Nov 15, 2013

UFC 167 Predictions

Image via UFC newsletter
UFC Welterweight Championship
Georges St-Pierre (c) v. Johny Hendricks

Doctor Law: Keep the distance, circle left and jab. That’s how GSP gets it done. Now that I got that out of the way, I need to get something off my chest. Johny Hendricks has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to drug testing. As such, he really shouldn’t be talking about it. He doesn’t trust VADA, but says he will “do WADA.” Ok, let’s get some sh*t straight. WADA doesn’t drug test. They just don’t. They set standards. Do you know what VADA does? They use WADA accredited labs to test people. Also, Hendricks solution to the “I don’t trust VADA” thing was basically to just do no extra testing doesn’t look good. I would never accuse him of being anything because it would be a ridiculous thing to say about a man who has competed at such a high level for so many years with no proof to suggest any impropriety (like GSP), but he needs to handle these situations better. Step 1: don’t talk about sh*t you have no idea about. GSP by decision.

Kid Presentable: Let me start with the fact that Hendricks is legit. Many wrestle-boxers have come before him, but this man packs a Falcon Punch in his left hand. He has earned his shot, and though it was a long road to get to this point, really is the top contender in the division. That said, I seem to always pick against him and this day will be no different. GSP is simply too complete of a fighter. Every other fighter has some noticeable weakness, and GSP will play to that. Like most guys who have KO power, that power wanes as the fight drags on, and few know about dragging an opponent into the deep waters like GSP. GSP by unanimous NOS Active.

DJ Mark: It’s really hard to pick against a guy that hasn’t lost since 2007. Many have criticized GSP in the past of playing it a little safe against some opponents many think he could have finished, but at the end of the night he still won all those fights. Hendricks has the tools to win here and has shown his ability to do so as seen in his highlight reel. The problem is only Matt Serra has been able to do what Hendricks hopes to do on Saturday night. I honestly think it’s a very close fight but I’m play it safe like I normally do, GSP dec.

The man has riddum
Lavender Gooms: We’ve seen this script before.  Hard hitting All-American wrestler who challenges the welterweight champion (Koscheck, Josh).   In the first movie, our hero took down the upstart and in the sequel our gilded hero unveiled a crisp and masterful jab that’s rarely seen in MMA.  If were a betting man (I am) I would bet the farm on GSP utilizing the same game plan he used in his rematch against Koscheck, staying out of range of Hendricks power while peppering him for five rounds with jabs.  While Hendricks won’t suffer a broken orbital bone like the last person who played his role, it will end in a one sided boxing match with the occasional takedown stuffed.  GSP by decision.

Picking St-Pierre: It is a strategy (GSP voice)
Picking Hendricks:

Chael Sonnen v. Rashad Evans
Chael losing a bet to a Rashad.

Doctor Law: Rashad is basically better than Chael in every facet of mixed martial arts. I really don’t think there is any place Chael can take this fight where he has the advantage. Also, on top of the skill gap, Chael has to deal with the fact that he has a fight & coaching stint on TUF Brazil against Wanderlei Silva hanging over his head. The only reason I am slightly questioning my pick of Rashad is because it seems like he’s lost a lot of his fire to do this job. It seems like he’s turned that around based on the interviews leading up to this fight. Using that scientific method, I’m going with Rashad by decision.  

DJ Mark: This is an interesting fight, in actuality almost every fight Chael has at 205 I find interesting. I just don’t see Chael as a 205 fighter even though he proved in his last fight he can hang in this division.  On the other end I haven’t really seen much desire in Rashad after losing his shot at the title against Jones. I think Chael has this one, when someone isn’t 100% mentally ready for a fight it doesn’t take much to break them and Chael is maybe the best at mentally breaking people. Chael by dec.

Kid Presentable: Nut grabbing, kiss blowing Rashad, oh where have you gone? Rashad was always at the top of his game when he had the swagger and cocky attitude that made you love him or hate him. Lately he has been tentative and incapable of pulling the trigger on his hands. Is his head still in this thing? He is not exactly on the cusp of any title shots, and lets remember as nearly all of the TUF season 1 fighters are now long for this sport... Evans was season 2. Love him or hate him, and in this case love him, Chael for all his pro wrestling promo jacking will come to fight. There was a time when he may have been a bit of a boring grinder, but the man knows what his meal ticket is and we won't disappoint. Chael by decision.

Lavender Gooms: Evans is the superior athlete.  Evans has the superior striking and likely superior wrestling….So why am I picking Sonnen to win?  The reason is simple.  While both are seemingly never going to be in position for another title shot, Sonnen seems to still have desire and a fire for the sport that we haven’t seen from Evans in his last two fights.  That is how someone who’s better than the other guy loses.  Sonnen by decision

Picking Sonnen: DJ Mark, Gooms, Kid P - a duck has to win something right?
Picking Evans: Dr. Law

Rory MacDonald v. Robbie Lawler

The 4th result when you search "Rory MacDonald hipster"
Doctor Law: I really want to pick Robbie Lawler in this fight. His career resurgence in the UFC has been great to see and Rory MacDonald pissed me (and every other MMA fan) off with his lackluster performance against Jake Ellenberger. That being said, I think Rory is going to perform here. Robbie is much more technically sound than Ellenberger and will likely be able put some pressure on Rory, forcing him to engage more. However, I do think Rory finds a way to get it done. Not be knockout though…Robbie’s chin is too good. Rory by 3rd round submission.

DJ Mark: Rory has a tough test in front of him in Robbie Lawler. A mentally prepared Lawler is a tough fight for anyone at 170. I do think though that overall Rory is the more polished fighter with a larger toolset then Lawler.  Lawler has a punchers chance and he showed in the Koscheck fight he knows when to unleash his power which is something that only true vets get the hang of. However, Rory has shown that he belongs in the top five and can hang with just about anyone in the division.  I think Rory will be able to set the pace for the fight and keep Lawler at a bay, Rory submission RNC 2:57 2nd round.

