|Image via mma-king.com|
Urijah Faber v. Renan Barao
Kid Presentable: If Faber hopes to get a UFC title, this is it for him. Though it's an interim title, this really represents his last great chance at one. I just don't see him being able to take it from Dominic at this point, and he's not going back to featherweight unless Aldo leaves in the near future. But just because this is best shot, it doesn't mean I think he is going to get it. Renan is a beast, maybe not in the fight ending devastating way that Nova Uniao teammate Jose Aldo is, but he has basically gone undefeated since his first fight, and possesses great speed and a very well-rounded game. Faber has always been known for his speed as well though, and you can never count him out of a fight. Faber additionally displayed some new found power in his fists against Brian Bowles, but overall I see Renan being too quick, and too technically sound to get finished. This should make for a great fight, but I see Renan taking 3 on Faber. Barao by decision.
DJ Mark with a "K": As a replacement for the other TUF coach and Bantamweight champ Cruz, Barao is the perfect choice. Since he was most likely next in line after Faber to get a title shot this replacement is pretty solid. I think I’m even more excited for this fight because I don’t think Barao’s game plan will be to out “move” Faber, as Cruz and others have now made famous. I think this will be an action pack fight and that’s good because this and the co main are going to be doing the heavy lifting in the selling department for this PPV. While a part of me wants to pick Barao, as a six year native of Sacramento I really can’t. Faber by choke submission 3rd round.
Lavender Gooms: When it comes to title matches, Faber is on a losing streak that dates back to the WEC and another weight class. In his last four title matches he’s lost to Mike Brown twice (once losing the WEC featherweight belt, another trying to get it back), was absolutely destroyed by Aldo, and lost a close decision to Cruz. Doctor Law is MIA (you got this dude) this week and if he was writing a post this week he’d likely talk about how much he loves Faber. I lived with the Doctor for two years….this man seriously slurps Faber. But I guess I can’t fault him, I would root 125% percent if a high level athlete came out of my athletically inept college as well(Buffalo State what what). While I don’t count Faber out, I think he’ll be facing an uphill challenge. Barao will have to deal with Faber’s speed, but Faber is going to encounter serious problems with Barao’s defensive abilities, particularly when it comes to wrestling. Faber won’t be able to get much headway with his wrestling and I don’t see him finishing Barao. Sorry Bobby. Barao by Decision
Picking Faber: DJ Mark, the missing in action Dr. Law
Picking Barao: Kid P, Gooms
|image via heavy.com|
Kid Presentable: The moment has finally come... Hector the prince of the Trojans is here. I have been waving Lombard's banner for quite some time and am very anxious to see him finally fight in the octagon. Admittedly he has crushed man a can outside of the UFC, but if you are talented that is what you do against inferior competition right? You destroy them. Undoubtedly Boetsch will be his biggest test to date, as most people slate him around #6 in their rankings. However, you must admit even though he is on a good run right now, his victory over Okami seemed a little bit flukey as he was absolutely handled for the first two rounds. But credit where its due, he is incredibly tough and has a lot of heart which is why he could be a lot of trouble for Hector if he survives the early storm. After the second round it is Tim's fight, I just don't see it getting out of the second round. Hector by KO round 1.
DJ Mark with a "K": This is the fight of the night as far as I’m concerned. Lombard is making his debut and has a lot of momentum riding a massive win streak. However, the same can be said about Boetsch who is coming off the biggest win in his career over Okami. Style wise this should be a war, as both guys have heavy hands and strong clinch games that should make for an explosive fight. For me, this one is really a coin toss but in my minds eye I just see Boetsch being too tough and Lombard getting discouraged and gassing. Boetsch late 2nd round TKO.
Redneck judo gets its toughest test. Hector hasn’t lost in almost six years and comes into the UFC one (at most two) wins away from a title shot. Boetsch has made a run in the middle weight division after dropping down from light heavyweight. In his last fight he almost lost to Yushin Okami before coming back to win by knockout in dramatic fashion. Boetsch has the brute (dare I say Barbarian like?) strength and takedown ability to cause problems for Lombard if the fight gets to the later rounds. Even so, Lombard’s speed, vast experience and better technique (which I garnered from a 10 minute highlight video) tip the scales in his favor. Lombard by TKO in 2nd round.
