UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones (c) v. Alexander Gustafsson
Lavender Gooms: While I'm excited to watch Jones, I can't get excited for this fight. Gustafsson is by any stretch of the imagination a very competent fighter. But his title shot comes off of a winning streak against less than great competition with a signature win against a Mauricio Rua whose only win since 2011 is against Brandon Vera. Let me repeat myself, Brandon Vera. Bones will take the first round to get used to Alexander's range. By the second round Jones will take the fight to the ground and begin raining those Ginzu knives he likes to call elbows on Alex. Greatness within reach......Jesus that's bad. This won't be close. Jones by TKO in 2nd round.
Doctor Law: Alright, Jon Jones is not fighting a middleweight! Hell, Jon Jones fighting a guy as big as him! Folks, we have a legitimate light heavyweight title fight here. Mr. Jones, the champion, has been wrecking smaller dudes for a couple fights now. Gustafsson is a big, big man. Also, and get this, he’s pretty damn good. Gus has taken out Shogun, Thiago Silva, Matyushenko, Matt Hamill, James Te-Huna dn Cyrile Diabete since his lone loss to now-teammate Phil Davis in April 2010. Despite all that, no one really gives him a shot in this fight. It’s not his fault really. Jones is just that good. He’s just an athletic specimen that keeps getting better technically. I don’t see Jones taking any chances in this fight. He almost got caught against Vitor. That won’t happen again. Gus is going to get busted up by elbows. I just hope he lands a solid shot that makes us think he at least hurt the champ. Jones by 2nd round TKO.
DJ Mark: All the hype around this fight has been around these two giant’s height and reach. I think that it’s an interesting new test for Jones and may cause some early problems. However, it’s pretty clear that Jones is more then just his natural gifts, he’s been able to combine this advantage with great skill and creativity. In fact, Jones hasn’t fully been able to take advantage of his awesome reach, still lacking a dominating jab. Gustafsson on the other hand has recently really been able to utilize these advantages by combining his reach with quick footwork to delivery damage while also staying out of harms way. I’d be somewhat surprised if Gustafsson would be able to dictate the pace of the fight but if he can’t he’ll surely lose. I see Jones getting the fight to cage, then the mat, then a tap. I think Jones is just too well rounded and will be able get the fight where these reach advantages mean less. Jones by 2nd round GnP then to choking submission 4:02.
Kid Presentable: I like Gus, I really do. But you need to sell me on something greater than "hey, this guy is tall too!" Gus has come a long way and is deserving of his spot in the division, but the picture of Mr. Wonderful so thoroughly running through him is still just too fresh in my mind. Alex made the smart move and joined camps with Phil Davis, but I just don't see him having developed enough of an anti-wrestling game to have a chance here. Jones is going to do what he does in most every fight and that is by testing his standup early on. Jones wants to be a good striker, he is working desperately hard at it, and maybe he finally gets that true standing KO that has eluded him. Gus has great footwork and very fast active hands, so eventually Jones will get tagged and then he will decide to take it to the mat. If fight history counts for anything, then understand that once Jones takes it to the ground, it is about to be over. Jones by elbow smashes finished off with a choke round 2.
Picking Jones: Clean sweep
Interim Bantamweight Championship
Renan Barao (c) v. Eddie Wineland
|Image via titocouture.com
Doctor Law: While I’m not as offended as Mike about Wineland getting a title shot, I understand where he’s coming from. Wineland is basically getting this shot by default. It seems like we’re all just killing time until Dominick Cruz comes back and defends his title. Anyways, Eddie Wineland is tough as hell, but I don’t think he has anything for Barao. Barao is just better than him everywhere. So…that means he wins. Barao by 3rd round TKO.
DJ Mark: Honestly, this seems like a weird title fight. I don’t know if Wineland really deserves the shot, but there’s not a lot of other guys that make a better fit. I feel that Wineland will be a little in over his head here and while game, I don’t know if he’ll be able to really danger Barao in this one. I see Wineland taking a courageous beating and getting stopped via TKO 3:12 into the 3rd round. Barao by TKO 3:12 in 3rd round.
Kid Presentable: Ok sure. All title fights need to be right at the top of the card I get it, but it's a good thing this has the support of a better title fight. Renan continues to rule over Dominic Cruz's division in his stead. I enjoy Eddie Wineland but at the end of the day he is mostly just a throwback sprawl and brawl fighter. Barao has feasted on these kind of fighters as his standup is just too fast, just too technical. Wineland has a puncher's chance as he has among the heavier hands in the division, but Barao will prove to be just too much. Renan by unanimous decision.
Picking Barao: All together now
Matt Mitrione v. Brendan Schaub
Lavender Gooms: One guy has glass in his jaw, while the other has rocks in his head. While Schaub has shown impressive KO power, he's also shown an excellent ability to take a punch and crumple to the ground in spectacular fashion. This fight won't go to the ground with favors Meathead. Mitrione has five KOs in his six wins and has only been stopped once. As much as I thought his comments towards Fallon Fox were stupid, it can't be denied that his striking is more technical than Schaubs. Mitrione picks Schaub apart and tests that glass jaw again. Mitrione by KO 1st round.
