Considering how young the sport of MMA is and how close the UFC was to shuttering just a decade ago, it’s amazing to think that a UFC card would essentially be the way a major sports network introduces itself to the nation (that and it’s bevy of tall blonde reporters…what is it with Fox and blond reporters, do they have a factory somewhere???). The notion is that this new rival to ESPN will offer more primetime MMA coverage, alongside coverage of football, baseball, soccer and basketball. This will only be good for the sport. While there are still a bunch of questions as to how the UFC will play out on these new channels the more pressing question for people come August 17th is what freaking channel is this on and does my cable plan even get it??
Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio Rua
|Image via heavy.com|
Kid Presentable: My runner up fantasy football team was named “I believe in Chael Sonnen” and I picked the man against Anderson Silva… so why am I having such a hard time picking him here? Shogun is not what he used to be, which is why he is the slight underdog, but now people seem to be underrating what he is, and that is still an incredibly tough and very skilled fighter. 5 rounds here works against Chael as Shogun has one of the best chins and active guards in the division. If Chael wins it will have been a hard fought decision, because Shogun will pressure him on the feet and on the ground for the whole fight. A poor light heavyweight resume combine with a propensity for getting tapped makes me unable to ride with guy on this one. Shogun by submission.
Lavender Gooms: Weird to think that a man who has lost three straight fights(and was never a champion) can still garner so much attention and headline such a big and stacked card. But that shows how much juice and swag Mr. Sonnen possesses. However as much as I love hearing the bad man from Oregon talk he has to win this fight. Chael hasn’t shown much success at 205 and he’s shown a penchant of getting caught. However his wrestling is top-notch, has a very good motor and can go five rounds. On the other side of the ring Shogun’s tank has looked suspect in the past. If this fight gets into the fourth and fifth rounds then Chael cruises to an easy decision. The only question is whether it gets to those rounds. I have a feeling it will. Sonnen by Smothering Decision.
DJ Marc with a "K": Shogun’s last fight still sits heavily in my head and this makes it difficult to think that he isn’t a shell of his one great former self. On the other hand Sonnen is fighting in a weight class he’s never been very successful in. Style wise it’s an interesting fights with two guys with wildly different approaches to finding success in the cage. Sonnen has had a ton of success in his career being able to control and wear out his opponent, Shogun wins most of his fights with a damaging striking game and high pace tempo. What’s interesting is that neither strategy (to my memory) has been used too much success against their opponent, making picking a winner difficult. I feel this fight is a coin toss but when that coin lands for me I see shogun’s side coming up more then Sonnen. Shogun via submission 3rd round 4:12.
Doctor Law: Does this fight make any sense? Not really, but whatever. Chael is the king of selling fights and Shogun can still f*ck people up. It’ll work. The idea of this fight came when Shogun was looking for an opponent after Lil Nog pulled out of their UFC 161 matchup. Sonnen volunteered because this man is always ready to fight, but the UFC decided to set this matchup for their debut on Fox Sports 1. This fight is a huge deal to the UFC and Chael noted you can’t “mess around” in the main event. He knows that him and Shogun need to deliver a compelling matchup. If you listened to our show this week, you know how difficult of a matchup to predict we think this is. Chael isn’t exactly a monster at 205, but Shogun is clearly not what he used to be. I think the fact that it’s a 5 round fight gives Chael the advantage in this matchup. If nothing else, we know Chael won’t stop attacking. Chael by decision.
Picking Sonnen: Dr. Law, Gooms
Picking Shogun: DJ Marc, Kid Presentable
Travis Browne vs. Alistair Overeem
Kid Presentable:Win or lose I plan to get my hands pumping in the air to some EDM with the Reem on this one. Let’s get this out of the way, that Bigfoot fight was embarrassing. I love the Reem, but that obliteration was just deserved for the level of disrespect he had for the man. That doesn’t change though that Reem was pretty much dominating the entire fight up to that point. Reem will be more skilled than Browne all around so it is up to him to show that he is focused enough to take back his spot. Reem by KO round 2.
Lavender Gooms: Nothing humbles a man more than playing around with a giant of a man and having that man put you on your ass. That’s exactly what happened to Reem in his last fight against Bigfoot. Totally outclassing the Brazilian and what does this guy do? Starts playing around and then goes night night. Just went face down, ass up. I like Travis Browne and I think he’s a good heavyweight, but he isn’t in The Reem’s league. I will bet the farm that Alistair doesn’t come into the ring with an aura of invincibility and arrogance this time around, but with a killer instinct to show that his embarrassing loss was a fluke. That doesn’t bode well for Browne. Reem by KO round 1.
