Monthly Archives: May 2012

TUF: Live Finale Picks and Yet Another Brag Session From Me

“JDS and Cain will fight a least a trio against each other for the title. They are going to be that good.”

“You’re calling that?”

“Write it down”

-Me in a conversation with my older brother- January 2nd, 2010

You don’t have to believe it, he didn’t at first either, but I said it. It may not be all the way on to the third one yet, but Cain Velasquez’s dominant performance against Bigfoot Silva clearly showed that it is JDS, Cain and the rest of the heavyweight division. He dazzled with some nasty ground and pound against Silva who is certainly not a slouch in the grappling department. So, now the question becomes, we know Cain is good, but is he good enough to get the strap back? I honestly think he is. Sure he only lasted 51 seconds with the champ, but is that really telling? Could it have been one well-landed shot and that’s it? What would have happened if Cain shot? Could he get him down? What is JDS like on his back? We can assume that he’s pretty good seeing the group he surrounds himself with. Then again, we can assume a lot of things.

For now let’s leave the assumptions to the picks for the first TUF:Live Fight Night.

John Albert vs. Erik Perez

  • My Pick: Erik Perez
  • Reasoning: He may be a replacement, but his take down defense is very strong and he has a great muay thai background. Training out of Jackson/Winklejohn doesn’t hurt either. Albert on the other hand, looked surprisingly good in his first fight and overwhelmed by some heavy competition in his second fight. Although I think Perez is a little closer to his skill level I think you’ll still see him over matched on his feet and unable to get it to go anywhere else. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Jeremy Larsen vs. Joe Proctor

  • My Pick: Joe Proctor
  • Reasoning: I got a chance to see the Joe Lauzon product live about a year ago and I was very impressed. In a 5 round bout, the guy just kept coming. He also showed that he has more that just his first name in common with his gym owner, showing some pretty slick ground work and some scrappy stand up. While I would like his chances better if he got some time back in his home gym first, I still think it’s going to be enough against Larsen. I am not discounting Larsen’s quality experience, but I don’t think it’ll be enough.
  • Confidence: Good

Cristiano Marcello vs. Sam Sicilia

  • My Pick: Cristiano Marcello
  • Reasoning: One thing is for sure, this fight will have the best walkout music with Marcello’s coming down to either The White Stripes’ 7 Nation Army or Biggie’s Big Poppa and Sicilia going with either God’s Gonna Cut You Down by Cash or Turn the Page by Seger (Vote for you choices now at: https://www.facebook.com/TUF/app_418560801512001). In addition, the match should be equally as intriguing. If the fight ever gets to the ground I think Marcello will wrap something up quickly. This guy is very skilled on the ground. Very skilled. And it may only take going there once to finish Sicilia and I think it might just wind up there.  
  • Confidence: Fair

Myles Jury vs. Chris Saunders

  • My Pick: Myles Jury
  • Reasoning: This kid is really fighting on borrowed time. The Fury has had his first and second chance taken away already and is still getting his third. Although these two gave very opposite achievement trends on the show, I am still going with Jury. He has shown he can set a good pace, even if he need a little work keeping it and he went to the brink with the odds-on favorite to win the show. Not to mention he is a big lightweight who has shown a diverse skill set that includes some solid take down defense and the aforementioned pacing. 
  • Confidence: Good

Daron Cruickshank vs. Chris Tickle

  • My Pick: Daron Cruickshank
  • Reasoning: I honestly believe that Cruickshank is the most underrated fighter on this season. Sure, we saw him get knocked out pretty hard, but when it comes down to it, this guy had a lot of chops and got beat because he telegraphed one take down. This guy has got good pace, solid wrestling and decent angles. More than enough to overwhelm the underwhelming Tickle (not to mention I am having trouble taking a fighter named Tickle serious anyways). I think he’ll be one of those guys you see who doesn’t win a season, but sticks around for some time (a.la. Krzysztof Soszynski, Tom Lawlor, Matt Brown or Rich Attonito).
  • Confidence: Great
Enjoy all of the free fights.
Happy Pickings,
Big Sexy
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UFC 146 Picks… Good day for upsets?

