Archive for the ‘UFC’ Category

Cult of Personality

Posted: December 8, 2014 in UFC

CM Punk’s going to fight in the UFC next year, because he wants the world to know he’s a real tough guy: or because the whole world is fixed and we’re all being Truman Showed. I hope it’s the later.
I hope CM Punk works really hard and the UFC designs a quick rise up the ladder. I hope he gets quick loss to an ex-champion where he doesn’t lose face, then two quick wins over questionable outsiders to the organization with some heat, then an “upset” win over a valid, but not exemplary champion. That’s how I’d write it to happen in pro-wrestling… and that’s what they did when Brock Lesnar became The UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Let me make this clear, I’m not sure The UFC’s fixed. I even hope it isn’t, but I do think it is “designed.”

CM Punk’s a great athlete who’s in pretty good shape, and seems to be pretty tough. The UFC is a sport now, with a TV deal. Somebody looking to make compelling TV could utilize the rules of the game or the trajectories of athletes’ careers to guide results. A washed up striker, say Wanderlei Silva, could be scheduled, and maybe encouraged to headhunt a little. It would be ridiculous to think The UFC leaves the camps alone entirely, and doesn’t let them know they’d prefer a knockout. Silva goes looking for that, and looses a fight. If he wins it’s a huge paycheck, and if he loses, well, his legacy is already cemented. He’s not going to be the champion again. Nobody really gets hurt. If CM Punk gets knocked out, no big loss, it still kind of proves he’s a tough guy, not afraid to get knocked out. It isn’t broken, but it’s crooked.

Fighting, and not fighting to be The Champion, is disingenuous to the spirit of the ufc, it fits into the current world of Buffalo Wild Wings brings you Perpetual Fight Night pretty well. I’m going to watch it. But the UFC is dead. I’m watching it because of CM Punk, and regardless of the fight turn out. He’s beating the ufc, and maybe even prowrestling too.

CM Punk is a wannabe revolutionary, which is fine. I wanna revolution. I think he’s going to change the world of American Pro Wrestling into the blurred showtainment environment that’s been in Japan for years and existed in Pre-Hulk Hogan America (I don’t want to believe it either.)  I think it’s great that one guy’s trying to effect change. I hope he does it. People may think he’s a dick, most revolutionaries are probably dicks.

I think it’s great. I think we’ve got it coming. I hope The UFC’s gets put to sleep.

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I’m done with the UFC. I didn’t watch it this weekend, I didn’t want to, and I might not watch again.

I’ve loved the UFC since it’s inception, but what I loved is dead. Now it’s a sport. A big, dumb, boring sport, as crooked as boxing, as boring as baseball, and as over produced as the NFL. It’s an endless game designed to sell chicken wings and make money.

Dana White is in a secret cabal with BW3s and Coors Light to take over the world. I don’t know if it’s with meat-head bullshit jingoism, or manipulations of the insulin market after diabetes kills off most of America, but I know they’re involved, and I know sparkly T-Shirts have something to do with it.

Worse, I’m afraid I’ve spread the virus to my friends and family, because I’ve exposed every person I know to the UFC, and I’m sorry. My ex-girlfriends all have favorite fighters, and my roommate, who couldn’t tell you the difference between linebackers, could identify a triangle choke, and knows why a North-South is funny. (a triangle choke is a leg choke that doesn’t look like it should work, and a North-South is when two guys end up with their faces in each others’ wieners… you pussies.)

Anyway, I hate it now, and here’s why the UFC sucks:

It’s not fighting, it’s a sport, and sports are boring. The First UFC was an Event, and proved a point. A bunch of the toughest folks people knew got together and saw who would win in a fight. They had a tournament, and a Brazilian ground fighter won it. He choked out a big kickboxer who’d just caved-in a sumo’s face. It was awesome, and answered a lot of questions. Stupid macho questions that I wanted answered on a fundamental level; Could a boxer beat up a karate guy, could a wrestler beat up a boxer, could a dinosaur kill an X-Man? Things I needed to know.