Lavender Gooms: When he was still known as “The Waterboy”,  Rory came into the UFC with a splash, tearing through his first five fights in the UFC, fighting with a ferocity, speed and guile that allowed him to dominate established top level fighters and almost beat a future interim champ.  When he changed his name to “Ares” two fights ago, something changed.  Apparently when you want to embody the Greek god of war it entails not going for the kill anymore and producing lackluster decisions.  Lawler is experiencing a career resurgence and could cause some trouble for MacDonald.  However, MacDonald has shown that he will be a special kind of fighter and will be champion when St. Pierre decides to hang them up.  MacDonald wins this fight, I hope with the gusto and nastiness from when he was “The Waterboy”, but I fear it will be “Ares” sort of win.  There’s going to be a lot of wrestling and MacDonald in top position in this fight.  MacDonald by decision.

Kid Presentable: Admittedly, I am making this pick in the morning and reading this kid's name is making me crave an egg mcmuffin. This is probably the most anticipated fight of the night for me, though after the Ellenberger fight the blueprint is absolutely out there for how this could become a stinker. You can applaud the skill of technical brilliance, but still not be excited and entertained by it. I have watched the art of glass blowing before. Lawler is the old school and one of the earlier UFC stars who I have been a big fan of. It is great to see him not only come back but actually have success in this late stage of his career, but unfortunately I think he runs into a buzzsaw of a man in Rory. Lawler will certainly be more aggressive than Ellenberger was, but he may just find he gets picked apart. Rory by 20 piece chicken nuggets.

Picking MacDonald: Get a less douchie haircut kid
Picking Lawler:

Tyron Woodley v. Josh Koscheck
I couldn't find a related picture I liked so I went
with what I'm actually thinking about

Kid Presentable: Josh has long been one of the big heels of the MMA landscape, but I feel i always need to reference that he was probably one of the nicest and most personable fighters I have ever met. I have nothing but respect for the guy as he has built a nice life for himself outside of, and once he is done with this sport. And therein lies part of the problem, Josh might just not need this gig anymore, and when your head isn't in the game, them losses start piling up. Woodley by decision.

Doctor Law: I like to root against Tyron Woodley. I’ve watched the end to his fight with Nate Marquardt about 15 times. While Koscheck knocking him out isn’t exactly the most likely outcome, I still think/hope/pray that Woodley loses. It depends on if Koscheck gives a crap. I think he’s better than Woodley in basically every aspect (especially gas tank), so if he pushes the fight, he should take it. Come on Kos. Get it done. Koscheck by decision.

DJ Mark: This fight seems like the passing of the guard. Koscheck just hasn’t been able to get a really good run going and Tyron finally seems to be settling in as a UFC fighter. I still think Kos might be able to get it done but I think the smart money is on Tyron just being younger, faster and stronger then Kos. Woodley by dec.

Lavender Gooms: I graduated from Buffalo State College and before his stint on the Ultimate Fighter, Josh Koscheck spent a year and a half as the assistant head coach at University at Buffalo (the larger school in Buffalo), so I've always rooted from him because of that slim and tenuous connection. As a result it’s always depressing to see an athlete you like begin to feel the ravages of father time.  Now is that because you feel bad for that guy or could it be because as humans we know that will inevitably be our fate as well? We know that we won’t be as quick, or limber or as strong as we were a decade ago.  Not in my case though, I’m going to be young forever (Vampire!).  Koscheck’s skills have been on the decline but he’ll still present a large challenge for Woodley, with his ability to stuff the take down and his effective overhand.  While it likely won’t be an impressive victory, it will still be a victory bleach bad boy.  Koscheck by decision.

Picking Woodley: DJ Mark, Kid P
Picking Koscheck: Dr. Law, Gooms

Timothy Elliott v. Ali Bagautinov
I don't think this guy had a second
option career-wise. Maybe carny?

Doctor Law: Tim Elliott is pretty good and I had to look up who Ali Bagautinov on Sherdog as a refresher so…take a guess who I’m picking. Jokes aside, Elliot has looked great recently and I just watched him be pretty damn funny during the pre-fight press conference. This fight is also the only fight on the main card that I’m fairly sure won’t suck. Man…4 out 5 have a pretty good shot of being stinkers. PS4 might a get a early workout after a few fights. Elliot by 2nd round TKO.

Kid Presentable: Yes... I have seen Tim Elliott before, and his scruff beard led to a lot of Breaking Bad meth jokes from me. He really took apart Gaudinot in his last fight who I have never been impressed with, but it still counts for something. But for no reason at all, I will go with the "Puncher King" due to this random surge of Russians making waves in the UFC. Ali by "The Stinger".

DJ Mark: I’ve been really impressed with Tim Elliott; he looked great in his last fight and made me a believer. To be honest I don’t know a whole lot about Ali. If he can somehow beat Tim then he’ll be on my radar but in till he gets a big win in the UFC I can’t bring myself to pick him over someone the likes of Tim. Tim by 2nd TKO 1:02.

Lavender Gooms: I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve predicted a pretty boring card full of decisions.  This should warn you of the potential for a disappointing main card.  While this fight may likely go to a decision as well, it’s nearly impossible for Flyweights to have a boring fight.  Elliott is better than Bagautinov in most areas and should win.  Elliot by submission in 3rd round (because I can’t pick decision again)

Picking Elliot: The bearded man will prevail
Picking Bagautinov: Kid P - In Soviet Russia, fist punches you!

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