Monthly Archives: February 2013

UFC on Fuel: Silva vs Stann Picks

Obviously, the biggest news in the MMA world recently is the giant roster cuts the brass at the UFC have made. While some are up in arms about who they cut and the reasoning, some have defended the world’s biggest MMA organization and their choices. If only to be a bit different, I would like to offer a similar money saving situation that the UFC could have used instead.

Dana White did not hide that the reason for the cuts was value. Some fighters, despite their good records, were being paid way higher than the money that they were bringing in. So, in a time where you need to make cuts, they figured they had to let people like that go. However, I have to wonder, if Joe Silva and Uncle Dana approached those like Jon Fitch (who was making a reported 66k show and 66k for a win) and asked them to take a pay cut in order to keep their job, would they have? If people like Fitch and Jacob Volkmann knew they could cut their salary down by a third, would they take it. Likely, it would free up just as much money as cutting many under performing preliminary card fighters and keep the big names on the roster. Also, I have to imagine that Fitch makes a good deal of money in endorsements. Just a thought.\

Anyways, on to the picks.

Shameless Plug: Prelim Breakout Star on mma-manifesto

Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Hyun-Gyu Lim

  • My Pick: Hyun-Gyu Lim
  • Reasoning: I am, admittedly, a little weary of Asian born fighters making their debut on Asian cards. This comes from the few performances that I saw at UFC 144 and at Franklin vs Le. However, Hyun-Gyu is for real. Although I’m not the biggest fan of where he keeps his hands, his stand up is very good. I’m always impressed with the way he keeps distance and picks his spots. Do not get me wrong, I am not discounting Guimaraes’ jiu jitsu abilities, but when fans see the size difference at weigh-ins, they’ll know Hyun-Gyu will keep it where he wants it.
  • Confidence: Great

Alex Caceres vs. Kyung-Ho Kang

  • My Pick: Alex Caceres
  • Reasoning: This is not Caceres’ first long plane ride to get to a fight, having fought in China in November. In the first chance, it seemed not to matter much for Bruce LeeRoy who came out swinging and  looked very solid. What impresses me most about him is the amount he improves each time out. Since moving to Bantamweight his lone loss was a split decision to Edwin Figueroa in which he gave away two points for illegal groin kicks. Kyung-Ho has an impressive record, but I have yet to show a lot in his wins, mostly due to the skill level of his opponents.
  • Confidence: Good

Cristiano Marcello vs. Kazuki Tokudome

  • My Pick: Cristiano Marcello
  • Reasoning: Firstly, for this fight, you should read my article: Prelim Breakout Star on mma-manifesto. Secondly, know that is tough and has a jiu jitsu game that is very tight.
  • Confidence: Great 

Takeya Mizugaki vs. Bryan Caraway

  • My Pick: Bryan Caraway
  • Reasoning: Since joining WEC in 2008, Mizugaki has alternated wins and losses, going 5-5 in his last 10. While this has pretty much cemented his gatekeeper status, it’s also showed fans just how tough he is. While facing the likes of Brian Bowles, Scotty Jorgensen, and Miguel Angel Torres, he  was only finished by Urijah Faber. However, a good deal of those names he lost to are fighters with better wrestling than he has. Caraway may just fit into that category as well. In addition, he is really good at keeping the fight busy after a take down and looking for submissions. Plus, I have to pick Caraway, Mizugaki won his last fight. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Riki Fukuda vs. Brad Tavares

  • My Pick: Brad Tavares
  • Reasoning: Fukuda is another one of those fighters who I’ve constantly been impressed with his size. He seems far too big for his weight class at times and uses it to bully people. However, Tavares showed really how well rounded his game was when he beat up Tom “Kong” Watson. Not only did he take down the tough Brit, but he took his back and threatened well with chokes. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Happy Pickings,

Daniel

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UFC 157 Picks

Before gracing your presence with my preliminary card knowledge, I’d like to take a second to make a quick statement about the historic main event to this weekend’s pay-per-view card. Many analysts have said that a Rousey loss this weekend could spell disaster, maybe even destruction, for the women’s division.  While I do believe that the loss of the division’s figure head could be damaging, I do not think it’ll be as bad as everyone thinks. While the UFC will likely lose the fringe fan if Rousey is no longer main eventing, those fans are not likely to last very long anyways. Sure, some will convert to being die hards  but the majority will talk about the fight and then not buy the pay-per-view. As for those who are already die hards (if you’re reading this I assume you are), they will watch a UFC event no matter who is main eventing.

Shameless Plug: http://www.mma-manifesto.com/2013-articles/february/ufc-157-prelim-breakout-star.html

And now, on to the picks.

