Happy New Year: Belfort vs Bisping Picks

With this new year we in the MMA world are likely to see many changes. Already we’ve seen Strikeforce close its doors with a finish heavy final card. In addition to that, I have added a change to my life. Starting at the beginning of 2013, I have taken a position as a writer for mma-manifesto.com. Don’t worry, you’ll still be getting all of your regular PrelimPicker content. It will now just be accompanied by my featured articles. If you’d like to check them out, you can find them here.

MMA Fans’ New Year’s Resolutions: http://www.mma-manifesto.com/2013-articles/january/mma-fans-new-year-s-resolution-list.html

MMA Promoter Elementary: http://www.mma-manifesto.com/2013-articles/january/mma-promoter-elementary-school.html

Now on to the picks you’ve been waiting for.

Francisco Trinaldo vs. C.J. Keith

Wagner Prado vs. Ildemar Alcantra

  • My Pick: Ildemar Alcantra
  • Reasoning: Despite taking this fight on relative short notice, I feel Alcantra still has the advantage. He’s got a solid ground game and lots of experience, which happen to be two things that Prado lacks. Now, I don’t discount the fact that Prado could knock his block off, but I think Alcantra #1 is going to fight smart and put Prado in a place he does not want to be.
  • Confidence: Fair

Yuri Alcantra vs. Pedro Nobre

  • My Pick: Yuri Alcantra
  • Reasoning: I was very excited to see how Alcantra fared against George Roop. I thought it’d be a solid match-up. Nobre is a much different fighter than Roop. He’s much shorter and stronger, but he seems to be a bit under-sized for this fight (his natural fight weight usually being 125). Alcantra has taken on and beaten some really game smaller weight fighters like Lamas, Omigawa and the aforementioned Trinaldo. I see him adding this name to his list. 
  • Confidence: Great

Edson Barboza vs. Lucas Martins

  • My Pick: Edson Barboza
  • Reasoning: Barboza is an animal. Sure he got tagged and upset by Varner in May, but he is still a future title contender. Martins on short notice stands very little chance. 
  • Confidence: Extreme

Diego Nunes vs. Nik Lentz

  • My Pick: Nik Lentz
  • Reasoning: I was already a Lentz fan when he was at 155. He’s strong, has very good wrestling and uses it to not only take down opponents, but to beat them up pretty good as well. Although Nunes didn’t look terrible against Mike Brown, his history against solid wrestlers is short and not awfully impressive. Sure he’s come a long way from the guy LC Davis beat up, but I think the weak point might still be that wrestling.
  • Confidence: Fair

Ronny Markes vs. Andrew Craig

  • My Pick: Ronny Markes
  • Reasoning: This might be a match-up of two of the most underrated guys in the Middleweight division. Markes is as tough as nails and as strong as an ox. Craig, on the other hand, has shown some one touch KO power. I think the difference in this fight comes with Markes size and the fact that he’s faced some tougher opponents. 
  • Confidence: Good

Godofredo Castro vs. Milton Vieira

  • My Pick: Milton Vieira
  • Reasoning: This is a fight of some really solid jiu jitsu guys and I can’t see this fight ending up anywhere but the ground. Vieira being just a little stronger in the ground game could be the difference, but it’s hard to tell. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Happy Pickings,

Daniel (I know, another new change)

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