DJ Marc with a "K": With Reem’s last spectacular KO loss, the aura he once carried into the cage is now gone. In the eyes of many him being a K-1/Strikeforce Champion has been replaced with the image of his eyes rolling into the back of his head as Bigfoot slams fist after fist into his defenseless dome. He now faces a very dangerous foe in Travis Browne. The past being what it is, I’m still siding with the Reem. For better or worse the Reem will always be one of my favorite fighters and I do honestly think he has all the skills needed to get a win here. If the Reem is focused on the task at hand I think it could be a tough night for Browne. Reem TKO 1st round 4:03
Doctor Law: The return of Ubereem. The last time we saw Alistair Overeem, he was lying face up on the canvas in Vegas as Big Foot Silva stood over him yelling at him. Overeem got absolutely embarrassed in that fight and he knows it. He cannot have another performance like that if he wants to stay relevant to the title conversation. His opponent, Travis Browne, looks like a good, young heavyweight, but I don’t think he’s in Alistair’s league. If had some great wrestling pedigree, I’d say he has a shot, but it looks like he plans on striking with Alistair. Bad call homie. Overeem by 1st round knockout
Picking Reem: No surprise here, all aboard the Reem train. Choo Choo!
Yuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber
|Image via 5thround.com|
Kid Presentable: Remember how a fight ago there were some minor rumblings that Urijah could get cut with a loss? Well this is the kind of matchup where at the end you think, “Faber is gonna get that title shot!” The Urijah Special is to straight style on mid-tier guys that will never be champion. Strikes will happen, a man will drop, an Faber will take his neck in the scramble. Faber by RNC… but it will probably be a guillotine.
Lavender Gooms: Alcantara in relation to Faber is like bath water that’s not too hot, but not too cold. He’s just right. A guy with good stand up but suspect takedown defense is the type of guy that Faber loves to take to the ground and choke out. Even if Alcantara was a mix of Bruce Lee and Son Goku I would still pick Faber to win this match. Why you ask? Because there’s no strap on the line. Faber loves to win the fights where there’s no jewelry on the line. The bath water is just right for Bobby’s boy from UC Davis. Faber by submission in 3rd round
DJ Marc with a "K": Yuri Alcantara is 28-4, with 24 of those wins coming by either KO (12) or submission (12). These are impressive stats, Yuri even holds a win over highly ranked Ricardo Lamas. Normally these are all things that would make him a favorite in any fight he’s in. However, he’s fighting Urijah Faber. Faber via submission 1st round 3:56.
Doctor Law: If you read this site regularly (first off, thanks for that), you know that I’m a big fan of Urijah Faber. Even if you take that out of the equation, I still think Faber is going to run through Alcantara. It’s not that I don’t think Alcantara is a good fighter; Yuri has shown time and time again that he is one of the better bantamweights in the world. However, we’ve heard this story man times: Urijah’s opponent is Fighter X. Fighter X is some killer, he has never been taken down, he’s never been submitted, etc. Let me tell you, as long as Fighter X isn’t named Barao or Cruz, he’s getting taken down and he’s getting submitted. Faber by 2nd round submission.
Picking Faber: All of us
Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle
|Image via sherdog.com|
Kid Presentable: Fighting for Chris Lytle’s “exciting journeyman” throne are the Immortal and the Mullet. If these guys don’t compete for anything less than Fight of the Night it will be a bit shocking. Matt Brown’s nickname was once kind of a running joke but with a win here he will shockingly be on his way to a top opponent and possible future title shot. At any given moment Brown can lose because we have seen it countless times, but never do you see a guy in that cage with more heart. The Immortal by “Muthafu*ker I’m ALL heart”
Lavender Gooms: Every free card seems to have one of these fights. Two white dudes who come to the ring and scrap. And sure enough on a FOX care one of those white dudes always seems to be Matt Brown. On top of being extremely entertaining in his last five fights he’s always won his last fight in impressive fashion. Not to take anything away from Pyle who has won four straight with his last loss being to the Canadian monster (last fight not withstanding) Rory McDonald. This will be a barnburner. This will be a close fight. This will be Matt Brown’s six win in a row. Title shot next maybe? Brown by decision.
DJ Marc with a "K": This is the barnburner fight of the card. You have two guys on hot streaks that are both really exciting fighters. This is one of those fights were I’m not so excited to see who wins and where that takes them next but I just want to see the fight cause on paper it could easily be Fight of the Night. Matt Brown dec.