The very name implied this. It was The ULTIMATE Fighting Championship. Ultimate means last. Now it’s a weekly contest. Calling it the UFC is silly, however, it sounds much better than calling it the Weekly Fighting Championships.

But even that would be an overstatement, because it isn’t fighting. It’s Sort-Of fighting, and it’s less like fighting every day. The First UFC had 3 rules, and those were plenty, because you can’t tell people how to fight. Early contests were unpredictable. They could be hideously violent, or boring, or hard to watch. They were, indisputably, real fighting.

It kind of grossed people out, it could lead to tense, unexciting fights (Dan Severn once famously stalked Ken Shamrock for over an hour and didn’t do anything.) So they put in some rules. Then they added weight classes, and time limits which might have made for a better product, but is certainly less like fighting. Other rules were instituted to appeal to more mainstream audiences, audiences put off by actual violence. Idiots still think kicking a guy in the balls is dirty. (It’s macho to shoot an intruder, but only a coward would punch a man in his privates.) People don’t like the idea of fighting, so they changed it to seem more “sporting,” but it had the opposite effect. This seemingly silly argument, perfectly illustrates that MMA is not actual fighting and arguably less honorable. Putting in rules seems necessary to demand fairness, but it’s telling that in the first UFC, there were no dick kicks, even though they were legal. Now that dick kicks are outlawed… you see no fewer than 3 per card.

I do believe today’s athletes would win the first UFC, they have trained in more ways and have been opened up to more styles of fighting than was possible 20 years ago, and MMA is a very effective fighting system that grew organically out of sport fighting. I would say with the same confidence, that today’s champions are not the toughest guys in the sport, and that if the rules were stripped back to the original 3, the current UFC champs would not come out on top, at least not always.

Which leads to the biggest lie and problem with the UFC today, it’s champions aren’t champions. A fighting champion is a lie boxing and pro-wrestling have used for generations to trick idiots into thinking a show is the same as real life. There is no single toughest man on the planet, there are hundreds; any fighter can, with a little luck, beat any other fighter. That is the appeal and curse of the pursuit. Moreover, there are people who can regularly beat one opponent, and lose to another who regularly loses to the first. Styles and skills match up unevenly, and provide interesting results, but by tweaking and manipulating the scenario, those results become more and more formulaic. A champion can avoid styles that exploit his weaknesses, and never lose, but that does not make him the greatest. I won’t accuse any UFC athletes of doing that, but I’ll certainly accuse their camps, and the people whose priorities are not being the greatest fighter in the world, but keeping their fighter in that position.

The only way to prevent selective matchmaking, is to either demand a tournament (which still allows for some inevitable bias, as seeding is imperfect.) Or provide a series where all fighters compete against each other, and a winner is determined from the results. In short, the UFC needs a season, or embrace the idea of a yearly champion, not reigning champion. It was how the UFC was designed. It’s what “Championship” means, A champion is the winner of a contest, a representative for a camp, kingdom, or country, who stands for a higher ideal, the current “best.” It is Not a floating title that belongs to a man until it is taken from him. A Champion is not a king. A champion can not be disputed. I dispute the current system.

The UFC was designed to answer questions, and it no longer does so. It just showcases dudes wailing on each other in a perpetual system of meaningless violence. The Weekly Sort of Fighting Matches. The UFC was meant to present fighting as an art married to sport, but has turned into something less than either. It is bloated like major league baseball, phony like professional boxing, and as presumptuous as the NFL. It’s a show I don’t want to watch.