This particular card I am very excited about, in multiple ways. Much like all the other people waiting for this one, I’ve been especially excited to see the all heavyweight main card. Even with the shuffling, the match-ups are great. Seeing Lavar Johnson in there again is a treat, Stipe Miocic finally getting some major attention will be nice, and anybody who doesn’t love a Roy Nelson fight, whether you want him to win or lose, is crazy. However, make sure that you tune in early for this one. These prelims promise to be quite the exciting night. Not to mention, if you are one of the users who read this site for the betting advice, these prelims could make you some cash.

Mike Brown vs. Daniel Pineda

  • My Pick: Daniel Pineda
  • Reasoning: Brown has clearly lost a step or two since we saw him dominating the WEC. After dropping a match to one-dimensional grappler Rani Yahya, he lost respect in many eyes. Pineda, on the other hand, stepped in as a late replacement and dismantled Mackens Semerzier with a great mixure of effective striking and strong jiu jitsu. The scariest part: his wrestling is said to be his best skill set.
  • Confidence: Good

Kyle Kingsbury vs. Glover Teixeira

  • My Pick: Kyle Kingsbury
  • Reasoning: Teixeira has some well heralded strikes. Despite his jiu jitsu black belt, he seems to end most of his fights with his fists. However, looking at his striking, it seems to be well scripted. He likes to come in with a short left and then try to end a long powerful right and while that worked on Ricco Rodriguez, Kingsbury has a lot of speed. Also, since joining AKA he seems to have made great strides with his striking. 
  • Confidence: Good

Paul Sass vs. Jacob Volkmann

  • My Pick: Paul Sass
  • Reasoning: I’m a fan. That’s reason number one. This guy has sick submissions and can grab on to them in weird angles. That’s reason number two. Volkmann is a wrestler who may look for take downs and top control. There’s number three. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Dan Hardy vs. Duane “Bang” Ludwig

  • My Pick: Dan Hardy
  • Reasoning: This is sure to be fight of the night. Both of these guys can bang for hours and love to throw. Odds of this going to the mat are very slim.  So, assuming it stays on the feet, the only one of these two that appears to be KO-able is Ludwig, who’s been dropped 5 times to Hardy’s 1 shot from the interim champion. Throw in how desperate Hardy will be for a win and I think he comes out a little more technical with a little more cardio than before. 
  • Confidence: Good

C.B. Dollaway vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller

  • My Pick: Jason Miller
  • Reasoning: I can see him coming out the same way as he did last time out. It was shocking to see a man who had been in so many battles look absolutely out of shape. With the way Dana White insulted him and threatened his job, he’s more than likely to be back to old Mayhem and old Mayhem is much better than CB Dollaway.
  • Confidence: Good 

Edson Barboza vs. Jamie Varner

  • My Pick: Edson Barboza
  • Reasoning: I’ve always loved former WEC stars, especially Varner, but he is in way over his head on this one. The Brazilian has some ridiculous striking and great reach that he’ll undoubtedly use to keep Varner at bay. Throw in the short notice and there is very little chance Varner gets the upset here.
  • Confidence: Extreme

Diego Brandao vs. Darren Elkins

  • My Pick: Darren Elkins
  • Reasoning: One of my biggest tips is to watch for Ultimate Fighters, because they often do not live up to the hype. Brandao looked impressive in many ways, but was also almost finished in his finale fight. In this fight he will be on his back as I really do think Elkins has the wrestling and take downs to do that. Could Brandao get out of trouble with a sub like last time? Possibly. But seeing as only Charles Oliveira has subbed Elkins, it is not likely
  • Confidence: Fair

Enjoy the fights and enjoy these picks!
Happy pickings,
Big Sexy

UFC on Fuel 3: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier

Well, it’s happened once again. It seems like no matter how well things are going for him or how right the star appear to be lining up, Anthony Pettis seems to get the shaft regardless. Although it didn’t appear it could get any worse than when he was forced out of a guaranteed title shot by a fluke draw, it seems to have even worse effects this time. After kicking a rising Joe Lauzon into oblivion, it appeared that everything was all set for the potential rematch between him and now champion Benson Henderson. However, Dana White couldn’t disagree with me more. First, he honored Frankie Edgar’s request for a rematch; a ridiculous idea to me seeing as how badly he was beat back in February. Now, more recently, he’s added in that Pettis is behind Nate Diaz in line, who will now wait for the champion. Although I would agree that Diaz’s win over contender Jim Miller was a lot more impressive than Pettis’ most recent fight, this next-in-line stuff leaves Pettis without any legitimate match-up. Not a single person in Sherdog’s top 10 is free to be booked with Pettis, with the exception of Jim Miller (having lost 2 of his last 3) or Lauzon (who was recently beat by him). So, I’m sure all of you reading are wondering what my stance is; where I’m going with this. It’s simple: the UFC needs to stop naming the next in line before the dust it settled. Isn’t there enough time for a Pettis to square off with Diaz? Who wouldn’t pay to see that? Then if the main event in August happens to end in a draw, god forbid, we’ll have busy contenders.

