|Image via UFC newsletter|
Nate Diaz v. Jim Miller
Doctor Law: Do you see that gif of Diaz flipping off Donald Cerrone next to DJ Mark’s prediction? I’ve had that saved for 4 months, ready to go. Also, if you’re a regular reader of this site, you realize that we are more or less running a Diaz brothers fan site. So, to no one’s surprise, I’m picking Nate Diaz here. I think this should be an absolutely fantastic fight. A Diaz brother against another aggressive guy…how could this go wrong? (Answer: Nick Diaz v. Carlos “Running Man” Condit.”) Miller should provide a very stiff test for Nate and is the favorite for good reason. However, I think Nate has turned a corner in this career and it’s entirely possible that this fight ends up looking a lot like the Cerrone beatdown. Worth noting: Kid Presentable, Lavender Gooms and myself have a 4 fight parlay that has Diaz winning. Please God, let him win. Diaz by 4th round submission.
Kid Presentable: This is a fight I think could be a 5 round war. Of course that means this could be a fight where my guy gets controlled and laid on for 5 rounds. Not that Miller is that type of guy, but losses can change a man, and his aggression against Bendo was his undoing so there is a chance he takes a more conservative approach here. But we may as well hope for the best right? Miller represents the stronger wrestler of the two and likely has a bit more power in his strikes, but I would give Nate the standing reach advantage as he should be able to control it standing. On the ground its pretty on the level, but Nate when he wants to be can be incredibly good off his back. I expect a lot of punches thrown, a lot of middle fingers and F U's, and I expect that I will yell "209 Bitch!" somewhere in the vicinity of 20x during this fight. I roll with the Diaz brothers, always, underdog or not. Nate by decision.
|Image via terezowens.com|
Lavender Gooms: My head is telling me that this is going to be a close fight. Miller’s strong wrestling can be a problem for Nate, who has had a history of problems with strong wrestlers that are good at positioning and controlling the fight on the ground. My head tells me that Nate can get/has gotten frustrated with these fights and has normally lost against strong wrestlers. But screw my head, 209 bitch! The Stockton slap will be in full effect!!! Go win me some money Nate!!! Diaz by badassness.
Picking Diaz: Dr. Law, Kid P, Gooms
Picking Miller: DJ Mark
|Image via my wallet|
Doctor Law: This fight is a bit of a wild card to me. Johny Hendricks has only been defeated once in his career and he’s coming off his best performance ever in a knockout over perennially #2 welterweight Jon Fitch. Then again, Hendricks has only fought 1 top 10 welterweight and a 20 second fight isn’t the best sample to extrapolate future performances off of. It’s possible that Hendricks landed a lucky shot…but it’s also possible that he’s just a bad bad mother f*cker. Either way, I’m a little surprised Koscheck is the underdog here. I know he has his losses, but he’s only got knocked out once, which I view as Hendricks’ only path to victory here. I know his beard will weather some shots, but I think Hendricks gets finished here. Or, if nothing else, he better lose. Kos by 2nd round TKO.
Kid Presentable: I don't like this fight. Not one bit. Probably because I am gambling on it and I am very nervous. Kos is about to cross into the wrong side of 30 as Hendricks is entering the prime of his career at 28. Both fighters are very similar with strong wrestling bases and KO power in their hands. Kos is a fair bit more accomplished and his power double is among the best in the sport, while Hendricks one defeat came by being bullied into the cage by Rick Story. Ultimately Kos represented too much of a value as the underdog, and here's to hoping that his experience being battle tested against the best of the division will see him to victory. Hendricks should be very game as talk of a #1 contendership for him in victory is ongoing. I'm nervous. Kos by decision.
DJ Mark: I’ve been all over the place with this fight during the last couple of weeks. My first reaction was that lightening doesn’t strike twice and that this was a fight for Kos to win by grinding decision. But the more I think it over and dissect the fight the more and more I like Hendricks in this one. It’s too bad the Fitch fight didn’t last longer since I think it would have been a great reference point to compare this fight to. I don’t think Hendricks will win again in the first 20 seconds, but I think this might be a passing of the torch. Hendricks by decision
Lavender Gooms: Koscheck left his long time gym AKA and says that this is the best camp he has ever had…Yeah ok. That’s such bull, I’m waiting for the person who says “man my camp this time was HORRIBLE… guys don’t put your money on me”. Now that would be refreshing. Hendricks is a lot like Koscheck; he’s a good wrestler (probably better than Koscheck) with heavy hands. Hendricks will be a contender soon enough and this will be a close fight, but I believe Koscheck’s technical striking carries him to a hard fought win. Koscheck by split decision.
