Dec 29, 2011

It's MMAzing Staff Predictions for UFC 141

Brock Lesnar v. Alistair Overeem

Doctor Law: It’s finally here folks. One of the biggest battles in history…my beard against DJ Mark’s beard. Oh, there is also a cage fight between two gorillas taking place. Let’s not beat around the bush people, this is a grappler against a striker. Sure, Brock would tell you about how he was able to drop Randy Couture and Heath Herring and Alistair would surely tell you about his submission victory over BJJ black belt Vitor Belfort. Good for them. That doesn’t change the fact that Brock turtles up when he gets hit hard and Alistair hasn’t fought anybody who can wrestle in God knows how long. We are going to know the outcome of this fight within the first 2 minutes. If Brock gets him down, he wins. If he can’t, I lose my beard. I’m an optimist. Lesnar by 1st round TKO.

Kid Presentable: Finally, the colossuses collide. In the lead up to this fight, the primary story has been that Brock Lesnar cannot take a punch. It is a slight misconception as he certainly can take the punch, he just might not react well to them. Even so, it is a bit of an overstatement as he has also previously eaten a gigantic knee from Frank Mir only to take him down and grind him to mulch. The Reem certainly offers up the most dangerous standing threat in the division, but my gut is telling me that he is going to drop this one. The combination of guys making their octagon debut, and those who spent the majority of their careers in Japan, has left a lot to be desired performance wise. Reem will be taken down and the fact that he gassed against a guy who pulled guard for an entire fight leads me to think Brock is going to go Hulk Smash on Reem. Sure, Cain got up from Lesnar's takedown, but Reem doesn't have that kind of wrestling. Brock Lesnar by 1st round ground and pound TKO.

DJ Mark with a “K”: Well if you’ve been visiting the site with any regularity you’ll already know who I’m picking for this one. While I think Brock is a hell of an athlete and has a chance to perform a mild upset, I just don’t think he has want it takes to beat a battle tested veteran like Alistair. Brock has to get the fight to the mat and be on top, that’s the only place he can win this fight. While on the feet (clinch or otherwise) Alistair holds the advantage and I don’t think Brock has much to offer off his back. However, with guys this big and talented it really is a tossup. Either way, someone’s going to get hurt. Alistair by TKO round 1.

Lavender Gooms: BEARD BET!!!!!! Besides the Slap Bet, it’s the ultimate kind of bet. Sadly, because of my ability to grow facial hair like a 13 year old boy, I will never take place in this bet of kings. We can only dream…Well back to the fight! Classic style match-up here. My prediction is based on the idea that Brock is completely healed from his last diverticulitis scare. The Reem can’t bully Brock around the cage like some of his previous opponents. Overeem has never fought a wrestler as good as Lesnar and has never been good against them in the first place. Lesnar is also bigger and stronger than him. Of course Brock has shown in the past that if he gets hit, he has a big tendency to cover up. I think the baddest man on the planet shows up for this fight though. No amount of “horse meat” is saving Overeem. Lesnar by TKO in the 3rd round.

Picking Lesnar: Dr. Law, Kid P, Gooms
Picking Overeem: DJ Mark

Nate Diaz v. Donald Cerrone

Doctor Law: Now this is going to be a great fight. Two guys who are absolutely incapable of fighting safe. I was already excited for this fight and then the incident you see above you happened. You can’t really hear it, but according to Dana White, Cerrone told Diaz that he’s going to “get in that ass,” which sounds…unpleasant. My level of interest in this fight is pretty much at its maximum. I’m actually concerned that they are going to get in a fight at the weigh-ins and the athletic commission won’t let them fight on Friday. This is going to be a very close fight. Cerrone is a great technical kickboxer and Diaz boxes like his older brother. Both men are comfortable off their back, but Diaz has the edge in the grappling department. I’m going with Diaz because he hasn’t been finished in over 5 years and, more importantly, I like him more. Diaz by 3rd round submission after an epic battle.

