, I’m picking Frankie Two-Times to win a decision here.
Spilled: Well it’s Frankie Edgar so, I’m gonna have to say Swanson via controversial decision.
Burnsy: I really like Cub and don’t want to see his streak end, but I think Edgar’s gonna pull this one out and get back into a title fight that he will lose.
Vince: I’ve been investing long on Cub pretty much since he fought Mackens Semerzier, which was a fantastic fight that no one talks about anymore, and it has served me well this past six-fight win streak. Cub probably has the edge in power (see his KO win over Charles Oliveira vs. Edgar’s decision win), but Edgar’s entire game is being quicker than people and picking them apart with a thousand punches. Cub Swanson is great, but I see Edgar being too quick for him.