Alright, enough of my high horse. Time for some picks.

Francisco Rivera vs. Alex Soto

  • My Pick: Francisco Rivera
  • Reasoning: Although I like the looks of the growing camp at Team Hurricane Awesome, I think Soto has a little ways to go before he’s going to make a dent in the UFC. Sure, he had some hard luck, drawing rising star Michael McDonald in his first UFC fight, but in other recent contests, he hasn’t quite looked there. Rivera, on the other hand, has shown quite the power behind his heavy right. Having only seem Soto hit hard once, I question how much of that right he’ll able able to eat.
  • Confidence: Fair

Jeff Curran vs. Johnny Eduardo

  • My Pick: Jeff Curran
  • Reasoning: With both of these guys sporting a wealth of experience, you know this match-up is going to be a good one. Although Eduardo has been fighting for what seems like forever, it’s the Big Frog who has been more tested. His resume of fights is practically a who’s who of the lighter weight divisions. Faber, Jorgensen, Brown, Hioki, Yamamoto and even Matt Serra (who he took the distance). Although he’s come out on the wrong side of most high profile match-ups, he is a game competitor with a legitimate black belt in jiu jitsu. I see him hanging in with the big blows and tiring out Eduardo.
  • Confidence: Good

Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Kamal Shalorus

  • My Pick: Kamal Shalorus
  • Reasoning: Kamal Shalorus is a world class wrestler. This guy has placed in Olympic qualifying and looked good in Abu Dhabi qualifying as well. Although I respect the last couple fights for Dos Anjos, I think he’ll spend most of his night staring at the ceiling. And even though he seems to be somewhat comfortable off his back, I doubt he’ll be able to finish someone with the strength of The Prince of Persia
  • Confidence: Good

T.J. Grant vs. Carlo Prater

  • My Pick: T.J. Grant
  • Reasoning: Grant was a decent-sized welterweight who made a drop to lightweight and instantly showed off some amazing strength. In his match with Shane Roller, who is no joke in the wrestling department, he bullied his opponent around and also showed off his slick jiu jitsu. Much like I predicted in the match above, I imagine Prater will spend a good deal of time on his back and will not likely submit the stronger opponent.
  • Confidence: Great

Brad Tavares vs. Dongi Yang

  • My Pick: Brad Tavares
  • Reasoning: Yang seems to have some major slip ups in remembering or employing a solid game plan. He showed off some good ground and pound one night, then in his next fight, tried to show off some stand-up and was widely ineffective. Should he try to show off the stand up again, he’ll likely be met with the stong hands of Tavares, who is certainly no joke on the feet.
  • Confidence: Fair

Marcus LeVesseur vs. Cody McKenzie

  • My Pick: Cody McKenzie
  • Reasoning: Honestly, the McKenztine. I’m a sucker for it. Sure, he’s lost his last few times, but the drop in competition could likely bring him back to an interview with Mr. Rogan or Anik (I can’t remember who’ll be there this time). In addition, he’s also put in a camp in the 209 with the Diaz brothers. Add in that LeVesseur is a wrestler who may just shoot for the well placed double and you can see where my honest reason comes from.
  • Confidence: Good

Enjoy the free fights.
Happy Pickings,
Big Sexy

UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs Miller Picks

Sigh.

Well, the rally for Mark Hunt is over.

Sigh.

But I do have to say, that this could not have been handled better by the UFC. The brass got together and made some picks that may not have been the most popular, but are the right moves in the end. Giving the fight to a guy, with championship experience, coming off a very impressive win over a name opponent is the right move. The congrats doesn’t stop at their smart championship move though. I’d like to extend a well-done to the way stuff got shuffled around. A lot of times when a opponent is displaced they are too worried about upsetting other fighters and won’t switch more matches around. This leads to bad mismatches or fighters being stripped from the card. Instead, we got match-ups that we want to see. Cain and Bigfoot shows some real raw power. Not to mention, if you are not excited about the grappling pedigree and potential knock out power in the Gonzaga/Nelson showdown, you’re watching the wrong sport. So touche Dana. Touche Joe Silva. Well done.

Now, on to the prelims for this weekend, which Big Sexy will be in attendance for I might add…

 

Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola

  • My Pick: Karlos Vemola
  • Reasoning: This guy is really physically strong. What is scary about this is that this will be his first time at 185. Some might say if the cut is hard it’ll zap his strength, but I think he’ll be fine. Mike Massenzio just came off of the toughest match of his life in Rousimar Palhares, which I would never hold against anyone. However, with nothing more impressive than a weak win over Steve Cantwell, Massenzio’s resume doesn’t spark confidence.
  • Confidence: Good

Roland Delorme vs. Nick Denis

  • My Pick: Nick Denis
  • Reasoning: The elbows. The rock bottom that he dropped. Liver shots. The Ninja of Love finishes and when he does, it’s explosive. Delorme has an impressive jiu jitsu game, but he’s going to have to get close enough to Denis to take some punishment. Not sure he’ll be able to handle it. 
  • Confidence: Great

Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza

  • My Pick: Pablo Garza
  • Reasoning: A very exciting finisher, The Scarecrow, has overwhelmed many opponents with some crazy stuff. Most recently, in the UFC, he hit a flying triangle and a flying knee for wins. However, he does have a history of being high risk with his grappling. Sometimes he gets just a bit sloppy and leaves something out. Bermudez needs to come hard and not let a finish get away, because he may only get one chance. However, I’ve seen him let those chances get away.
  • Confidence: Fair

Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish

  • My Pick: Danny Castillo
  • Reasoning: I respects Cholish’s grappling. Anybody who overlooks the training of John Danaher is stupid, but his ground game tends to be a lot stronger from the top than the bottom. With the wrestling prowess of Castillo, I think Cholish will be on his back for a good portion of the night. Unless he sinks something from the open guard in there, it’s going to be a long night. 
  • Confidence: Great

Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker

  • My Pick: John Lineker
  • Reasoning: I try not to fall for Ultimate Fighter picks all too often. Sometimes I can’t help it. Here was one of the times when I was seriously considering the green haired warrior from the first lighter weight season, but my better senses won out. Lineker has too much experience, not to mention a 13-fight win streak, for Gaudinot to handle. He also presses forward, almost non-stop, which I think will be a problem. 
  • Confidence:  Good

John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss

  • My Pick: Pascal Krauss
  • Reasoning: The German works the legs really well. I mean really well. He trains at Rufussport with some really deadly guys and it clearly shows in his stand up. What makes this even scarier is that his submissions are pretty impressive from the top, although I’m not sure how much time he’ll spend there. Hathaway looked good taking Diego Sanchez down and beating him up, he hasn’t really shown that same impressive streak since, dropping a lop-sided decision to Mike Pyle and splitting with Kris McCray. 
  • Confidence: Fair

John Dodson vs. Tim Elliott

  • My Pick: John Dodson
  • Reasoning: One of my biggest rules is to never pick a fighter on short notice. Elliot has had a little under a month to prepare for this fight with a guy who has shown some crazy speed and power. Not to mention that was at bantamweight. Dodson, for the first time in the UFC will be fighting at a weight where he is most comfortable and the top of the newly minted flyweight division will be watching.
  • Confidence: Extreme

Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson

  • My Pick: Tony Ferguson
  • Reasoning: Now that the carousel of opponents has stopped, we can take a look at how this fight might play out. Ferguson has shown ever improving stand up in his recent bouts. Even though I was impressed by Johnson’s ability to take the fight where he wanted to against Roller, I think if he doesn’t get the takedown immediately in this one, El Cucuy’s pace will wear him out. 
  • Confidence: Great
Certainly a great deal of possibilities for prelims to steal some “…of the night” bonuses (That is except for submission. It’s hard to doubt Rousimar when it comes to that). Regardless, sit back and enjoy these bunch.
Happy Pickings,
Big Sexy