Kid Presentable: Stylistically, this is possibly one of the most exciting fights the UFC may have ever put on. These guys will go to war on the feet and have the grappling credentials to put on a show on the ground. Cerrone and Benson Henderson put on a grappling heavy fight of the year candidate in 2010 which is amazing when you consider we live in a "boo after 10 seconds of inactivity" society. And who could forget Nate's double bird triangle submission salute? Donald and Nate are also two of the taller, lankier fighters in the division who will for the first time be fighting guys who can match each other's range. Cerrone has been on fire as of late and if it weren't for Jon Jones' demolition circuit, could have arguably been the fighter of the year. That said, 209 bitch! Nate took a massive leap forward in his last fight against Takanori Gomi, showing that he might finally be more than Nick's little brother. His boxing, pace, control, and aggression never looked better and I see the kid with the mean mug derailing the Cerrone train. Nate by 3rd round Submission.

DJ Mark with a “K”: This is also an amazing fight and could have easily been a main event for a Fuse or FX card. Both guys have looked really good as of late and both always have exciting performances. Much like the main event it’s easy to picture either of these guys walking away with the W. However, my money is on Diaz, I think his hands have started to look really good as of late and I think Nate is a little better on the ground. Nate by 3rd round Submission.

Lavender Gooms: Like I said in my post from yesterday, I am 100% sure this is going to be fight of the night. There is no way in hell these two don’t start whaling on each other from the opening bell. If Diaz is smart in this fight, he takes it to the ground and turns “Cowboy” into a pretzel. Most likely they will stand in the center of the cage and trade with each other. In a battle of whose chin is stronger, you never go against a Diaz. Cerrone breaks before Diaz does. Diaz by Submission in the 2nd round.

Picking Diaz: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Cerrone:

Jon Fitch v. Johny Hendricks

Doctor Law: There is a pretty regular problem when you watch an entire fight card on the west coast (where almost all of the It’s MMAzing staff resides). When you watch all of the fights, it means you are watching cage fighting from 4pm to 9:30pm. You don’t know how long the gaps between fights will be so there is no real time for dinner. This problem doesn’t exist when Jon Fitch is fighting. You can carve out about 25 minutes between introductions and the 3 rounds that Fitch will be dry humping his opponent to go on a food run. Fitch is the most boring fighter in all of MMA. No reason to think he’s going to take any chances in this fight. Fitch by the most boring decision anybody has seen since the last time Fitch fought.

Kid Presentable: Mr. Hendricks has an impressive resume of wrestling credentials, several solid wins, and a lone blemish on his MMA record. Then again, Mr. Fitch is Mr. Fitch. Jon Fitch has essentially been the perpetual number two welterweight since the day Georges St. Pierre decided he wanted to fight in a cage. A man, who seemingly should have fought for the title multiple times, but hasn't because he got styled on so badly... now gets a chance to throw his name into a mix where there is no GSP for a year. Few combine striking to wrestling better than Fitch and even though Hendricks is the better credentialed wrestler, he is absolutely going to be taken down. The fact that he was grinded away by Rick Story, makes it seem like Fitch should have no problem. Additionally, if he should somehow read this... please finish the fight Jon. I want to be a fan of yours so bad. Funny YouTube videos, English bulldog, and a hot Asian wife…seriously Jon, we could be best friends. Fitch by decision. If by finish, we're new best bros.

DJ Mark with a “K”: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Fitch in person at a Strikeforce event earlier this year and I have to say he’s one of the nicest, coolest fighters I have met. However, his performances have left something to be desired. Fitch is a no risk fighter which is extremely smart to have longevity in this sport, but doesn’t do much to get people excited for your fights. I see Fitch winning this one by decision.

Lavender Gooms: So this is the fight when I decide to go get more beer from the store. I normally hate those fans who boo when the fight goes to the ground for even 3 seconds. I normally enjoy watching a fight where the majority of it is on the ground, but Fitch is the exception. I hate watching him fight. From the opening bell you know what’s coming. I bet if he was in a boxing match he would still shoot for a takedown. This boy does NOTHING else. Hendricks is a good wrestler, but Fitch is the master of looking menacing going into the cage and grinding out a decision. Coors light (that’s COORS LIGHT, cause Bud Light ain’t paying me nothin’) refilled by 2nd round. Fitch by Boredom at the end of 3 rounds.

