UFC on Fox Picks and a Special Shout Out!

Before we get to tomorrow’s big preliminary card, I’d like to send a shout out to someone. It was a little over two years ago, I walked into a jiu jitsu gym and fell in love. The competition, the team building and, yes, the choking of someone until they see those weird little spots; everything about it was perfect. Even though I’ve moved a few times since then, had to change gyms to reflect that, I never forgot the first place I walked into.

Feeling completely freaked out and extremely intimidated, I tried to determine if I should have gone to one of the smaller, lesser known gyms rather than the first one my search engine picked up. As I walked in, the intimidation faded. There’s something about a jiu jitsu gym that makes me feel comfortable. So, as I stepped on the mat for the first time, a young man in a gi ran me through what would be my first holds. I clumsily attempted to pull off a kimura, straight arm bar and a triangle choke in my black running shorts and plain white t-shirt. The fact that the young man never got frustrated with my apparent lack of natural talent was most likely one of the contributing factor to me coming back. So, I want to send a shout out to John Manley. You probably don’t remember training with me, as I was only there for two months or so before I moved, but I want to thank you for helping me get hooked on jiu jitsu. Good luck tonight and during your likely impending fight on the finale.

Now, time for some picks.

Scott Jorgensen vs. John Albert

  • My Pick: Scott Jorgensen
  • Reasoning: Although both are on a run of bad luck, these two are guys who could easily turn a win here into a quality win streak. While I really enjoy John Albert’s ground game and think he has a lot of promise there, Jorgensen has great wrestling. He will likely use this wrestling to keep it on his feet and bang, which if you’ve seen his fights, you’ll know is the right decision. I see Albert having a hard time if it stays there and Jorgensen taking care of him.
  • Confidence: Good

Dennis Siver vs. Nam Phan

  • My Pick: Dennis Siver
  • Reasoning: A lot of people jumped on the Nam Phan wagon after his hard fought battles with Leonard Garcia. While I really enjoyed the fight, I think Phan showed a weakness; the willingness to go into someone else’s territory. While I doubt he’ll be as likely to do that here, it won’t take very long if Phan gets confident in his striking. Siver has some of the most legitimate striking in the featherweight division and I see him exploiting that to it’s full extent.
  • Confidence: Great

Marcus LeVesseur vs. Abel Trujillo

  • My Pick: Marcus LeVesseur
  • Reasoning: This was an extremely hard pick for me as I had “Killa” Trujillo pulling off the upset over a strong Tim Means. His wrestling seemed like it would be plenty to get to the “Ditry Bird” and grind one out. However, thanks to the oddest injury in some time (See here for more info: http://mmajunkie.com/news/2012/12/sauna-kos-tim-means-abel-trujillo-now-meets-marcus-levesseur-at-ufc-on-fox-5), Trujillo is going to run into someone who can cancel that wrestling out. LeVesseur was a very solid, albeit division III wrestler, and can likely overpower the very strong Trujillo. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez

  • My Pick: Henry Martinez
  • Reasoning: Cruickshank is as tough as nails, but unfortunately for him, he knows he is. The knowledge of his toughness tends to encourage him to test it, which will be a great disservice to him in a fight against somebody who can strike technically or brawl, like Martinez. I also like Martinez in this fight due to his clear improvement in game planning with Jackson/Winklejohn in his last fight. Either way, I might be shocked if this doesn’t win fight of the night. 
  • Confidence: Good

Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor

  • My Pick: Joe Proctor
  • Reasoning: A bit of an upset pick here, I’m going with Proctor, who I think is a bit more well rounded here. While it’s clear to me that Nijem will be able to put Proctor on his back, I’m not sure he’s going to want the fight there. Proctor is strong off of his back and should be able to work some submissions. In addition, the jury is still out on Nijem’s jaw and I think Proctor could surprise people with his power.
  • Confidence: Fair

Raphael Assuncao vs. Mike Easton

  • My Pick: Mike Easton
  • Reasoning: Easton has made me pay once or twice before and, after the last time he burned me, I promised not to pick against him again. When he imposes that powerful frame, I think there is few at bantamweight with that kind of pure strength. With all of this being considered, it should also be noted that Assuncao has had past troubles with wrestlers.
  • Confidence: Great

Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens

  • My Pick: Jeremy Stephens
  • Reasoning: If Cruickshank and Martinez don’t win fight of the night, this one will likely be to blame. These two are going to stand and trade hands and what will decide the fight is who can take it. Stephens has never been knocked out and has been tested on more than a couple occasions. Edwards has shown an ever diminishing chin as his fight number gets higher and higher. 
  • Confidence: Great

If you are one of those fans who boos any kind of grappling in an MMA fight I have two things for you. First, you suck. Second, enjoy these prelims.

Happy Pickings,

Big Sexy

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