UFC on Fuel

Posted: September 28, 2012 in UFC

It’s been a while since I made a fight pick post, but I’ve been actively picking fights with my buddy on the web. That’s way easier than this, but… It’s been too long, so here it goes. First of all, let me voice my discontent with the UFC right now. There’s too much.It’s not what I fell in love with. The UFC’s become a sport; with rules and strategy and meathead fans. The fighters were Always athletes, but they weren’t participating in a sport, or playing a game, they were fighting. Now the sport has evolved and, while I can’t argue that today’s fighters aren’t better, it’s less fun. At least for me. The more Mainstream the sport goes, the less fun it is for me to watch. It used to be that being a fight fan took effort. If you met a fan, you knew he went out of his way to watch, and probably fought or trained a little too. Now, it just means he likes sparkley shirts. It’s on every week, so people don’t have to work to follow it, they can just go to B-dubs and holler. I think Dana’s super happy with it’s homogenization and weekly sporting events. I feel like it’s lost a lotof it’s heart, and most of it’s edge. I’m very happy to see the fighters getting paid, I can’t argue with that… I just wish the sport had stayed what it was. The Ultimate Fighting Championship. Anyway, there’s my gripe. Here are my picks:
This fight takes place in England, and has a lot of Brits on the card, so, if anybody’s teeth get busted, it shouldn’t matter.

The card starts out with an exciting welterweight fight where Duane “Bang” Ludwig will beat Brit tough guy Che Mills. Mills is a great fighter, coming off a hard loss to Rory MacDonald, but Ludwig’s lost two in a row… and might be fighting for his job. Both of these guys are kickboxers, and it should make for a great opening bout.

Duane Ludwig by KO

At Lightweight, Handsome Matt Wiman’s going to lose to the impressive undefeated Paul Sass. I love the way Sass fights, and while Wiman’s one of my favorites, I think he’s going to lose to this punk kid. This is probably Sass’s hardest fight to date, and I don’t think he’ll finish, as primarily a submission dude, and Wiman’s never tapped, but I think a couple near chokes will give him a squeaker decision.

Sass by Decision.

At Bantamweight I see Yves Jabouin losing to Brad Pickett be decision, because good bantamweights can’t finish fights against each other. These two tiny old men will go 25 minutes, and Jabouin will do more damage, but Pickett is a more exciting fighter, and that’ll win the judges, and the crowd. I like watching Brad “One Punch” Pickett… even though they named this submission fighter incorrectly.

Pickett by decision.

Two exciting Brits scrap in the next fight at 170. The Hitman takes on a practitioner of Gypsy Jiu-Jitsu.  John Hatheway fights John Maguire. Hathatway’s last 5 wins have been decisions, and his new measured style’s probably going to trip up the Gypsy, who needs folks to come at him hard. Maguire might have bigger wins on his record, but Hathaway has more, and I think he’ll sneak another one out, but, I’ll be pulling for the Gypsy.

Hatheway by decision

At Welterweight Dan Hardy’s going to knock out Amir Sadollah. I like Sadollah, he’s a great fighter, and a terrific ambassador for the sport, but he shines against better athlete/dumber fighter types, and Hardy isn’t that. Sadollah’s great at catching folks in mistakes, and while Hardy looks like a dude who makes mistakes… he isn’t. I love the glove throwing Hardy. I think he’ll pick Sadollah apart at a distance, and keep Amir in his guard when it goes to the ground, until a midround TKO.

Dan Hardy by TKO

Heavyweight is an exciting fight. The nearly 7 foot Stefan Struve will most likely choke out Stipe Miocic. People don’t trust Struve, because he’s taken some serious knock outs, but people forget he’s strung together 8 UFC wins between those knockouts. I can’t blame you though… watching tall guys get knocked out is awesome. Miocic is undefeated, and awesome, but I don’t think he’s trained to fight an anomaly like Struve. (How do you train for a guy like this?) Miocic could catch him, and send the 2.12 meters of Struve to the ground… but I think he’ll get caught in a crazy triangle, and tap.

Struve by Submission.

Fight of the Night: Pickett VS Jabouin

Knock Out of the Night: Ludwig

Submission of the Night: Struve

Picks for UFC on Versus

Posted: June 26, 2011 in UFC

UFC Live on Versus has a couple of fights that don’t matter much, but should be fun to see. Marquardt had to pull out, and has been canned fast a hard… I wonder what he did. It’s a shame he’s gone, I’d have loved to have watched GSP Not beat him in the near future.

Here are my picks for tonight:

Main Event:

Kongo over Barry at Heavyweight. This will be a stand-up fight, and that’s good for both of these guys, as neither has a ground game. Kongo has a little bit more, and his last fight with Browne made a lot of people angry. He’ll be fighting to prove something, and either win early or score big in the first two rounds. Barry’s likable, and funny… but he got beat by CroCop. Within the last five years. That means he fights dumb or isn’t that good. Kongo by decision.

