UFC 152 Picks: A Lot Has Gone Down

As my usual readers know, I usually make write a quick commentary on the current state or a vital issue in MMA. Sometimes it’s something rather small; other times it involves something much longer. I was originally planning on doing the same before thee picks. However, it seems that there has just been so much to talk about and I’m not sure I can keep it short and to the point as it usually is before the picks. So, what I will do instead is invite you to read my short article that I have added to the site after you are done with the picks. WAIT, don’t go now! Enjoy the picks first, then click on the home page tab up on the top of this page and check out my next post.

Charlie Brenneman vs. Kyle Noke

  • My Pick: Charlie Brenneman
  • Reasoning: Like his fight style or not, The Spaniard is effective. His wrestling is great and he can be like an old sweat gym mat on top of his opponents. Also, the losses he’s been handed are nothing to be ashamed of. Johny Hendricks is at the top of the division, Erick Silva is on his way there and Anthony Johnson is now a 205’er. It seems that the only ways that Brenneman can be beat is to stop his wrestling with size and good wrestling and/or have dazzling striking. Former Crocodile Hunter body guard Noke is as tough as nails. He’s rarely ever stopped and can take quite the beating while still coming forward. However,  he’s doesn’t really have either of the things mentioned above and taking lots of strikes might not be the kind of enduring he needs.
  • Confidence: Great

Mitch Gagnon vs. Walel Watson

  • My Pick: Walel Watson
  • Reasoning: Friend of the site, Walel Watson has really shown off a great striking game. After losing a split decision to Yves Jabouin, which I had scored for Watson, his wrestling was really exposed. TJ Dillashaw brought him to where he needed the fight and didn’t let him up. Although Gagnon would like nothing more than to do the same to Watson, his wrestling is much lower than Dillashaw’s. In addition, Watson’s 7 month hiatus from the fight game is likely to produce a much more solid takedown defense.
  • Confidence: Fair

Seth Baczynski vs. Simeon Thoresen

  • My Pick: Simeon Thoresen
  • Reasoning: Baczynski is a large step up in competition for Thoresen, who enters the contest having only one other UFC fight (against Besam Yousef). However, what usually impresses me about The Polish Pistola the most is that his submission game is sound. Tapping out Matt Brown is not an easy feat. I guarentee he has never been matched with somebody who has a ground game like Thoresen. If Baczynski keeps the fight standing there is a chance he wins this, but I think it will likely become a submission grappling match. If that is the case, Thoresen’s submissions are dangerous and Baczynski may find out the hard way.
  • Confidence: Fair

Marcus Brimage vs. Jim Hettes

  • My Pick: Jim Hettes
  • Reasoning: It seems like every fan in the universe is high on Jimy Hettes. I, admittedly, am one of those MMA fans. The way that Hettes showed off his beautiful blend of judo and jiu jitsu in dismantling Nah Phan convince me that this guy is in for big things. However, it should be noted that he will not throw the much larger Brimage around so easily. In addition to a size difference, he is also training at noted grappling holy grounds in Coconut Creek, Florida. Still, if Brimage uses that size to decide where the fight takes place, I can’t envision a situation where he beats Hettes. 
  • Confidence: Great

Lance Benoist vs. Sean Pierson

  • My Pick: Sean Pierson
  • Reasoning: This is a match that I’m officially using the sleeper status with for fight of the night. They are, most likely, the two least know fighters on the card tonight, but their bouts with Matt Riddle produced matching fight of the night action. Both are comfortable standing and putting on a good show even if that isn’t their strongest way. In the end, I think what clinches it for Pierson is the experience he holds over Benoist. He’ll know when to steal a point here and capitalize on a mistake there. Overall, he is the smarter fighter in this battle.
  • Confidence: Good

Evan Dunham vs. T.J. Grant

  • My Pick: Evan Dunham
  • Reasoning: T.J. Grant is another of those imposing wrestlers. He does not fit the unflattering stereotype of wrestlers in MMA who look for the decision. He is always on top looking for submissions and has quite a good game. Dunham has proven without a shadow of a doubt that he can defend himself against bigger, stronger wrestlers. Ask Lentz and Tyson Griffin. Also, while you at it, ask Sean Sherk, because (and not that I’m complaining, you’ll find I’m not a fan on that in my other article) I had Dunham beating him too. Dunham will find a way to neutralize the wrestling to impose his game yet again.
  • Confidence: Good

Vinny Magalhaes vs. Igor Pokrajac

  • My Pick: Vinny Magalhaes
  • Reasoning: Pokrajac is another of those guys who, like Noke, is as tough as nails. His fight with Fabio Maldonado showed off how much punishment he could take as well as how much he could dish out. Yet, also like Noke, he is in the face of a different beast on this occasion. After having a less than thrilling first run in the UFC, Magalhaes went back to the drawing board where he really worked on his gaps. Since then his wrestling looks better, his striking looks much better and really, how far did his grappling have to go. I think knowing he’s on his second chance, which is often fighters’ last, has made him hungry. Plus, how can you pick a guy who tried to sell Vadim Finklestein’s precious M-1 title?
  • Confidence: Good

That’s it, you made it through my picks despite all of the build up around that article that you really wanted to read. I give you permission to go read that now. Really, there’s nothing more you can really get from this page, plus it’ll be here if you need to come back later.

Happy Pickings,

Big Sexy

P.S. See, it’s still here.

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