UFC 155 Picks and My One Step Forward for 2013

” Hello, my name is Dan, and I’ve been a Fedor hater for almost 9 years now.”

“One step at a time, man” says the stereo-typically pony-tailed man running the show.

“I’m making those steps. I really am.”

I’ve always thought about quitting FHA (Fedor Haters Anonymous). I really have. But there’s something deep inside me that wants to hate him. Not only just hate him either, but loathe him and all of his fans that have reiterated time and time again that he was the best ever and we can’t even have a discussion about it. I simply want to ask them if they’ve considered the possibility of what would’ve happened if he had to deal with Randy Couture pinning him to the wall. I want to discuss those three straight losses at the end of his career and whether or not they meant something. I want to review the list of the best heavyweights of that time and compare it to the new breed of leaner, stronger, fitter heavyweights. Could people not afford me that small luxury?

“As therapeutic as this group has been to me, I think this will be my last time here” I say. The bald man in the Ronda Rousey shirt sitting to my right looks shocked and rattles off some expletives.

As I said before, I’ve always considered quitting, but that last thing in my list had always kept me there. Could a slightly portly man with his skill set hang with the current era of fighters? Fighters that train by not bringing in just other MMA greats, but greats in single disciplines. Wrestlers to wrestle, boxers to box. Then, The Ultimate Fighter Finale happened and did more for me than this group ever has.

It started, predictably, in the preliminary fights. A calm looking Russian made his way to the ring. I scoffed as Joe Rogan made a comment about his Sambo skills. Me and some friends I have from the meetings enjoyed a few jokes about its application in current MMA before we had the words slapped out of our mouths. We probably would’ve made a comeback about Fedor being out of shape if we weren’t fairly certain we’d have to much on those words later too (not to mention with a multitude of overhand rights in the fight ala Fedor vs Arlovski). And that’s when it clicked.

Maybe I’ve hated Fedor because he never fought my favorite guys. Maybe because he’s got a million fans who I can’t stand. Maybe I feel loyal to the company that got me interested in this sport. But no matter the reason that I did, I’m going to stop hating on Fedor. I’m going to ask myself all of those questions in reverse? Like what if Fedor German suplexed Couture? What if that overhand right landed on Dos Santos? Could the bigger belly roll with his on the ground? Who knows. But my one step this New Years, is going to be to stop hating blindly and instead add Fedor to my mental promotion of “what-ifs”.

Now on to UFC 155. Maybe something in here will get me out of my Bisping Haters Anonymous group.

Just kidding…. it’s not anonymous.

Chris Cariaso vs. John Moraga

  • My Pick: John Moraga
  • Reasoning: The thing that keeps be considering Cariaso is how hard he fought Michael McDonald at 135. McDonald is as tough as they come at 21, and Cariaso took everything he could dish out. However, Cariaso has not showed me enough to think that he can finish Moraga. Although Cariaso has showed a strong chin before, I’m not sure he can take 3 rounds without getting caught by Moraga.
  • Confidence: Good

Leonard Garcia vs. Max Holloway

  • My Pick: Max Holloway
  • Reasoning: I want to pick Garcia, I really do. He’s a great guy, his fights are exciting, but if I’m being honest, I don’t think he’s won a fight since he split decisioned Jameel Massouh at WEC 42 and hasn’t won convincingly since he TKO’d Jens Pulver at WEC 36. Garcia has just gotten to a point where all he wants to do is brawl. He goes in saying he’s going to fight technical this time and then loses sight of that. I think Holloway is too disciplined to fall into his trap and I think he’ll pick Garcia apart.
  • Confidence: Good

Philip De Fries vs. Todd Duffee

  • My Pick: Todd Duffee
  • Reasoning: This is a tailor made fight for Duffee. I almost think it’s an apology from Dana for firing him so quickly. Duffee is one of the strongest dudes I’ve ever seen. He’s literally the only person I’ve ever seen in person that has audibly made me “whoa”. His only weak point seems to be that his chin can be touched and what the UFC gave him here is somebody who won’t touch it. 
  • Confidence: Extreme

Myles Jury vs. Michael Johnson

  • My Pick: Michael Johnson
  • Reasoning: Since joining the Blackzilians, I think Johnson has really pulled it together. He seems to have upped the quality of training partners significantly and it’s paid dividends in all parts of his game. I expect Jury to hang in there for all 3 rounds, but to take quite a bit of punishment in the process.
  • Confidence: Fair

Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner

  • My Pick: Jamie Varner
  • Reasoning: Melvin Guillard’s out is knocking peoples’ blocks off. Varner, has one of the best pound for pound chins in MMA (see some of the knees Ceronne hit him with). Varner is also no sloutch on the ground and Guillard is exactly that. I think if he can get it down Varner surprises people with this one.  
  • Confidence: Fair

Byron Bloodworth vs. Erik Perez

  • My Pick: Erik Perez
  • Reasoning: This is the second fight on this card that made me scratch my head a bit when the UFC announced it. Bloodworth took a beating from Mike Easton his last fight out and Perez has looked more and more impressive every time out. Knocking out Ken Stone is no joke and neither is Perez. If you are making bets on this card, use this and the Duffee fight for parlays. 
  • Confidence: Extreme

Brad Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland

  • My Pick: Brad Pickett
  • Reasoning: This will be fight of the night. If not, something miraculous better have happened in another fight because I’m fairly certain this won’t disappoint. My slight nod goes to Pickett on this one. Pickett just seems like he is a little bit less prone to make mistakes than Wineland, although this is going to be a razor close fight. Remember when I told you earlier to use the Bloodworth/Perez and De Fries/Duffee fights for parlays? Don’t use this one.
  • Confidence: Fair

Happy Holidays and Happy Pickings,

Big Sexy

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