Rick Story is going to beat up last minute replacement Charlie Brenneman. That’s not really fair. He’s known he was going to fight for a day. Brenneman is a legit fighter, but that’s too short of notice. Story by TKO

Matt Brown is a scrappy fighter at 170, and one of my favorites, but I don’t think he can beat John Howard. Both are tough once it gets to the ground, but Howard’s better on his feet. He’s also better at staying on his feet than Brown is at taking people off of them. Brown’s probably fighting for his job here, so he’ll bring it. I wouldn’t be shocked if this is Fight of the Night.

Matt “Meathead” Mitrione beats Christian Morecraft at Heavy. Mitrione’s becoming a serious fighter, and he’s better every time I see him. I don’t know why Barry’s in the Main Event and not Mitrione, as Mitrione has more impressive wins currently. But I think this will do a lot to push Mitrione up the ladder.  Morecraft is slick on the ground, and should prove an interesting test for Mitrione, but I think Meathead will be able to turn this into a sloppy kickboxing match and score a TKO.

Undercard:

They’re really throwing a lot of little guys I don’t know on this card, so I’ll only make picks on guys I have opinions about.

Joe Lauzon will beat tough guy Curt Warburton at Lightweight, as Warburton’s a Brit that likes to stand up and will get tapped out on the ground.

Nik Lentz Vs. Charles Oliveira will be a dynamite lightweight fight and I’m pissed it’s not getting bumped up to Main Card with Marquardt dropping out. These two have one loss between them and both put on exciting fights. I’ll pick Oliveira, but am happy with either.

Fuck Joe Stevenson. Why does Dana keep giving him fights? He’ll probably win this one against Javier Vazquez. If he does win, he’ll get beat by a contender in his next fight. If he doesn’t win, it won’t matter, Dana will put him on the next card beating up a ring girl or something.

Tyson Griffen’s dropping down to Featherweight. A lot of people love Griffen… I’m not sold on him. I think this cut will wear him out and he’ll get beat in late rounds by the very tough Manny Gamburyan, giving him the decision.

All in all, not a bad free fight.

Knock out of the Night: Going to have to pick a Heavyweight here, and I’m putting my money on Mitrione.

Submission of the Night: Joe Luazon

Fight of the Night: Oliveira Vs. Lentz. Really hope we get to see that one on TV.

UFC 130 predictions

Posted: May 24, 2011 in UFC

 I didn’t get to write fight picks for the last card, and it really messed with my enjoying the fights. You know what else prevented me from enjoying the last fight? GSP not finishing another opponent. 25 minutes of watching GSP not win is becoming a staple of the UFC, and I’m not buying it. I will watch Lyoto Machida do Crane Kicks all day though, thanks for saving that suck card Steven Seagal.

This upcoming fight has no Titles on the line, but 130 still looks more exciting than 129, mostly because the guys on this card like to fight… not show off how well they can not win.

First of all, it’s too bad about Frankie Edgar and Gray “TrampStamp” Maynard both got hurt. Their last fight was awesome, and would love to see some resolution. For the record, I’d have given the fight to Edgar, but a Draw is a proper decision and I’m glad to see the call. They need to fight again, and I’ll certainly tune in to watch these two throw down… my early prediction is Maynard.

As for the actual fights;

Quinton Jackson Vs. Matt Hamill (205)

I like Quinton “Rampage” Jackson over Matt “The Hamma” Hamma. Matt Hamill is on a 2 fight win streak (they say 5, but he was getting his ass beat before they DQ’d Jon Jones for elbows.) I thought Rampage was done after the Rashad Evans fallout and subsequent retirement, but now the man’s back, and he’ll beat Hamill. Hamill’s tough, but his style is fairly methodical, and certainly not flashy. He might take Rampage down, but it’ll never look like he’s doing anything while he’s down there. He doesn’t have the power to knock Jackson out, and I don’t think he’s exciting enough to win over the judges. Meanwhile Rampage has that intensity that when he’s pushing, it always looks like he’s about to end it. Whether or not it’s the right decision, it’ll be Rampage by decision.

