Hey fight fans, we are at the final UFC event of the year, which means the final set of predictions for 2015. UFC on Fox 17 will feature 13 fights, starting with early prelims on Fight Pass at 3:30 p.m. EST.
Jessica: 550-378-7 (59 percent)
Burnsy: 546-348-7 (61 percent)
Vince: 240-161-2 (60 percent)
Ryan: 10-5-1 (66 percent)
Danny: 161-77-1 (67 percent)
Spilled: 93-75-2 (55 percent)
Sydnie: 16-12 (57 percent)
Chris: 46-18-2 (71 percent)
NY Ric: 36-26-1 (57 percent)
Ghost: 6-7 (46 percent)
Seth: 32-15 (68 percent)
Biss: 41-39-1 (51 percent)
Jared: 120-65-1 (65 percent)
Melanie: 44-23 (66 percent)
Fake Mike Goldberg: 21-16 (57 percent)
Heavyweight — Luis Henrique “KLB” vs Francis Ngannou
Jessica: I don’t know a dang thing about these two, but a quick look at their records shows that Henrique lost to Sultan Aliev, who’s a welterweight. That doesn’t sound good. I’ll take Ngannou to win by second round KO.
Burnsy: Ngannou… notgonnoo… notgonna… not gonna win this fight. I have no clue who these guys are so I’ll pick against Jessica since this is for ALL THE MARBLES!
Welterweight — Hayder “Hulk” Hassan vs Vicente “The Silent Assassin” Luque
Jessica: Hassan beat Luque on TUF, but nobody watches TUF, so this is almost like a brand-new, never-seen-before fight. Hayder punches pretty hard, and most people aren’t great at taking hard punches to the face. Hassan wins by TKO in the third.
Burnsy: I’ll give this one to Luque because it’s fun when a fighter gets revenge. Then they’ll fight for a third time and maybe I’ll remember their names and faces.
Welterweight – Leon “Rocky” Edwards vs Kamaru “Nigerian Nightmare” Usman
Jessica: I gotta go with El Hijo de Yves here. Edwards is too good for Usman. Leon TKOs Usman in the second.
Burnsy: Is he Themman? No he’s Usman. I gotta pick the Nigerian Nightmare for his inclusive and friendly last name, even if I’m probably pronouncing it wrong.
Featherweight — Cole “Magrinho” Miller vs Jim “The Beast” Alers
Jessica: Remember when Cole Miller was saying he’d be the guy to defeat McGregor? What if he secretly was due to style and reach and whatnot, but simply couldn’t beat the guys in front of him, so he couldn’t chase Conor up the rankings? Alers isn’t bad, but I think Cole’s reach is going to be too much. Miller keeps Jim from closing the distance, gets him hurt and grabs a third-round submission.
Burnsy: Alers is the hometown guy in this event (since I refuse to fight and risk my all-time perfect record of 0-0) so I am required by law of The City Beautiful to pick him. Although, I am kinda mad at him. I was supposed to shadow him for a week to learn what it’s like for a fighter to prepare, but apparently he’s so focused that he forgot to respond. And I’m afraid of him so I didn’t bother him about it. That said, I wanted to pitch him on a new nickname: “The City Brutiful.” He’d have said yes. Also, fun fact: Alers was once slated to fight Conor McGregor in CWFC but the new champ was injured so it never happened. I don’t know where I’m going with this, because I DIDN’T GET TO ASK HIM. *grump, grump, grump*
Lightweight — Nik “The Carny” Lentz vs Danny “Last Call” Castillo
Jessica: Wrassle-dudes collide! I think Team Alpha Male will continue to crumble without solid leadership from a grownup. Lentz is grindy and gritty and whatnot, but he does need to avoid Danny’s power punches. I’m taking Nik Lentz to win a decision and then take selfies with his adorable corgi.
Burnsy: Castillo has lost four of his last five, including three in a row, so this is pink slip time. Lentz hasn’t been so hot either, dropping two of his last three. To Castillo’s credit, two of those last three losses have been splits, one of which was against my man, the red hot “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson. Castillo gets his act together and wins this one.
Middleweight — Josh “Anqa” Samman vs Tamdan “The Barncat” McCrory
Jessica: BARN CAT, YO! Samman’s not bad, and some of the stuff of his that I’ve read is good, but I’ve been a Barn Cat fan since way back. Samman’s going away worse than McCrory’s hairline. Tamdan wins by second round TKO.
Burnsy: McCrory’s back in the UFC after a successful 2-0 stint in Bellator, but Samman is my man. He’s 3-0 since joining the UFC and each of his fights has been exciting and ended in a finish. Also, dude fought in something called “Moon Management — Ubersmash” before coming to the UFC. Did he fight on the moon? I think he fought on the moon. Moon fighters always win.
Bantamweight — Sarah Kaufman vs Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko
Jessica: I don’t know anything about Shevchenko, but she looks to have beaten a lot of scrub fighters. Kaufman is a known commodity, so I’m taking her to win a jabby decision.
Burnsy: Kaufman still has a lot of work to do to make me think she’s ready to join the next level of bantamweights and get into the new, post-Rousey title conversation. That starts with a win here. She gets a very hesitant backing from me, and hopefully that gets her moving in the right direction.
Middleweight — CB “The Doberman” Dollaway vs Nate “The Great” Marquardt
Jessica: Oh god, fart-face Clarence Byron versus a Nate “Clearly Past the Sell-By Date” Marquardt. My heart is rebelling, but my brain is saying pick Dollaway (This will mean Nate goes sick house on Clarence, making me look super dumb), so ughhh, I guess I’ll take Clarence Byron to submit Marquardt in the second.
