Monthly Archives: September 2011

And the Guest Picker is…

With an impressive 8-1 Zuffa record and a wrestling accolades that include three-time Big 12 Champion, four-time All-American and two-time National Champion, Prelim Picker is proud to boast Mr. Johny Hendricks as our first guest.


Johny, who is preparing for a big fight against Jon Fitch at UFC 141, took some time out of his training schedule to send some picks our way. He has been doing a bit of traveling away from his Team Takedown camp, most recently to Stillwater, Oklahoma where he has been perfecting his wrestling on his old college stomping grounds, Oklahoma State University. I’d like to thank Johny for taking time out of his busy schedule to help us out and shed some light on these fights. Lets check out the comparison between his thoughts and mine:

Michael Johnson vs Paul Sass

Johny Hendricks: I’m taking Michael Johnson because he can pick where he wants to fight, meaning he can take him down and, if Sass tries to submit him, he can get up and strike.

Interesting pick. I agree that Johnson probably has the better wrestling, but I don’t think Sass is incompetent in that department. I’m sticking with Sass on this one.

Josh Neer vs Keith Wisniewski

How about Neer and Wisniewski? I’ve got Neer.

JH: Josh Neer wins. Although, I think it can go either way because they both have the same strengths.

Walel Watson vs Joseph Sandoval

JH: Wow, this is an even fight on paper. But I have to go with power, so I’m picking Joseph Sandoval.

Definitely a tough call. I just think Watson is just too crafty and can find ways to finish.

Shane Roller vs TJ Grant

Finally the match with the Team Takedown fighter.

JH: Shane wins. I think he’ll be able to control and keep TJ on his back.

I definitely couldn’t agree more. It should be a great night for Team Takedown and fight fans alike. I would like to thank Johny once more for taking the time out of his schedule and helping me out here. Thanks again. 


First Guest Picker!

Prelim Picker excitedly has our first Guest Picker for the upcoming fights this Saturday. Although we won’t reveal who it is at this time, we’ll drop a few friendly hints:

  • Has a teammate fighting this weekend
  • Has compiled an impressive 8-1 record in Zuffa companies
  • Has a huge fight coming up towards the end of the year that could throw him in the mix for a title shot
Think you know who it is…?

UFC on Versus 6 Picks

Let me just start this post off by saying how incredible I think it is that mixed martial arts has come so far that we are getting a live title fight on free TV. Not to mention all of the other stellar fights on. But on to the ones you won’t see on versus.

Yves Edwards vs Rafaello Oliveira

  • My Pick: Yves Edwards
  • Reasoning: Edwards has been very impressive in recent fights. Sure he dropped one to Sam Stout, but Stout, although he hasn’t knocked many out recently, definitely has some power in his hands. Not to mention there is pretty much no chance that Oliveira has the power to put Edwards down for the count. Seeing as I think Edwards is too sharp to allow Oliveira to submit him either, I think Edwards is a very safe play and would be a great option to up a parlay.
  • Confidence: Great

Michael Johnson vs Paul Sass

  • My Pick: Paul Sass
  • Reasoning: Okay, so I went against Cody McKenzie a while ago because he is essentially a one-trick pony. Now, in 11 career fights Sass has 8 Sass-angle victories and two heel hooks. However, I wouldn’t put him in the same category as the Alaskan just yet. His striking may not be great yet, but he can wrestle a bit more than Captain Morgan can. Team that with the fact that Johnson is a TUF alumni who’s only UFC win came against 2-2 Eddie Faaloloto (how did he get into the UFC anyways?) and this pick is set. 
  • Confidence: Good

Shane Roller vs TJ Grant

  • My Pick: Shane Roller
  • Reasoning: TJ Grant has obtained 75% of his wins via submission and his hands have never really been that great. He also has a weakness for fighters with solid wrestling and Judo (see Hendricks, who is Roller’s teammate, Dong Hyun-Kim and Jesse Bongfeldt). Roller recently demonstrated his stand-up power in the Tavares fight and has a wrestling pedigree that will let him dictate where the fight takes place. 
  • Confidence: Great

Josh Neer and Keith Wisniewski

  • My Pick: Josh Neer
  • Reasoning: Both of these guys have 40 plus fights in their career. Neer has the more impressive wins and I have to say, since his arrest in 2009 he has really turned his fight game around. Also, only 4 decisions in 31 wins? Pretty impressive. Wisniewski does have an impressive resume as well, just not enough to get me to give him the nod.
  • Confidence: Fair

Mike Easton vs Byron Bloodworth

  • My Pick: Mike Easton
  • Reasoning: Tough name or not Bloodworth had only a few days to prepare for this fight. Easton with the full camp is a safe pick. (Rule #2 about this to come) Not to mention he also has some wins against TUF guys from the current season.
  • Confidence: Good

Joseph Sandoval vs Walel Watson

  • My Pick: Walel Watson
  • Reasoning: The Gazelle has yet to go the distance in any of his wins and if you’ve seen any of his fights he’s got some slick submissions that seem to come out of nowhere. He also likes to throw kicks and plenty of them. Sandoval is a bit more of a grinder, I just question whether or not he’ll be able to get his hands on Watson.
  • Confidence: Good
So there it is. We’ll recap when these fights go final. Enjoy the free title fight.
Happy Pickings,
Big Sexy

Recap of UFC 135

So yet another night in the books. I think the main card was phenomenal, but once again we focus on the early fights here. The unsung warriors of MMA had another nice showing, with Big Sexy not having that bad of a night either. Winning 60% of my picks I move to 13-5 for a .722 win percentage. As always, I’d like to take a look at what I did wrong.

Takeya Mizugaki vs Cole Escovedo

-This was undoubtedly a hard one to pick. Both men hadn’t looked good recently and I went for the upset. I only was Fair with my confidence level so once again it is the unsure ones holding me back.

Junior Assuncao vs Eddie Yagin

– I have to give this to Assuncao, the guy has improved. It looks like he might make this run in the UFC a little longer. He definitely surprised me and cost me this Good confidence pick.

All in all a decent night. I’ll try to do a bit better for this weekend. Stay tuned for those picks.

However, it’s pretty important to take a peek at what I did right too. Here’s a few things I not only got right, but successfully predicted as well:

James Te Huna would expose Ricardo Romero’s chin further

-Te Huna might have more power than thought, but Romero’s chin is definitely suspect as well. And he got to have a nice look at the mat due to that.

Tony Ferguson has some legit hands

-I know that Riley has had jaw problems in the past, but Ferguson’s unorthodox offense hit him enough to break his jaw if it was made out of granite. Riley once again didn’t impress.

Boestch will be able to control Ring

-I’d say he looked pretty good. Not as solid as my other picks, but once again pretty good.

Happy Pickings,

Big Sexy

UFC 135 Picks

Well, here we are again with another edition of my picks. On this card there are a few plays that might be worth some dough, including some underdogs who might show up with some good odds when they come out.

Tony Ferguson vs Aaron Riley

  • My Pick: Tony Ferguson
  • Reasoning: Riley is a journeyman who I’ve never really been sold on. You have to love the experience he brings, but you’ve got hate his high percentage of decisions and recent losses to Shane Nelson and Ross Pearson. As for Ferguson, he seems to have legitimate hands as he showed in the Nijem fight.   Also, he’s done nothing but knock people out since he’s dropped to lightweight. Literally. He also has picked up camp with Brock and the guys at Deathclutch, so that area should be improved as well, at least defensively.
  • Confidence: Great

Tim Boestch vs Nick Ring

  • My Pick: Tim Boestch
  • Reasoning: Boestch’s drop to middleweight was probably a very wise choice. Not that he wasn’t doing well in the light heavyweight division (only losses coming to Brilz, Matyushenko, Davis and Hamill), but he is now a much larger middleweight fighter and should be able to throw some people around. Just look at the way he handled Kendall Grove. Judging by the fight with Riki Fukuda, Ring should be no exception. I’m still trying to figure out how the judges scored that one the way they did.
  • Confidence: Great

Ricardo Romero vs James Te-Huna

  • My Pick: James Te-Huna
  • Reasoning: Te-Huna put Perosh and Pokrajac to sleep with his big hand. His loss to Gustafsson definitely does not detract from his skill level. Romero, on the other hand, recently exposed how strong his chin is, tasting canvas against Kyle Kingsbury who hadn’t knocked anybody out in five years. Expect Te-Huna to throw some bombs.
  • Confidence: Good (borderlines great)

Takeya Mizugaki vs Cole Escovedo

  • My Pick: Cole Escovedo
  • Reasoning: This is probably one of those you’ll find good odds on. I’ve never really been high on either of these guys. Mizugaki, since his Zuffa debut has only taken close decisions and Escovedo has dropped three of his last four. Two of Escovedo’s losses, though rest on the increasingly impressive Michael McDonald and Renan Barao. The final decision came for me with how skilled Escovedo has the potential to be on the ground and how ugly Mizugaki was in the Faber fight. I didn’t expect him to win, but still.
  • Confidence: Fair

Junior Assuncao vs Eddie Yagin

  • My Pick: Eddie Yagin
  • Reasoning: With the exception of an unfortunate doctor stoppage, Yagin hasn’t dropped a fight since 2004 and even that was to tough vetern Rich Clementi. To put that into perspective, since that fight Assuncao has had a pretty ugly stint in the UFC that includes roll over submission losses to Kurt Pellegrino and Nate Diaz. Also, I’m still not completely over Assuncao’s poor performance at Shine 2 where he barely edged out Pete Grimes. 
  • Confidence: Good
Hope these picks help and I’ll be right back here to recap after the event.
Happy Pickings,
Big Sexy

First Event in the Books!

So, my first event has hit the books. All in all not too bad. I hit a 5-3 mark to raise my career up to 10-3 (.769) and really the fights I lost were not all that bad. Here’s a quick breakdown of what happened in my slip ups.

TJ Waldburger vs Mike Stumpf

-Okay, so this one is my major screw up. You don’t pick a guy who has had very little time to get ready. I’m confident with a full camp that Stumpf could have at least competed a little better than that, but clearly a rookie mistake on my part. Confidence level was: Fair

Matt Riddle vs Lance Benoist

-Well I broke my own #1 rule. I had a bunch of faith in a TUF alumni and it cost me. With that being said I do think he fought well and definitely did the majority of the damage. He lost and a loss is a loss, but not upset with the pick. Confidence level was: Fair

Justin Edwards vs Jorge Lopez

-Once again, not upset with this one being wrong. Lopez fought fairly well. He was well billed coming in and just didn’t live up to it. Confidence level was: Good

So, I dropped a few Fairs and one Good. Overall still pretty high with the wins and especially good with the high confidence level ones. Stay tuned for UFC 135 picks!

UFC Ultimate Fight Night 25 Picks

The Ultimate Fight Nights and Ultimate Fighter finales can be some of the hardest to gamble on. These events tend to get prelim fights filled with people making their debut or making their last case not to be fired. While this one is no different, some of the picks below can most definitely boost your parlay and help your wallet.

