After the long UFC hiatus, PrelimPicker is back in action. Let’s hope the time away didn’t cool off the hot streak that PrelimPicker was on, 27-7. A lot of big things have shaken up the MMA world since then, but nothing bigger that the most recent news piece. Alistair Overeem has tested for high levels of testosterone effectively blasting apart what could have been the best main card in history. A lot of people have different ideas. Some say to bring in Mir, move Bigfoot up to fight Cain and bring in a replacement for Big Country. Others are saying Werdum could fill the void. However, if you are a Tweeter, it is unlikely that the biggest push has passed you by. An idea that some call foolish, some call brilliant and some call inspiring. That idea is Mark Hunt.
Now, at first I was with a lot of the naysayers. Hunt only recently cracked the .500 mark and when you see Samoan’s figure, “athlete” isn’t exactly the first word that comes to your head. However, since shooting down friend after friend who came up to me with the idea, I’ve fallen for it. Much like any sports fan, I have a soft spot for the underdog. Hunt, who is known to many as one of the greatest strikers in the sport, is as big of an underdog as their is and I, for one, would love to give the 38 year old a shot. After all, who else is going to stand and trade with Dos Santos? And even if he gets knocked out, I guarantee he comes with fight.
Enough about that debatable topic. I’m sure we’ll hear from the boss-man soon enough. Let’s check out the upcoming prelim action.
Jason Young vs. Eric Wisely
- My Pick: Eric Wisely
- Reasoning: It’s no large secret, Wisely got outclassed in his last fight. All that anybody remembers from that fight, is the nasty slicer that Wisely got caught in. However, in the short time they were on their feet as well as in his other recent matches, you can see he’s got some decent stand up. In addition to that, he’s very strong for a featherweight. Young, meanwhile, recently got pushed around a bit by Omigawa. Although I think he will have a chance if this turns into a slugfest, I think Wisely is smarter than that (no pun intended).
- Confidence: Fair
Simeon Thoresen vs. Besam Yousef
- My Pick: Simeon Thoresen
- Reasoning: The story that follows the Norwegian is that he was embarrassed in a training session at a young age. Somebody really showed him up grappling one day and he vowed to never let that happen again. If you’ve seen any of his matches, you’d be pretty sure that he’s done pretty well. Training under noted grappler Joachim Hansen in Oslo, Thoresen has developed his ground game into something to be feared, finishing 12 of his 14 wins on the ground. Although Yousef has a decent grappling base himself, he has much less experience and his opponents are much less impressive that The Grin’s, who has beaten the likes John Maguire and often over-looked Manuel Garcia.
- Confidence: Good
Yoislandy Izquierdo vs. Reza Madadi
- My Pick: Reza Medadi
- Reasoning: In his short, 6-fight career, Izquierdo has shown flashes of being strong on the feet. However, his lack of experience has made him terribly impatient and risky. Although he has gotten away with this in the past, this is clearly a big step up in competition levels for the Cuban. The exact opposite argument could be made for Medadi. He plays a very safe, yet technical game with very sound wrestling. He also holds victories over some very notable opponents such as UFC alumni Junie Browning, Carlo Prater and Rich Clementi.
- Confidence: Great
Francis Carmont vs. Magnus Cedenblad
- My Pick: Francis Carmont
- Reasoning: Carmont is a finisher by nature. With 14 of his 17 wins coming via stoppage, the real interest comes with the fact that those 14 are nearly a perfect 50/50 split between KOs and submissions. Not to mention his recent manhandling of a very game Chris Camozzi. Cedenblad does have a number of finishes himself, but also hasn’t necessarily looked impressive in them all. Several times it has looked as if he was getting beat only to see him catch somebody for a TKO. With that being said, you always have to watch for the puncher’s chance.
- Confidence: Good
Cyrille Diabate vs. Tom DeBlass
- My Pick: Cyrille Diabate
- Reasoning: Diabate is a really tough guy with a solid kickboxing background. Although originally I was very intrigued in his match-up with Jorgen Kruth, the late replacement of a much less skill fighter should make this a quick, easy and painless night for the much more experienced Snake.
- Confidence: Extreme
Papy Abedi vs. James Head
- My Pick: Papy Abedi
- Reasoning: Hands down, there has never been a bigger welterweight that Abedi. This man dwarfed Thiago Alves in their fight and wasn’t really to scared of him either. Now, although it is never a good idea to pick off of size, the Congolese fighter has a very impressive Judo background and a purple belt in jiu-jitsu. When you add in that Nick Ring was able to get Head down and submit him, it’s hard to believe that a talented Judo practitioner wouldn’t do the same.
- Confidence: Good