Picking Fitch: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Hendricks:

Vladimir Matyushenko v. Alexander Gustafsson

Doctor Law: Matyushenko is being written off by pretty much everybody, including us (see the next three predictions). The Janitor doesn’t get the credit he deserves. 26-5 is an impressive record and his only losses in the last 8 years came to Jon Jones and Lil Nog. That being said, Vlad is getting old and Gustafsson has looked very impressive ever since his lone loss the Phil Davis. He has finished his last 3 opponents including a knockout of Matt Hamill, something even Quinton Jackson couldn’t do. I really want to pick Matyushenko and will be rooting for him, but I have to go with Gustafsson by 3rd round TKO.

Kid Presentable: Showcase fight. Showcase fight. Showcase fight. The light-heavyweight division has been the crown jewel of the MMA world, but lately it has seen a relative lack of new up and coming prospects. Fortunately though, Gustafsson appears to be one of the good ones. Gus' boxing took a giant leap forward in his most recent fight as he railed Matt Hamill with uppercuts, finishing a guy that even Rampage's heavy hands couldn't stop a fight before. The Janitor is always an interesting guy, especially when he wears his janitor shirt and newsboy cap, but he is basically a career journeymen being fed to help build a new guy in the division (see Jon Jones vs Vladimir Mayushenko).Gustafsson by TKO round 2

DJ Mark with a “K”: I kind of see this as a passing of the torch. Gustafsson is one of the few promising prospects the UFC has for the light heavyweigh division. Vlad has been around the block more than his fair share, but I just don’t see him beating Gustafsson in this one. Gustafsson by TKO 2nd round.

Lavender Gooms: I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but the word that’s being used to describe Matyushenko in most circles is “gatekeeper.” This a bit unfair for a man whose only loss in his second go-around with the UFC is the three piece with biscuits that Jon Jones served to him last year. This cat has been fighting like a man with some quick finishes since that loss. Even so, the Swede Gustafsson is getting some hype as a high-rising prospect who could be a contender in a year’s time. Give me the young, rising star every time. Gustafsson by TKO in the 2nd round.

Picking Matyushenko: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Gustafsson:

Nam Phan v. Jimy Hettes

Doctor Law: Nam Phan against I guy who I didn’t even know had fought already in the UFC. From what I can tell, Hettes is quite the submission specialist. All of his 9 wins are by submission. Unfortunately for him, Nam Phan has a black belt in BJJ. I think Nam will keep the fight on this feet and batter Hettes with body punches. Then again, for all I know Hettes is the second coming of Ernesto Hoost (I know Hoost isn’t dead…sorry, I don’t know any dead kickboxers). Phan by 2nd round TKO.

Kid Presentable: Nam Phan for mayor. All day baby. If you don't like him you're just mad cause he rides on 20's and stacks paper to the ceiling. Nam Phan takes on UFC neophyte Jim Hettes and I'm hoping he liver punches him into oblivion. The liver punch has been a lost art lately in the world of MMA, even though few things are prettier than floor-dropping, fight ending, body punch and Nam is your man to do it. Honestly, watching Nam can get a bit frustrating as he has a solid overall game, but there are times where you wish he would throw combos, push the pace, or just do anything besides head hunt. His tendency to just wait or only load up for the KO punch or head kick can get him in trouble at times, but here's to hoping he can class the kid, then go enjoy a victory wank in the shower. Phan by TKO round 2.

DJ Mark with a “K”: I’m going to be honest here; I don’t know who Jim Hettes is. I do, however, know who Nam Phan is. Picking fights like this are easy and risky at the same time. Most of the time no names stay just that; other times they rise to the occasion and make something of themselves. Either way I’m picking Nam by liver shot TKO 2nd Round.