Frank Mir Vs. Roy Nelson (270)

I’m going to pick Frank Mir, but I’m hoping for Roy “Big Belly” Nelson. I love Nelson. He’s a throwback tough guy and I love watching him. Nelson is The Guy to test new promising fighters against, as he has hands that can knock them out, and a ground game that’s infuriating, but I don’t think he’s got the skill set to upset the former Heavyweight Champ. He does pose an interesting challenge though, as his Jiu-Jitsu is deceptive, and might cancel out Mir’s strongest asset. This is the fight I’m most interested in. I’m picking a late round stoppage by Mir.

Stefan Struve Vs. Travis Browne (270)

In another good Heavyweight Bout, I’m looking for newcomer Travis Browne to knock out Stefan Struve. Struve is the 6’11” 23 year old who shocked people by knocking out his last two opponents. Browne’s an undefeated new guy who’s last showing was a tie against Cheick Kongo. Struve’s really coming along and looks to become an impressive fighter, and his monster frame certainly leads to some interesting scenarios, but his chin is a bit suspect, and knock-out’s are Browne’s forte. Browne’s coming off of a tie that probably should have been a win, and he’s going to be looking to finish this fight and leave it out of the judge’s decision. So he’ll be throwing hands hard and heavy. Also… people just like punching tall guys. It’s neat. Browne by knockout in the first.

Thiago Alves Vs. Rick Story (170)

Thiago Alves Vs. Rick Story is a hard fight to call at Welterweight. Alves looked dynamite in his last outing, but has shown a weakness against wrestling, and that’s Story’s primary strength. Story is really just a wrestler, but he’s beaten a few other good “just wrestlers” and called out Alves after his last showing. Story’s looking to grab a win over a striker to impress the fans, and I think he’ll do it. Alves has a history of not making weight, and if this cut’s been hard for him… the fights over, Story will simply hold him down for 15 minutes. I’m hoping Story looking to make a name for himself will lead to some exciting exchanges. Story by decision.

Brian Stann Vs Jorge Santiago (I85)

Brian Stann should win against Jorge Santiago at Middleweight. Santiago is a making the jump to the UFC from Sengoku, and I think Stann’s comfort from already having been under the UFC lights will give him the advantage here. Santiago is a legit fighter, with some serious wins over good guys, but not under the same pressure that millions watching brings. Stann will get a 2nd round stoppage. These two are both Studs from other organizations, and I hope to see them both succeed here.

Undercard:

Demetrius Johnson Vs. Miguel Torres (135)

Demetrius Johnson will beat Miguel Torres at Bantamweight. Tiny Wrestling beats Tiny Jiu-Jitsu.

Tim Boetsch Vs. Kendall Grove (185)

Tim Boetsch is dropping down to Middleweight to beat up Kendall Grove. Grove looks fun with his goofy long frame, and he keeps people busy for a while until they figure out how to navigate past it. But he hasn’t been fighting well for a while, and has never been much more than a novelty. If Boetsch can handle the weight drop he could make some waves in this new division. He has solid wins against some bigger fighters, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. He’ll start with a submission on “Da Spyder.” This might not be perfectly objective… I hate anybody who intentionally spells their name wrong. “Da DooshBag” will tap.

Prelims:

Gleison Tibau Vs. Rafeallo (155)

Gleison Tibau should beat Rafeallo Oliveira at Lightweight. Rafeallo is making his return to the UFC on short notice, replacing an injured Cody McKenzie. This should be an exciting BJJ showing, but Oliveira hasn’t had the time to prepare for the fight and I think Tibau will take a decision.

Michael McDonald Vs. Chris Cariaso (135)

20 year old Michael McDonald will make a statement at Bantamweight by beating Chris Cariaso. Both of this guys are fun to watch, but I think McDonald’s ground game is stronger than Cariaso’s. He’ll win by decision.

Renan Barao Vs. