Monthly Archives: June 2012

Special Double Card Post: UFC on FX 4 and UFC 147

Very exciting to see so many fights over a two day span. A total of 14 preliminary card fights will take place this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited. Not to mention there are a lot of playable bets with very unknown fighters from the Brazil Ultimate Fighter. Although there’s a lot more that I could say here, I’ll keep it short because there are a lot of picks to get to.

UFC on FX 4

Dustin Pague vs. Ken Stone

  • My Pick: Ken Stone
  • Reasoning: The folks at Zuffa have a particularly high opinion of Stone. Giving him Wineland and Jorgensen in succession. It should be noted that he didn’t fare terrible against either of the other two. In fact, he most likely won the first round against Young Guns. Although ultimately, he was not successful in either, he clearly showed some solid skills when paired with someone a little closer to his own caliber. Pague, who takes the fight on short notice, seems like he fits into that category well. Although The Disciple has a good jiu jitsu base, with Stone’s strength and wrestling, it’s unlikely he’ll get to fight where he wants.
  • Confidence: Good

Ricardo Funch vs. Dan Miller

  • My Pick: Dan Miller
  • Reasoning: Funch is another of those guys that the UFC must think highly of. Despite being winless in three UFC fights, they still are lining him up with quality opponents. Although, he has been in there with tough guy after tough guy (Pyle, Hendricks and Patrick), and although Miller is most likely a step down, I think the UFC put him in a match he can’t win. Funch’s only out seems to be his jiu jitsu black belt. His stand up seems clunky, at best, and that includes his take downs and positioning. So, here he gets paired with a black belt he won’t be able to submit. Not good. 
  • Confidence: Extreme

Chis Camozzi vs. Nick Catone

  • My Pick: Nick Catone
  • Reasoning: Having been out for so long, I think a lot of people have forgot the kind of run that Nick Catone was on, so let’s recap. After losing a split decision to future top five middleweight Mark Munoz, he has won two in a row. One of those wins was an impressive clean sweep of the judge’s scorecards over Constantinos Philippou, who is currently running over everyone in his path as well. The former division 1 wrestler and Pablo Popovich brown belt has since ran into many problems, the most notably a tear of his Achilles, that has kept him out of the cage for over a year. Although I expect him to have some problems with the much bigger Camozzi, I still expect him to come back in shape and slowly get back into form.
  • Confidence: Fair

Matt Brown vs. Luis Ramos

  • My Pick: Matt Brown
  • Reasoning: I’ve probably gotten more Matt Brown fights wrong than any other fighter. That being said, he looked very impressive being able to neutralize Stephen Thompson’s striking last time out with solid counter wrestling. The last time that Ramos fought a guy with solid grappling and decent take downs was Roan Carneiro (although arguably I haven’t really seen Erik Silva’s) and he gave him fits with his take downs. I think Matt Brown’s are a lot better and as I said before, he is also a solid counter grappler, which could make this even harder for Ramos. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Joey Gambino vs. Steven Siler

  • My Pick: Steven Siler
  • Reasoning: I became a Siler believer when he bodied Cole Miller around and used his reach to take advantage of the taller Miller. Gambino is a much shorter featherweight, who could have trouble with this. In addition, he is also working off of only a month of preparing for a guy who was scheduled to get a crack at fast rising prospect Jimy Hettes. 
  • Confidence: Great

Brock Jardine vs. Rick Story

  • My Pick: Rick Story
  • Reasoning: I put Rick Story up there with some of the most underrated guys in the division. Sure, he slipped up twice, but this is a guy who used out Johny Hendrick’ed Johny Hendricks. This is a guy who took it to Thiago Alves on the feet and pushed forward for three rounds. This is not a guy who is going to drop a fight to Brock Jardine (who is the third choice for the fight). Look for the return of that relentless style and the return of Story to the win column.
  • Confidence: Good

C.J. Keith vs. Ramsey Nijem

  • My Pick: C.J. Keith
  • Reasoning: I think this guy could be a rising star in the promotion soon. He has great use of angles to cut down the cage and a very solid muay thai clinch. His stance and distance will definitely give Nijem some fits. I’m still not quite sure what Nijem’s game plan ever is. Is he a wrestler? Is he a sprawler/brawler? If he is smart he’ll try to get this to the ground, but I doubt he’ll get close enough. 
  • Confidence: Good

Hatsu Hioki vs. Ricardo Lamas

  • My Pick: Ricardo Lamas
  • Reasoning: This fight boils down to which Hatsu Hioki shows up. After being one of the guys calling Hioki undeserving of his ranking after, in my opinion, losing to George Roop, he earned my respect by beating up Bart Palaszewski. So, how do you decide whether or not Hioki will show up? I think it boils down to where the fight is. In his only Western hemisphere in five years, he looked sluggish. Although he could afford that a bit against someone like Roop (barely albeit), he can’t against someone like Lamas, who is able to threaten you in just about every way.
  • Confidence: Fair
UFC 147

Felipe Arantes vs. Milton Vieira

  • My Pick: Felipe Arantes
  • Reasoning: This match-up is one of the most intriguing on the card. I think that Vieira is an incomplete fighter in that he doesn’t seem to have the stand-up to hurt anybody or win a fight. Yet, his ground game is one of the most complete. This fight will be decided by whether or not Arantes can get his muay thai going. If he opens by trying to cut the legs down, I think he’ll make it hard for Vieira to complete his game plan. If not, this could be a long night for him.
  • Confidence: Fair

Marcos Vinicius “Vina” Borges Pancini vs. Wagner “Galeto” Campos

  • My Pick: Marcos Vinicius “Vina” Borges Pancini
  • Reasoning: Although Campos has solid striking, I think he is outmatched on the feet here. Very few of these fights are fights that I think you’ll see back and forth on the feet, but this is one of them. Pancini seems to go in most of the time, with no fear, pushing forward and making his opponent uncomfortable. As long as that Pancini comes, it’ll be his fight.
  • Confidence: Great

Leonardo “Macarrao” Mafra Teixeira vs. Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo

  • My Pick: Leonardo “Macarrao” Mafra Teixeira
  • Reasoning: Perpetuo throws everything he has with really cruel intentions. He is also a very thick middleweight, which helps keep him off his back.  If Macarrao abandons the idea of getting the fight to the ground and instead focuses how he could use his athleticism and quickness to take Perpetuo on the feet, he should be fine. The only time he could get in trouble is when his hands drop away from his face ready for a take down.
  • Confidence: Good

John “Macapa” Teixeira vs. Hugo “Wolverine” Viana

  • My Pick: John “Macapa” Teixeira
  • Reasoning: Macapa seems to have a very wild style. In the fights of his that I have seen, he swings with little defense and seems to leave himself open to a technical striker. However, Hugo Wolverine is not that type of fighter and he has already had problems with somebody who has had a similar style to Macapa. When he took on Rony Jason, Jason used that strategy and it seemed to make Viana uncomfortable. You may just see that again here.
  • Confidence: Good

Francisco “Massaranduba” Drinaldo vs. Delson “Pe de Chumbo” Heleno

  • My Pick:  Delson “Pe de Chumbo” Heleno
  • Reasoning: If you were an IFL fan like I was, you were probably very excited to see Heleno’s name on the list for this year’s Ultimate Fighter Brazil. The man who fought for their title and gave us amazing fights tapping out quality veterans like Jake Ellenberger and breaking Gideon Ray’s arm. Overall, I think his experience is just going to be too much for Drinaldo.
  • Confidence: Good

Rodrigo Damm vs. Anistavio “Gasparzinho” Medeiros

  • My Pick: Anistavio “Gasparzinho” Medeiros
  • Reasoning: Damm has had a very rough patch recently against some good fighters. However, unlike others who have dropped fights to people who are just plain more skilled than them, Damm has done it in a poor way. He constantly goes out and looks inconsistent in what he wants to accomplish. He also has issues with circling into the power hand. While Medeiros hasn’t ever knocked anybody out, continuing to do this could cost Damm points, energy and a match. Also, I feel that it is telling of the type of fighter he is.
  • Confidence: Good

Happy Pickings,
Big Sexy
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UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall Picks

Well, it’s official, I’m sick of the UFC letting champs, interim champs and next-in-lines wait for the fight that they want. This is silly. What I have always loved about the UFC over boxing is that when you have the top two fighters free, they fight. Boxing has to make sure the managers agree, the revenue sharing is right and then we wait three years to see one of them thrown in jail (sure, specific case, but you catch my drift). The UFC is slowly slipping in that direction, albeit in a different way. We see Carlos Condit saying he’s going to wait for their shot while the champ heals for 8 months. Meanwhile, there are two great rematches in the making of close fights waiting on the doorstep, Rory MacDonald and Martin Kampmann, one of which has beat him. Then, if it’s not bad enough, these two can’t even fight each other because there is yet another worthy contender waiting for a crack at him in Johny Hendricks and one of them will undoubtedly have to fight him. Now, I don’t blame Condit in any way. After all, where is he going to get the biggest payday? Interim title fight against Martin Kampmann or world title unification with a man he’s been in camps around, Georges St. Pierre? His choice is obvious. Who I am blaming in this situation is the UFC administration. This company has done really well for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is that no matter what you get to see the two best duke it out. So, Dana, make them duke it out.