Nah-Shon Burell vs. Yuri Villefort

  • My Pick: Yuri Villefort
  • Reasoning: While I like Burell’s size and strength, his striking seems to be a little long and loopy. The Spang fight really exposed his striking and showed that if he’s going to be successful, he needs to tighten it up. While Villefort is no striking God either, I am a fan of his ground game. His way of keeping opponents busy of the ground is going to make trouble for Burell.
  • Confidence: Fair

Jon Manley vs. Neil Magny

  • My Pick: Jon  Manley
  • Reasoning: First off, it is terribly hard to pick against someone who taught you your first kimura. While I no longer train at his gym, I will always have the soft spot for that fact. As for actually reasons to pick him, Jon Manley is a hard nosed, press forward, don’t-care-if-you-hit-me type of guy. Magny is likely going to try to use his long limbs to keep Manley away. I expect Manley’s resilience to allow him to get inside to strike and/or work some take downs. 
  • Confidence: Good

Kenny Robertson vs. Brock Jardine

  • My Pick: Brock Jardine
  • Reasoning: Both of these guys have been thrown to the lions in their UFC careers. Both having faced some serious wrestling skill, each will be relieved to fight the other. However, although he failed to mount much of an offense against Rick Story, historically Jardine has looked much crisper and more technical, while Robertson fights much more risky and unorthodox. Although sometimes his spinning back fists and knee bar dives do work, they are not the most reliable path to victory. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Sam Stout vs. Carlos Fodor

  • My Pick: Sam Stout
  • Reasoning: I am and always will be a believer in Sam Stouts hands. I fully expect Fodor to try to get this to the ground and maybe even succeed for a round. However, like in the Healy fight, he doesn’t seem to have the stamina to continue this game plan if stopped a few times. If he bails on this, Stout will win the stand up battle. 
  • Confidence: Good

Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice

Michael Chiesa vs. Anton Kuivanen

  • My Pick: Michael Chiesa
  • Reasoning: Chiesa may have won the least watched season of the Ultimate Fighter, which has caused him to fly under the radar. It’s obvious in his past fights that he has good jiu jitsu, but his boxing is underrated. Fans forget that on the show, he finished James Vick with his hands and Justin Lawrence with ground and pound. Kuivanen has good jiu jistu, but as long as Chiesa keeps it on the feet, Kuivanen will have trouble. 
  • Confidence: Good

Brendan Schaub vs. Lavar Johnson

  • My Pick: Lavar Johnson
  • Reasoning: One thing that has become apparent to me in Schaub’s recent fights is that his chin is weak. While his boxing seems good, one shot left open seems to be enough to put him away. Lavar Johnson hits like a truck. You know when the over zealous striker, Stefan Struve, won’t stand and bang with someone, that someone throws hard. I can’t imagine Schaub taking too many of those. 
  • Confidence: Great

Happy Pickings,

Daniel


UFC on Fuel: Barao vs McDonald Picks

The thing I love most about MMA is the unpredictable nature of the fights. I live for it. It’s part of what makes doing a predictions blog so exciting. So, obviously I loved everything about UFC 156. Sure, some people watched in horror as some of there favorites crumbled on the cusp of a title shot. I, on the other hand, smiled and laughed. Here’s to hoping this event lives up to the standards the last one set.

Shameless Plug: “UFC’s most memorable quotes” http://www.mma-manifesto.com/2013-articles/february/the-most-memorable-quotes-in-ufc-history.html

Phil Harris vs. Ulysses Gomez

  • My Pick: Ulysses Gomez
  • Reasoning: Some called it octagon jitters. Others attributed it to him being far overrated in his post of a top 5 flyweight in the world. I, conversely, place Gomez’s UFC debut loss squarely on the shoulders of his impressive opponent. John Moraga was and continues to be underrated, even after his submission of the night win over Chris Cariaso (a brutal guillotine choke). Phil Harris does have some good jiu jitsu and decent enough stand up, but he has never faced anybody as good or hungry as Gomez
  • Confidence: Great

Vaughan Lee vs. Motonobu Tezuka

  • My Pick: Vaughan Lee
  • Reasoning: “Love” Lee is that entertaining kind of fighter who you can always count on to chase a finish. Tezuka on the other hand works for position and plays safe. The activity of Lee in this fight will likely take Tezuka out of his comfort zone and into deep waters. (Also, see the upcoming Prelim Breakout Star on mma-manifesto.com for more info on this fight).
  • Confidence: Great

Tom Watson vs. Stanislav Nedkov

  • My Pick: Stanislav Nedkov
  • Reasoning: For years I heard about how Kong Watson was one of the best outside of the UFC. I heard calls to hire him after wins over John Maguire, Matt Horwich and eventually Ninja Rua. However, none of those seem particularly impressive, least of all the Rua fight as he was at the tail end of his career. After watching him get taken down and nearly submitted by Brad Tavares, I think he’ll have a lot of trouble with the clearly stronger Nedkov. 
  • Confidence: Good