Seth Baczynski vs Clay Harvison

  • My Pick: Seth Baczynski
  • Reasoning: So this is one where you have to ignore Rule #1, with both of them being TUF Alumni. However, Baczynski has had some interesting fights that, despite losing, have upped my confidence in him. During the Ultimate Fighter he took future winner Court McGee to the overtime round and got DQ’ed after taking it to Brad Tavares a bit. Then in a rematch with Tavares he MAY have been robbed of a decision. Although I said to look at TUF fights with a grain of salt, we have pretty much nothing else to go by in this case, unless you count Harvison’s split decision win over Justin Edwards (to take a page out of GSP’s book “I am not impressed by that performance”). Bonus things to think about: Baczynski has finished all of his victories and trains at a solid gym, Power MMA and Fitness.
  • Confidence: Good

Mike Lullo vs Robert Peralta

  • My Pick: Robert Peralta
  • Reasoning: Although I love watching Eddie Bravo and all of his disciples, 10 Planet fighter Lullo didn’t exactly impress me against Barboza. Now, I understand that Barboza is a tough guy, but I think Peralta poses all of the same problems. Peralta has got some big heavy hands and I like him to use those to keep his winning streak alive.
  • Confidence: Great

Cody McKenzie vs Vagner Rocha

  • My Pick: Vagner Rocha
  • Reasoning: I went back and forth a few times on this one, but every time I went back to Rocha I felt more and more confident. Now I will not deny that McKenzie has a great guillotine. It’s ridiculous. However, the first decent Jiu Jitsu practitioner he ran into finished him. Rocha is a black belt under Pablo Popovitch and I have a tough time believing he’ll fall victim to McKenzie’s only out. Once again, beware of falling into TUF guys.
  • Confidence: Great

Evan Dunham vs Shamar Bailey

  • My Pick: Evan Dunham
  • Reasoning: Honestly, I’m not sure what Joe Silva was thinking. This is a blatant mismatch. Dunham tapped out Efrain Escudero and, I believe, beat Sean Sherk. What has Bailey done? Out wrestled Ryan McGillivray?  Another typical TUF guy scenario. 
  • Confidence: Extreme

Matt Riddle vs Lance Benoist

  • My Pick: Matt Riddle
  • Reasoning: As you saw with McKenzie and Bailey, I’m usually good at staying away from the TUF alumni, as I said to do in Rule #1. But after looking at this from a few different angles, I still like Riddle. All of his fights are in the UFC, so experience is an advantage. Although Benoist has got an impressive stoppage record, it isn’t that long or filled with any big names. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Ken Stone vs Donny Walker

  • My Pick: Ken Stone
  • Reasoning: Both of these guys are coming off losses that weren’t pretty. One of my deciding factors in this one is the fact that Stone faced two really tough guys in Eddie Wineland and Scotty Jorgensen. Walker on the other hand dropped a decision to Jeff Hougland. I think the drop in competition will fair well for Stone. Bonus things to think about: Stone has finished all of his wins and also trains at one of the best MMA gyms, American Top Team.
  • Confidence: Good

Daniel Roberts vs TJ Waldburger

  • My Pick: Daniel Roberts
  • Reasoning: With these two both being impressive Jiu Jitsu practitioners, odds are this fight will either be a stalemate when it gets to the ground or it’ll be a stand up war. With Waldburger’s chin being like it is, it’s hard not to pick Roberts. 
  • Confidence: Great
Mike Stumpf vs TJ Waldburger
  • My Pick: Mike Stumpf
  • Reasoning: Well with Roberts out this took a little debate. But I like the camp that Stumpf is coming from, Team Curran, and I’m still skeptical about Waldburger’s chin. I’ll still go against Waldburger, but lets knock the confidence level down a little bit.
  • Confidence: Fair

Justin Edwards vs Jorge Lopez

  • My Pick: Jorge Lopez
  • Reasoning: It’s been three and a half years since Lopez has lost a fight and Lil’ Moster lost that one by a split decision. Edwards just dropped his first UFC fight to Harvison, who I’ve already picked against for this card. 
  • Confidence: Good
That’s that for this card. Enjoy the fights on Saturday and I’ll be right here on Sunday to breakdown how I did. Feel free to share your own opinions or let me know how you did.
Happy Pickings,
Big Sexy