Burnsy: I hate this fight, everything about it. Look, Marquardt needs to hang it up already. His fight against Kelvin Gastelum was too hard to watch. He’s lost five of his last six and four of five since returning to the UFC in 2013. I have nothing against the guy, which is why I want to see him live a little longer. Dollaway isn’t exactly a threat to beat him, though. Dude lost to Mike Bisping in April, and thanks to that the Count will still be mentioned as a seat filler if a top contender needs an opponent. I’m gonna pick Marquardt to go out on a high note. Won’t happen, but I figure I can be positive.
Featherweight — Myles “Fury” Jury vs Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira
Jessica: Sorry, Myles. I don’t care how good you were previously to the fight, or how realistically overmatched you were, you can’t just bounce back from literally getting your ass kicked live on pay-per-view. It’s going to take a slew of wins to cloud that memory. Oliveira is going to nab a super cool submission in the ehhh, let’s say second round.
Burnsy: This is a great fight. Both guys are coming off losses to arguably the hottest fighters in the UFC not named McGregor. Jury’s only career loss came to Cowboy Cerrone almost a year ago, while Do Bronx suffered an esophagus injury against Max Holloway, who might actually be a heavenly being. I think both Jury and Oliveira are great fighters, but the latter is a submission artist and usually ends his fights with a masterpiece. Do Bronx wins it.
Strawweight – Randa “Quiet Storm” Markos vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Jessica: Karolina beat my girl Mizuki Inoue recently, so I’m holding a bit of a grudge. I liked Markos on TUF, and I hope she gets a chance to beat up Carla Esparza down the line. I don’t know if Markos will be able to deal with Karolina’s kickboxery, but I’m going to go with my dumb ol’ heart and say that Randa gets the fight to the ground and snags a third round submission.
Burnsy: Markos has two UFC fights (1-1) under her belt, while Kowalabear comes to us undefeated from KSW, where she earned a couple split decisions and finished three fights. This is a coin flip for me, but I’ll take Kowalabear to win her UFC debut.
Lightweight — Michael “The Menace” Johnson vs Nate Diaz
Jessica: What the heck has been going on with Nate Diaz lately? He looked bad, came in over weight, and got blown out of the water. Johnson has been fighting really well, and I honestly forgot about his razor-thin loss to Dariush, so for a second I figured he was still fresh off the Barboza win. I don’t trust any Diaz to do well against a strong wrestler that can actually get in close enough for takedowns. Johnson has good hands, but I don’t think he’s fallen in love with them enough to completely abandon the ground game. Expect a lot of takedowns from The Menace, some half-hearted sub attempts out of Diaz, and then complaints about being held down the entire time. Johnson takes a decision.
Burnsy: I know I’m in the minority here, but in 2016 can we let the Diaz brothers go do something else with their lives? Yes, Nick’s suspension is BS, but their antics have never been charming or even funny to me, especially considering how disappointing they are for all of the sh*t they talk. Johnson’s going to win this because Nate will give up shortly after the fight starts, but he’ll act like he’s totally in charge of the fight. When it’s over he’ll blame the UFC for lousy pay and proclaim that he’ll never fight again. Then, in six months, he’ll want money and sign a short contract with the promise that he’ll still be Top 10.
Heavyweight — Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos vs Alistair “The Reem” Overeem
Jessica: BEEF BOYZ! Both of these dudes hit pretty friggin hard, but Overeem has an extremely suspect chin. I think Junior just lands a megaton blast on Reem’s jaw and puts him into a deep slumber. JDS wins by first round KO.
Burnsy: This is a contract fight for Overeem. He’s done after this one, so does he show up with everything he has to convince the UFC he deserves to come back and finally contend in the UFC’s worst division? Or does he come in, flash a few smiles, and then underwhelm his way to a quick KO and gallop into the Bellator sunrise? I think he steps up and lives to disappoint for another two years. Overeem in a really boring one.
Lightweight Title — Rafael dos Anjos vs Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone
Jessica: Well, I’ve gotten the last three title fight predictions dead wrong, so I’m nervous here. I love me the heck out of some DONALD COWBOY SUH-ROH-NAY, but Ralph Two Butts put in some work on him. Cowboy has been on an absolute tear, though, and we haven’t seen RDA since these new testing procedures and IV bans have been put in place. I’m not saying he is or was on anything, I’m just observing. Ehh, fuck it, I’ll throw in with my big dumb heart again. Cowboy will put on his best performance ever and land a ton of shots to RDA’s Frankensteinian monster head, get him hurt, and keep pouring it on. Cowboy gets him some title by third round TKO.
Burnsy: Yeah, me and title picks have been awful this year, too. Granted, the only people who picked Rousey’s demise accurately (even though I nailed the premise of why she’d lose) are people who threw poop at a wall and wanted to buck the trend so they could shout, “Told ya!” Aldo/McGregor was a case of respecting the guy who hadn’t lost in 10 years against a guy who hadn’t really fought anyone on his escalator to the top. And Rockhold/Weidman was a coin flip. This fight, though, is really about one man who has been putting on a masterclass. Cerrone has basically said, “Look, I want the title, so I’ll fight anyone at any time” and he has done it. Four fights in 2014 and this will be his fourth fight in 2015. He’s won eight in a row, finishing five of those fights in the second round or earlier, and the only time he got lucky was in Orlando against Edson Barboza. His last loss? dos Anjos in 2013. RDA has only fought five times since then, including a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. I think Cowboy is hungrier and more prepared this time around, and he has more momentum than just about any fighter on Earth heading into this one. I will be shocked if Cowboy loses. (Which is what I said about Aldo, Weidman and Rousey.)
Performance of the Night
Jessica: JDS, Oliveira
Burnsy: Cowboy, Overeem (I’ll regret that, but it’s fun to guess)
Fight of the Night
Jessica: Markos vs Kowalkiewicz
Burnsy: Jury vs Oliveira