Doctor Law: Veteran welterweight battle right here. Mike Pyle has been doing some serious work in the welterweight division these days. He’s won 4 in a row and 7 of his last 8 overall with his lone loss in that span coming at the hands of Rory MacDonald. Matt Brown, on the other hand, has become the king of the Fox cards. Brown has won 5 straight and is absolutely wrecking guys in the process. I think this will be a very close fight, but I think Brown finds a way to get it done. Pyle’s mullet makes it impossible for me to pick him. Brown via decision.
Picking Brown: There seems to be a trend developing
Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
Kid Presentable: It’s nice to see Doomsday back in the cage. He’s up there in nicknames I most enjoy. Uriah comes back down to earth a bit this fight after costing himself the TUF title by dicking around just a bit too much. Like the Reem, Hall just needs to get his mental game in order because he has all the physical capacity in the world to really do something in this sport. Uriah Hall by redemption TKO round 1.
|Image via newyorknymma.com|
Lavender Gooms: There has never been a TUF prospect this hyped before. While the show was still going on there was talk that he was a contender for the middleweight title NOW. His loss in the finale took air out of those sails quickly but he is still a highly talented fighter who I think even with his loss to Kevin Gastellum is a top 10 middleweight in talent alone. Both Doomsday and Hall are strikers which should make this an enjoyable match. Hall gets back on track in this fight, picks Doomsday apart and gets his first(of many more to come) UFC victories. Hall by KO 2nd round.
DJ Marc with a "K": Much like Reem, Hall’s stock and aura faded went he lost his last fight, unable to win his season of The Ultimate Fighter (but at least he didn’t get KO’ed in such dramatic fashion). This is a fight where he should be able to regain some of the glory he lost in his last outing. John Howard is a dangerous opponent but is being called up on short notice. I think Uriah Hall will be able to pick Howard apart in route to a nice TKO victory. Uriah Hall 1st round TKO 3:58.
Doctor Law: John “Doomsday” Howard returns the UFC, now in the middleweight division, after a solid run on the indy circuit. Waiting for Doomsday is one of the best TUF prospects in years, Uriah Hall. This should be a fun standup fight. Doomsday and Hall are both strikers so it remains to be seen who is able to implement their game plan best. While I think Hall as a -550 is ridiculous (the current line), I do see him getting the win here. Hall by 2nd round TKO.
Picking Hall: All of us
Michael Johnson vs. Joe Lauzon
|Image via titocouture.com|
Kid Presentable: Remember when Michael Johnson was the #1 pick that GSP tricked Koscheck out of? Lately, that’s really the best thing I can say about the guy. After starting to look like he was making strides, Johnson has stalled out and dropped a couple. Lauzon has not been able to put together a title run, but he will always go to war and pull out these lower-mid level fights. Getting to fight in Boston, Lauzon is going to hunt extra hard for that finish. Lauzon by submission round 1.
Lavender Gooms: All due respect to Michael Johnson, GSP’s former #1 pick but Joe Lauzon feasts on lower tiered guys like him. In addition, after putting together a good stretch of fights, Johnson has fizzled out. Also, Joe Lauzon is a monster when he fights in Boston. This leads to an easy submission win for the man from Boston and a nice start to the main card. Lauzon by submission in 3rd round.
DJ Marc with a "K": Both guys are coming off loses and both fighters have lack consistency in the UFC. I feel Lauzon has the edge here having the home court advantage and looking good in previous fights were he also was fighting from home. A loss here could be ejection out of the UFC for Johnson so I expect him to fight like his job was on the line, however this won’t change the end result. Lauzon by submission 2nd round 1:44.
Doctor Law: I don’t think this fight is entirely fair. It’s not because I think Johnson isn’t as talented as Lauzon (though he definitely isn’t); it’s because they’re making a guy on a two fight losing streak fight Joe Lauzon in Boston. In case you don’t remember, back in August of 2010 the UFC held a little event called UFC 118: Edgar v. Penn II in Boston. At this event, thousands in attendance and hundreds of thousands watching at home watched a massacre happen. Joe Lauzon absolutely destroyed Gabe Ruediger. I’m 99% sure the loss made Ruediger reevaluate what he thought about himself as a man. You don’t f*ck with Joe Lauzon when he’s fighting in Boston. Lauzon by 1st round submission.
Picking Lauzon: Clean sweep