Yup, there is definitely a UFC card this weekend. As we continue our tour of the never-ending UFC cards, we find ourselves in Hamburg, Germany. Admittedly, as not hyped about this card as I was going into this week (college football is back after all... GO DUCKS!), there is actually some solid name value on the main card. Headlining the card are two long-tenured heavyweights that have some how managed to never previously cross paths. Additionally, two top 10 light-heavyweights staples hope to get their careers back on track in a race to who can get a title shot first. Will it be perpetual bridesmaid, but never the bride, Alexander Gustafsson or the man that no one felt like giving a title shot at all, Ryan Bader. Rounding out the main card is a UFC career 50/50 fighter taking on a German fighter to appease the locals. To the picks! (Spoiler alert: not a lot of variety, therefore lots of WRONG picks incoming)
Andrei Arlovski vs Josh Barnett
|Victory by Torture Rack? @joshlbarnett|
Two illustrious heavyweight careers and somehow this is NOT a rematch, trilogy, or in Andrei's case, a Sylvialogy. In most cases you'd be right in saying two men at this stages of their career that the matchup might be past its expiration date, but age seldom seems to be a factor in this division. It should be a fun one. When Arlovski goes boring, it's usually due to a methodical point kickboxing style. I just can't see Barnett allowing that to happen. Barnett is no stranger to making it dirty in the clinch, and if he can get Andrei to the ground, it could be a short night of work. Andrei at his best though will always be capable of stopping another man cold. It could play out as your classic clash of styles, but ultimately I think Barnett just has more avenues to victory. No slouch with his hands himself, I see Barnett wading through Andrei's strikes until he can eventually drag him to the mat. Catch wrestling wins the day. Barnett by arm-triangle round 1.
Maximus' pops: Gooms
The Baby Faced Warmaster: DJ Mark, Kid P, Doc Law
Jan Blachowicz vs Alexander Gustafsson
|dog people for the win @alexthemauler|
Jan from Poland:
The Mauler: uuuunanimous
Ryan Bader vs Ilir Latifi
|@ryanbader rippin it for America|
As referenced in the above pick, Ryan Bader quickly went from being a little overrated, to severely underrated. As much as we all felt like maybe Bader might have peaked early in his career, his last few fights have shown that he's not done growing as a fighter. Bader's standup game for a long time could be summed up as a big right hand and little else, but we've seen giant leaps in his combos, his setup, footwork, and feints. Bader just finally looks to be world's more comfortable in the standup, with much more fluid boxing and greater utilization of the jab. Latifi has very heavy hands, but he swings big and wild to generate that power. Bader's movement, more efficient boxing, and his old faithful wrestling base make me feel that this is entirely his fight to lose here. Outside of getting caught by big power, which is possible if Ryan jumps in with eyes closed as he's done in the past, but if he stays sharp and on his game, Bader should leave victorious. Bader by unanimous decision.
#notastarwarsfan: Kylo Bader for the unanimous win
Fifth Harmony's 2nd single:
Tae Hyun Bang vs Nick Hein
Bang has alternated winning and losing his last six fights. If Bang's career, like life, is a roller coaster ride, and Bang WON his last fight... then allow me to quote Tim Meadows in the classic film (only in the hearts of myself and Marc) Popstar, "I guess that means I'm coming back down." Was that a contrived way to reference a movie that I quite enjoyed that no one watched? Absolutely. Am I just filling space because I don't have much analysis for this fight other than I definitely believe the UFC wants the German kid to win for the home crowd? Oh you betcha that's a paddlin. Nick Hein by a Nick Hein-like method of victory.
The Sergeant: home-field advantage
It's MMAzing 2016 Standings (as of 9/1/16)
1. Doctor Law - (87-52) - .626
2. Kid Presentable - (86-53) - .619
3. Lavender Gooms - (84-55) - .604
4. DJ Mark - (82-57) - .590