Picking Koscheck: Dr. Law, Kid P, Gooms
Picking Hendricks: DJ Mark
Rousimar Palhares v. Alan Belcher
|Image via gifsforum.com|
Doctor Law: This is a very difficult fight to pick. Thank God Harvey's in South Lake Tahoe didn’t have this fight as one you could bet on, because this one would give me gray hairs while watching. Alan Belcher has always been very underrated to me. He was pretty close to top contendership before he the near-career ending eye injury. Paul Harris, on the other hand, is bat sh*t insane. He could Hulk up, grab Belcher by the ankles and start slamming him into the ground (this will be a clearer reference for most of you in about a week or so). I’m going to flip a coin. Seriously. Flipping a coin right now. Heads is Belcher, Tails is Palhares. It’s Tails. Palhares by 2nd round submission.
Kid Presentable: Watching a Palhares fight lately, is like watching a Nascar race(please know that I don't condone this action whatsoever, just stick with the analogy please): you are hoping for wreck/crash of epic proportions. Palhares is clearly not all there and you want to be there for the next time his crazy antics kick in. I do enjoy watching the guy fight though, as he is really the only guy I actually believe knows what he is doing when it comes to leg submissions. That said, I think he's been a little overvalued and Belcher has been a bit under appreciated. Before his eye injury, Belcher was making a strong climb toward the top of the division and I think he continues that in this fight. Belcher needs to fight smart and keep it standing. He has a very strong base and is typically difficult to take or keep down. He should have the superior striking in this to control the range and make a case for a top 5 opponent next. Belcher by decision.
DJ Mark: You just know something crazy is going to happen in this one. Both guys are dynamic fighters but on the opposite sides of the spectrum. I’m giving the edge in crazy and skills to Palhares. While I like Belcher a lot and think he has a decent shot of getting a W here, I think Palhares will be able to get it to the floor and that’ll be the end of Belcher in this one. Even if he survives a round on the mat I think it’ll eat his confidence and will put him in survival mode. Palhares by Rear Naked choke 2nd round.
Lavender Gooms: See the gif next to Doctor Law’s post. The Brazilian Hulk twists and rips ankles off like it’s going out of style. Palheres plans to add broken ankles to the already large collection of ankles he’s destroyed to the mantle on top of his bed. Palheres by torn ankle tendons in 2nd round.
Picking Palhares: Dr. Law, DJ Mark, Gooms
Picking Belcher: Kid P
Pat Barry v. Lavar Johnson
|Image via mmamania.com|
Kid Presentable: For pure entertainment value, there are few fighters I like more than Pat Barry. From his background story to the fact that he lists Street Fighter sub-boss Sagat as his hero, the guy is just plain likable with a very fan friendly style of combat. And let's face it, this fight was made to deliver fireworks to a national audience. Lavar is no joke though as he brings the power to finish any man in that cage. In his last bout against the marginally skilled, but incredibly tough Joey Beltran, Lavar showed a really powerful, sharp jab and some devastating uppercuts. Barry is not the rangiest of fighters, but with devastating kicks of his own, he should control the range against this relatively one dimensional opponent. Barry needs to maintain distance, trust his gas tank is better, and not get too wild on the inside like he did against Kongo, and he should take this. Barry by 2nd round TKO. Bonus Pick:
Mayweather by decision. Complete the parlay. Boom.
DJ Mark: This one has show stealer written all over it! Both of these guys love to smash faces and both have been successfully in doing just that. The size advantage Lavar has over Barry might be the X factor here but Barry has done well against big guys before. Like the Kos/Hendricks fight I’ve been going back and forth all week over this one. However, I gotta root for the former Strikeforce fighter in this one. If bullets couldn’t stop Lavar what chance does Barry have? Lavar by KO 2nd round.
Lavender Gooms: By this point in the night, I should be about six beers in and two bathroom breaks. Pat Barry has been the model of inconsistency during his UFC career. He’s a phenomenal kick boxer but is one of the shorter heavyweights and has no ground game to speak of. So when he fights someone who is slightly well rounded with submissions he’s usually in a world of trouble…..but not on Saturday!! Johnson is a straight up brawler who’s looking to bang. Nobody should want to bang with Barry. Barry by TKO in 1st round.
Picking Barry: Dr. Law, Kid P, Gooms
Picking Johnson: DJ Mark