Doctor Law: Is it possible both of these guys lose this fight? Is there any way Stone Cold Steve Austin can be guest referee? That way he can hit them both with stunners and declare himself the victor. What’s my beef with these guys? Let’s start with Schaub. Grievance #1: Calling out Big Nog and Crocop when they were clearly way past their prime. Grievance #2: having zero self awareness and thinking he has a brand (watch his interview with Ariel). Grievance #3: Metamoris. Don’t waste my time. With Matt Mitrione, it’s because of the truly ignorant sh*t he said about Fallon Fox. Anyways, someone has to win I guess. Mitrione by 2nd round TKO.
DJ Mark: Both guys need a win here and I think both have a decent shot of beating the other. My biggest concern is with Schaud’s chin. He’s been cracked a couple time in his past fights and I’ll starting to wonder how hard he has to get hit now before his body shuts down on him. Matt Mitrione via TKO 1st round 3:32.
Kid Presentable: Who would have thought these were the guys that were really gonna stick around this long after season 10 of TUF? If you watched more than one episode you kind of assumed everyone besides Roy isn't very good. I thought Mitrione looked to possibly be able to make some noise until whatever Twilight Zone episode it was I stepped into while watching the Kongo fight. I like to think the skill and speed Mitrione once flashed is still there, while I continue to maintain that Schaub is not very good. Hopefully his showing is more respectable than that jiu-jitsu competition. Mitrione by KO round 2.
Picking Mitrione: United we stand
Francis Carmont v. Constantinos Philippou
|A truly awful movie
Lavender Gooms: When you're Constantinos Philippou, you haven't lost in more than two years and riding high on a five fight win streak, the only logical thing to do is to leave the fight team (Serra-Longo) that has groomed and nurtured you to that point. What's that you say? That ISN'T the most logical thing to do? Well you've fooled me. Francis "Limitless" Carmont is alot like the movie whose nickname he shares, impressive in the trailer but boring and bewildering once it gets started(seriously if I were a scientist and made a "smart" pill why the hell wouldn't you just take it yourself instead of giving it to Bradly Cooper?). Still think this will be a close fight. Carmont will win in unimpressive fashion and make me angry. Carmont by decision.
Doctor Law: Carmont is basically middleweight Chieck Kongo at this point; all about wall and stall. I really hope Costa Philippou wins because if not, chances are I fall asleep during a Carmont victory. Strategy is simple here. Carmont tries to push Costa against the cage; Costa tries to avoid the cage. This is a close fight, but I’m leaning towards Costa. He found a way to get passed Tim Boetsch (that way was committing a bunch of fouls) and I think Carmont is going to have a hard time avoiding Costa’s punches. At least I hope so. If this is another snoozefest, they better send Carmont to the Facebook prelims. Philippou by 1st round TKO (please God).
DJ Mark: Philippou has been on a decent run as of late and needs a win here to keep the momentum in his favor. Lucky for him he has a tough but winnable fight ahead of him. Carmont hasn’t been too impressive in his most recent outings but he was still able to get the wins. I think Costa gets the win here but it might be a tougher fight then most imagine. Costa via decision.
Kid Presentable: Here is my editorial plea to Costa Philippou... Please knockout Carmont. Please send him into career obscurity. Never has the eyeball test lied to me more than it has with Carmont. A guy that seems like he should have all the ability in the world, but chooses to be so horribly boring, and is a couple fights away from entering the Leonard Garcia realm of victories they do not deserve. Costa by TKO round 1. Which means that Carmont gets a split decision.
Picking Carmont: Gooms
Picking Philippou: Dr. Law, DJ Mark, Kid Presentable
Pat Healy v. Khabib Nurmagomedov
|Image via bleacherreport.com
Lavender Gooms: Khabib has the ability to throw people around like rag dolls. However, he'll be facing a fighter in Healy who grinds like he's making Vienna sausages. The hype train is solidly behind Khabib, powered by his record of 20-0 overall and 4-0 in the UFC, but I'm going out on a limb and calling the slight upset. Healy by decision.
Doctor Law: Pat Healy returns after his suspension for testing positive for marijuana metabolites. This positive test erased an impressive victory over Jim Miller along with $130,000 in Fight Night bonuses. Also, we had the whole Caraway/Diaz thing that happened. Whatever, all we need to know is that Diaz thinks #(Caraway’s)stillasorryassbitch. Khabib has been on a tear for, well, his entire career. The man is 20-0 overall and 4-0 in the UFC. This fight against Healy is the biggest test of his career so far so it’s possible that his win streak is in jeopardy. I am leaning towards Bam Bam on this one. I know the hype is behind Khabib and he could very well win, but Bam Bam destroyed Jim Miller and I have a very high opinion of Jim Miller. I also think Bam Bam knows he needs to make a statement if he wants to regain his momentum from the Miller fight. Healy by submission, 3rd round.
DJ Mark: Poor Pat Healy, right after his biggest win in his career he tested positive for weed and had the fight ruled a NC. Now he’s facing a less known fighter that I think will also beat him. I honestly don’t recall most of Khabib’s fight, but he’s undefeated with a 20-0 record. I could be reading too much into it but I think Healy might not be able to perform as well against Khabib, after having traded his nicest feather in his cap for a toke on a friend’s joint. Khabib via decision.
Kid Presentable: Will Pat Healy be powered by THC again? Because that Pat Healy beasted on Jim Miller like Mr. Healy has never done before. Khabib is not the German suplexing machine Khabib that I find really fun. He is the AKA grinder who I do not think is good enough to outgrind Bam Bam. Pat Healy by submission round 3.
Picking Healy: Gooms, Dr. Law, Kid Presentable
Picking Nurmagomedov: DJ Mark