Lavender Gooms: Hettes is undefeated in his career and put a hurting on Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres in his debut. As much as I love Bruce Leroy he’s so far proven to be a fringe talent. Although Nam Phan is 1-2 in the UFC, I’ve liked what he’s shown in his three fights. Although Hettes is undefeated, I’m basing him on the one fight I’ve seen and the level of competition wasn’t that impressive. Nam Phan finishes him in the third. Nam Phan by TKO in 3rd.

Picking Phan: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Hettes:

Ross Pearson v. Junior Assuncao

Doctor Law: Ross Pearson makes his featherweight debut after losing his last fight to Edson Barboza via split decision. I never felt Ross was particularly small at lightweight, but then again, he wasn’t exactly Gray Maynard-sized. Ross has also been spending much of his time at Alliance MMA with Phil Davis and Dominick Cruz. I’m a big fan of British fighters accepting their limited training options at home with respect to wrestling and moving to the States. He will be taking on Junior Assuncao, who was last seen acting like a complete jackass against Eddie Yagin. Assuncao did the bare minimum in that fight and while acting like he was putting on a clinic. I wasn’t impressed. For that reason alone, I’m going with Pearson by decision.

Kid Presentable: Junior is an asshole. He spent three rounds shit-talking a bad Filipino fighter, and proceeded to um... not really fight him? For thinking so highly of himself, you think he could just run over a guy who had nothing for him, instead of responding with pretty much nothing. Ross Pearson, while a solid lightweight, did seem a tad small, so I like his move to featherweight. Pearson is your typical English striker with grappling deficiencies, but he should be relatively bigger for this division and brings a nice standup game. Pearson by decision.

DJ Mark with a “K”: I always find it hard picking Junior to win. There’s just nothing about him that really stands out to me. He has a decent ground game, but nothing that ever got me excited. Ross on the other hand has some pretty good stand up and that’s where I see him getting the win. Ross by decison.

Lavender Gooms: I thought Pearson won his fight against Barboza. But there’s no way a split decision in Brazil in a fight with a Brazilian goes to the Brit. The Ultimate Fighter winner has proved himself to be legit with his win over Dennis Siver and his close loss in Brazil, while the jury is still out on Assuncao. Pearson’s striking carries him to a decision. Pearson by Decision.

Picking Pearson: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Assuncao:

Anthony Njokuani v. Danny Castillo

Doctor Law: Danny Castillo takes Ramsey Nijem’s place in this fight and Ramsey had to bow out due to injury. Castillo is coming off his impressive 1st round TKO of Shamar Bailey. Njokuani is one of the most exciting fighters in the lightweight division. If you want to see some of his handiwork, look his fight with Chris Horodecki on YouTube. Castillo trains with Team Alpha Male…all of those guys can wrestle very well. I expect him to be able to neutralize Njokuani’s striking with takedowns. Castillo by Decision.

Kid Presentable: WEC never die! While quite not on the level of Donald Cerrone, but "Last Call" Castillo is another WEC vet once thought to not be UFC worthy who has found some success in the octagon. I think this fight is a bit of a coin flip, as Njokuani has a bit better standup while Castillo, like all the Team Alpha Male boys, has a bit better wrestling. Their respective abilities to grapple and defend the takedown will likely decide the outcome of the fight. While I don't see it being a barnburner as good ol’ J.R. would say, I look for a good entertaining fight exemplary of the blue cage and blue gloves these two came from. Castillo by decision

DJ Mark with a “K”: Having lived in Sacramento for six years, I tend to pull for the locals when they are fighting on the big stage. I also happen to think Danny will be able to take down and control Anthony. Danny by decision.

Lavender Gooms: I was more interested in this fight when Ramsey Nijem was on the card. I now possess no interest in this fight. Give me Castillo. Castillo by Decision.

Picking Njokuani:
Picking Castillo: Dr. Law, Kid P, DJ Mark, Gooms

1. Lavender Gooms: 19-3 (.864)
2. Doctor Law: 18-4 (.818)
3. DJ Mark with a “K”: 17-5 (.772)
4. Kid Presentable: 15-7 (.682)

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