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