UFC 136 Picks

I started off last week talking about how amazing it was that we were getting a free title fight. So, let me start off this week by saying how amazing it is that we are getting two title fights in one night. I know, I know, it’s happened before, but probably not one week after another title fight. Overall, we are living in a great age for MMA fans. Lets take a look at some of the other gifts we’re getting come Saturday.

Demian Maia vs Jorge Santiago

  • My Pick: Jorge Santiago
  • Reasoning: Okay, I know this seems like an odd pick to some, but hear me out. I know Maia has been working on his stand up, but honestly it is still not very good. So, then the question becomes “can Maia get Santiago down” and I really think that, although it might happen once or twice, the answer is no. I think Santiago working with the newly coined Blackzilian team, which seems to be rather heavy on wrestling help, will keep his feet, which is where his advantage lies. I imagine from there he’ll pick Maia apart and maybe land something heavy.
  • Confidence: Good

Anthony Pettis vs Jeremy Stephens

  • My Pick: Anthony Pettis
  • Reasoning: Showtime doesn’t just have an array of flashy kicks, although that is what people remember him for. He also has some good technical striking when he wants to, he’s got a great camp and he’s also slick off of his back, if he finds himself there. The only glaring weakness I see in him right now is his lack of wrestling. Seeing as Stephens isn’t about to try to grind him out like Clay Guida, I think Pettis is a safe pick here.
  • Confidence: Great

Joey Beltran vs Stipe Miocic

  • My Pick: Stipe Miocic
  • Reasoning: After UFC 135, all anybody (anybody who watched the preliminary fights, that is) could talk about was Walel “The Gazelle” Watson and for good reason. The guy dominated and showed a level of promise that’s going to make him a top prospect to keep an eye on. After UFC 136, I predict Stipe Miocic will be in that category as well. For those who don’t know him, he’s a large Croatian who knocks people out. He’s won the Golden Gloves boxing championship in addition to being pretty strong with his kicks. Follow that up with the fact that he was a division I wrestler and can dictate where the fight takes place and that spells trouble for a lot of people. Think Cro Cop, only he can make you stand and trade with him. 
  • Confidence: Great

Darren Elkins vs Tiequan Zhang

  • My Pick: Tiequan Zhang
  • Reasoning: Elkins, in all fairness, should be riding a two fight losing streak. Michihiro Omigawa, who I am not that high on to begin with, should have taken that decision from Elkins, no doubt. Tiequan on the other hand, looked stellar in his last outing. He hit a nice guillotine on a fighter who, in 23 previous fights, had only ever been submitted by Joe Lauzon. In addition to that, Tiequan also carries a win over the impressive, upcoming, featherweight, Pablo Garza.
  • Confidence: Good

Eric Schafer vs Aaron Simpson

  • My Pick: Aaron Simpson
  • Reasoning: This one is a real tough one. Simpson is a very good wrestler who’s only two loses came against Leben and Munoz (both headlining UFC 138). Schafer has had trouble in the past with wrestlers like Ryan Bader and Jason Brilz. So, easy pick right? Wrong. He just dropped down a wight class and looks stronger than ever. It’s not enough to get me to switch sides, but it is enough to worry me a bit.
  • Confidence: Fair

Steve Cantwell vs Mike Massenzio

  • My Pick: Steve Cantwell
  • Reasoning: Three straight losses never looks to good, but lets remember Cantwell for the man he was when he fought a trifecta of fights with Brian Stann. I think this drop down to middleweight will be good for him and really no part of Massenzio has ever impressed me. 
  • Confidence: Fair
Well, there you have it, the next round of picks. We’ll see if I can’t pick my record up a bit from my 75% correct level.
Happy Pickings,
Big Sexy
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