Well, on the subject of duking it out, lets enjoy some of these solid prelim fights, which may just contain my 100th win.

Jake Hecht vs. Sean Pierson

  • My Pick: Jake Hecht
  • Reasoning: Although his take down defense looked good the couple times Ellenberger tried to put him on his back, we saw some weaknesses in it against Kim. He throws a decent jab to keep wrestlers at bay, which may be his only chance to stay off his back against Hecht. Hecht dropped a submission loss to TJ Waldburger, but Waldburger has a better jiu jitsu base than Pierson seems to. I’d say that Hecht isn’t in too much danger as long as he’s on top.
  • Confidence: Fair

Bernardo Magalhaes vs. Henry Martinez

  • My Pick: Henry Martinez
  • Reasoning: Martinez had a great last run out. Sure he lost a split to up and down TUF alumnus Matt Riddle, but he showed off that he is a warrior and can take punches with the best of them. Magalhaes got the raw end of Tim Means’ stand up game which is, quite frankly, not as hard or voluminous. I think he’ll get the raw end of this one too. 
  • Confidence: Good

Caio Magalhaes vs. Buddy Roberts

  • My Pick: Buddy Roberts
  • Reasoning: Roberts has shown off some good ground ‘n pound in his career, but the recent switch to Jackson/Winklejohn has made him much more rounded. He’s shown off some powerful leg kicks and some other stand up weapons. Hellboy has some good jiu jitsu, after all who doesn’t at Nova Uniao, but he seems a little one dimensional. He also seems to fight with his hands a little low, which doesn’t seem to make sense with a guy who is semi-comfortable off his back.
  • Confidence: Great

Tim Means vs. Justin Salas

  • My Pick: Tim Means
  • Reasoning: I’ll say the same thing as I did last time I predicted a Dirty Bird fight. He’s got some good technical striking that seems to keep grapplers and brawlers both at bay. Plus, he’s got good knees that have a way of showing up when someone gets antsy and shoots. That could be the story for Salas, who is likely to get frustrated with the enormous length difference.
  • Confidence: Great

Dustin Pague vs. Jared Papazian

  • My Pick: Jared Papazian
  • Reasoning: Neither exactly dazzled in their first fight in the UFC. However, Papazian seemed to fall victim to an opponent who was plenty proficient in his weakness, whereas Pague just seemed underwhelming. His takedowns mostly likely won’t get the Jackhammer down and his striking seems to be behind Papazian’s muay thai. I liked Pague a lot on the Ultimate Fighter, but he doesn’t seem to have the staying power.
  • Confidence: Good

Seth Baczynski vs. Lance Benoist

  • My Pick: Seth Baczynski
  • Reasoning: Quite frankly, I thought we’d see a step up in competition for The Polish Pistola after he beat Matt Brown (which messed up my near perfect full card parlay at UFC 139, 11-12). However, here we have him with another fighter who brawled it out with Matt Riddle. Baczynski is much more disciplined than either Riddle or Benoist and will likely punish the latter if he tries to replicate that fight.  
  • Confidence: Great

Mike Pierce vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha

  • My Pick: Carlos Eduardo Rocha
  • Reasoning: In addition to having some great wrestling, which he uses very effectively, Pierce has also shown a lot of heart in some tough battles. Sure, we can’t see a statistic for that, but he’s gone toe-to-toe with two of the toughest guys in the division, Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck. However, this is a fight Pierce may not want on the ground. Rocha’s ground game is deadly and he’s strong to back in up. Have you ever seen anybody throw Jake Ellenberger around by his forearm before? Me either.
  • Confidence: Fair

Leonard Garcia vs. Matt Grice

  • My Pick: Leonard Garcia
  • Reasoning: I had to fight off the urge to put “Fireworks” in the “My Pick:” section. This fight, along with every other Leonard Garcia fight is sure to produce some explosive striking. Bad Boy always brings it and comes forward relentlessly. He also has a way of tricking his opponents into doing the same. Sure those fights can go either way, but come on, it’s Leonard Garcia.
  • Confidence: Good

Cross your fingers for 100 to come on this card.
Happy pickings,
Big Sexy