Andy Ogle vs. Josh Grispi

  • My Pick: Andy Ogle
  • Reasoning: If you watched the Ultimate Fighter and didn’t love Andy Ogle, you likely have no heart. The guy was as nice as can be and gave fans entertaining fight after entertaining fight. Although being entertaining doesn’t win fights, Ogle’s boxing seemed very fitting to his English roots. He’s tough and doesn’t go away. Grispi, on the other hand, seems to have done only that. He’s 0-3 in his UFC career, which was supposed to begin with a UFC title shot. Thus far he has looked underwhelming while striking with George Roop and while grappling with Rani Yahya. Unless we see huge improvement in his execution, you will see Grispi for the last time.
  • Confidence: Fair

Paul Sass vs. Danny Castillo

  • My Pick: Paul Sass
  • Reasoning: Just about every time out, experts tell us that Sass will be out sized by his opponent or his opponent will know to stay out of the triangle/heel hook. However, he has an uncanny way of putting fights in his realm. Castillo has that Alpha Male wrestling, but if he’s smart he’ll stay off the ground. I just don’t know that he can do that for 15 minutes. 
  • Confidence: Good

Terry Etim vs. Renee Forte

  • My Pick: Terry Etim
  • Reasoning: Forte is a huge man. 5’8″ in the welterweight division shows that you either have some real muscle or dietary issues and Forte has the former. However, the awkward style of Etim allows him to wrap those bigger, badder looking dudes up and tap them out. Expect him and Sass to be dueling it out for submission of the night. 
  • Confidence: Good

Happy Pickings,

Daniel


UFC 156 Aldo vs Edgar Picks

There’s been a lot of clamoring lately about the UFC giving title shots to those who don’t deserve it. Nick Diaz, Chael Sonnen and now even Alistair Overeem are at the front lines despite losing recently and being suspended. However, as I start this blog post today, I’d like to implore the UFC to get one thing right in the title shot department; give the winner of tonight’s main event Ricardo Lamas. This guy has been nothing but exciting and deadly since he set foot in this division. There’s no reason to wait, there’s not another test he has to pass, just please give us what we want, Joe Silva.

Shameless Plus: http://www.mma-manifesto.com/2013-articles/january/ufc-156-prelim-breakout-star-tyron-woodley.html

And now for some picks.

Edwin Figueroa vs. Francisco Rivera

  • My Pick: Francisco Rivera
  • Reasoning:Francisco Rivera has shown off some really powerful hands. Sure, he tested positive for banned substances after that, but his technique cannot be discounted. Although Figueroa has also showed some solid boxing, watching him get outworked by Alex Caceres was a huge alert for me. Rivera works much faster and crisper and will likely get the best of  any exchanges here. 
  • Confidence: Good

Chico Camus vs. Dustin Kimura

  • My Pick: Dustin Kimura
  • Reasoning: I hate picking against RoufusSport fighter, because they always have such electric striking. However, Kimura has that killer instinct you look for in fighters. He finds every possible hole and goes at it at 100mph. I’ve also been increasingly impressed with his striking over the last four fights. 
  • Confidence: Fair

Yves Edwards vs. Issac Vallie-Flagg

  • My Pick: Yves Edwards
  • Reasoning: I feel like this guy has been fighting forever. Edwards had his first professional fight when I had just turned 8 years old. His experience really keeps him out of tricky situations, which I was impressed with in the Cody McKenzie fight. Vallie-Flagg also as a history of being submitted and The Thug Jitsu master has 17 submissions in his 42 career wins. Expect him to make it 18.
  • Confidence: Great

Bobby Green vs. Jacob Volkmann

  • My Pick: Jacob Volkmann
  • Reasoning: Volkmann, one short year ago was grinding out  a 5-fight win streak and getting into title picture talks. Then he made a comment about wanting to fight Barack Obama and took a brutal submission loss to Paul Sass. Although he lost a lot of stock with those things, he seems to have retooled himself as a result of it. Whereas before he seemed to hold a position-first mentality on the ground, he quickly picked up a nice submissionvictory over Shane Roller. Green is a tough competitor, but his jiu jitsu blue belt will not hang with Volkmann
  • Confidence: Great

Jay Hieron vs. Tyron Woodley

  • My Pick: Tyron Woodley
  • Reasoning: To give you a brief rundown of what my article on him said (Prelim Breakout Star:  http://www.mma-manifesto.com/2013-articles/january/ufc-156-prelim-breakout-star-tyron-woodley.html) he’s got some really dominant wrestling. In addition, his ground control, ground and pound, and submissions have all really benefited from his time at America’s Top Team.
  • Confidence: Great

Evan Dunham vs. Gleison Tibau

  • My Pick: Gleison Tibau
  • Reasoning: I have always been an Evan Dunham fan. He has a great ground game and uses his distance well to set things up. However, I’m just beginning to lose  little faith in the way he fights due to some of his previous encounters. On the other hand, nobody can argue with Tibau’s strength. The guy might be the strongest lightweight in the UFC. With Dunham being so lanky, I think if Tibau gets on the inside he could score the upset.
  • Confidence: Fair

Happy Pickings,

Daniel