UFC on FX: Browne vs Bigfoot Picks

Lots of talk recently about where Stefan Struve should be ranked. People have so far complained that he needs a few more before they should test him with a top 5 guy. They cite his young age and the fact that time is on his side. However, what I fail to see is what guy to put in front of him if not a top 5 guy. Assuming the top 5 is Cain, Mir, Werdum, Overeem and Cormier (taking JDS out of the equation), who outside of this picture do you propose? The winner of tonight’s main event would only work if it happens to be Bigfoot as Browne and Struve have already fought. The same goes for the Ultimate Fighter finale. So, both of the potential match ups could be spoiled. Why not test his go with Werdum? See if his stand up can improve. If not, as was already pointed out, he’s young and will recover.

Just my thoughts. See more of them below.

Mike Pierce vs. Aaron Simpson

  • My Pick: Aaron Simpson
  • Reasoning: Both of these guys should completely cancel each other out in the grappling department. And, although Pierce has a large backing due to the Koscheck fight, I like Aaron Simpson’s chances if it stays on the feet. Expect Pierce to hold his own, seeing as he always does, but all of his loses are to guys who can at the very least equal out his grappling. I think that’s a category that Simpson will fit in to.
  • Confidence: Fair

Marcus LeVesseur vs. Carlo Prater

  • My Pick: Marcus LeVesseur
  • Reasoning: I’m not sure that I’ve ever been impressed by a Carlo Prater fight. He hasn’t had a notable win in his career since he topped a 20-year old Carlos Condit. LeVesseur is full of promise with a strong wrestling pedigree and stand-up that, although it could use some work, will come around. As long as The Prospect doesn’t get sloppy and get tapped like he did against Cody McKenzie, he should wind up with his hand raised.
  • Confidence: Great

Phil Harris vs. Darren Uyenoyama

  • My Pick: Phil Harris
  • Reasoning: My big underdog pick for this card is Phil Harris. The guy has a lot of experience and some sneaky fast jiu jitsu. In matches I’ve seen, he can take about anything and turn it into an offensive position. Uyenoyama looked great against the recently under achieving Kid Yamamoto, who most recently lost to Vaughn Lee. I don’t believe Uyenoyama has ever been faced with any solid submission game and I think that inexperience could cost him the fight.
  • Confidence: Good

Diego Nunes vs. Bart Palaszewski

  • My Pick: Bart Palaszewski
  • Reasoning: It would appear that the blue print to take out Bartimus has been laid out pretty precisely. Both Hatsu Hioki and Kamal Shalorus used superior wrestling to take him down and grind out a decision. However, anybody that’s tried to take him out with pure kickboxing or jiu jitsu he has been able to handle. This includes people with some fairly decent level of striking such as Anthony Pettis. Nunes, I’m assuming won’t have the necessary level to get him to the ground and could eat some heavy hands on the feet. Ask Tyson Griffin just how heavy.
  • Confidence: Good

Shane Roller vs. Jacob Volkmann

  • My Pick: Jacob Volkmann
  • Reasoning: I love watching Shane Roller fights. I enjoy all of team Takedown, especially since they’ve been nice enough to help out with guest picks. However, Roller had trouble with Michael Johnson’s wrestling. Although, as I write later, Johnson has been improving, his wrestling is far inferior to Volkmann. Using his D1 background, Volkmann has plowed trough all his competition in the last 2+ years, with the exception of Paul Sass (also later noted). It would seem that Roller’s best bet would be to get a submission off of his back, but I don’t think it’s too likely. 
  • Confidence: Great

Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares

  • My Pick: Thiago Tavares
  • Reasoning: This fight comes down to which Tavares we see. The tough handed Brazilian who dropped the nearly undroppable Spencer Fisher and then went on to beat Sam Stout? Or the one who was dropped by Shane Roller and who couldn’t quite hang with Kurt Pelligrino? They are two vastly different fighters. Hallman certainly has the experience factor, but I think his age and number of fights is starting to catch up on him. As time has gone by he just seems a bit slower and, if it is the right Tavares in the arena on this night, he can’t be any slower. 
  • Confidence: Great

Danny Castillo vs. Michael Johnson

  • My Pick: Michael Johnson
  • Reasoning: I’ve been very impressed by Castillo’s wrestling. Although it is not the level of his comrades at Alpha Male, it is superior to a large chunk of the division.  However, since leaving the ultimate fighter, Michael Johnson has improved in leaps and bounds. With the exception of getting caught by jiu jitsu ace, Paul Sass, he has continued to get better and better taking wins off of impressive opponents like Ultimate Fighter winner Tony Ferguson. Having personally been at that fight, you could clearly see how well rounded his game was becoming and I think by mixing it up, he keeps Castillo guessing and pulls off what is likely to be an upset on the books. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens

  • My Pick: Jeremy Stephens
  • Reasoning: This may sound like the craziest reason ever, but I’m picking Lil Heathen because Donald Cerrone put a beating on him. The amazing thing is that after taking that beating he fought on. He took a ton of shots and just hung in there. There has not been anybody withstand that kind of beating from Cowboy since Varner took a smashing in WEC. So, with his tough as nails attitude and chin to match, Edwards is going to have a hard to getting to him. Despite all of his experience, Stephens might just be a little out of Edwards’ range.
  • Confidence: Great

Enjoy the multitude that is this weekend’s preliminary card.

Happy Pickings,

Big Sexy

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