Picking Lombard: Kid P, Gooms
Picking Boetsch: DJ Mark
Kid Presentable: From the eyeball test, Kongo is a monster next to the softer Jordan. But don't let that fool you as Jordan is a d1 level athlete having played football for perennial contender LSU. Jordan is still a relatively green prospect, but looks to have a lot of potential having submitted Lavar Johnson and putting down Oli Thompson with strikes in his UFC debut. Kongo is the quintessential gate keeper among the heavies, but I think Jordan is a quality prospect that is going to pass right on through. Jordan by TKO round 2.
DJ Mark with a "K": Yyyeah, this is where things start going downhill. Nothing against these guys or the other remaining fights on the card but they aren’t PPV quality if you ask me. That being said I think Kongo is the clear favorite here. Kongo is in a weird position of limbo where it doesn’t seem like he’ll ever fight for the title but not so bad that he’ll lose enough to get cut either. This is one of those fights were he gets a win to keep him in the company a bit longer. Kongo by dec.
Lavender Gooms: Jordan looked really good in his UFC debut, and from everything I’ve read he has the physical gifts and natural talent to be something special. Kongo hasn’t looked good in his last three fights, which include a loss to Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt, and two very unimpressive wins. You know me by know, give me the prospect. Jordan by KO in 1st round.
Picking Kongo: DJ Mark
Picking Jordan: Kid P, Gooms
Kid Presentable: I thought Ebersole wanted to drop to lightweight? Well I guess he decided he would rather just fight again a month later. Head is a solid up and coming, but not all that spectacular fighter. In his last fight, Ebersole really showed what all those fights and experience in the cage can do for you having survived countless submission attempts and still being able to land some brutal ground and pound. Brian is going to take James down and beat him up. I could see it going to decision having fought so recently, but I also see him winning the ground fight pretty handily. Ebersole by submission 2nd round.
DJ Mark with a "K": Man, didn’t this guy just fight? Ebersole is letting it roll fighting again within a month of his last UFC fight. Mad props to him and I think his hard efforts will pay off getting the win over Head in this one. Ebersole by submission (choke) 2nd round.
Lavender Gooms: Normally this is a no-brainer. Ebersole has been on a tear since losing to Lombard back in 2008. Ebersole, veteran of 66 fights, has great all around skills. While Head has shown above average grappling ability, Ebersole has fought better and bigger names than Head and has seen everything under the sun. My only concern is Ebersole fought a tough fight just a month ago which could be a big factor if this fight goes past the 1st round. I still thing Ebersole will win, but he’ll have to make sure to secure top position and conserve his energy. Don’t expect a cartwheel kick this fight from him. Ebersole by Decision.
Picking Ebersole: All of us
Kid Presentable: Matt Riddle and Amir Sadollah, two guys who have spent their entire careers growing up in the octagon, with another glaringly bad commonality... they have not gotten any better... at all. Both are likable though, and unlike Amir, Riddle does his best to put on a good show for the fans. Clements is just a journeyman fighter, but I never really have faith in Riddle even though he seems like a kid just having fun out there. Should at least be entertaining. Clements by decision.
DJ Mark with a "K": I like Riddle and everything but he really is a prelim fighter as far as im concerned. That’s not such a bad thing, I think his fights are pretty interesting in that he’s still growing as a fighter but makes up for his lack of skills in some areas with willpower and heart. Since I don’t know much about Clements I think he’s probably a decent fighter that will look even better then decent against Riddle but it won’t be enough to get the w. Riddle by dec.
Lavender Gooms: Riddle has had all his fights in the UFC which is a rarity. Besides that, he’s still green and finding his path. While his grappling is above average, his striking is still in sore need of improvement. Whereas Riddle couldn’t punch his way out of a paper bag, Clements’ bread and butter is his striking. While Riddle will be looking to take this fight to the ground, Clements will look to keep it standing. With the home crowd behind him, Clements puts Riddle away. Clements by KO in 2nd round.
Picking Riddle: DJ Mark
Picking Clements: Kid P, Gooms
Picking Clements: Kid P, Gooms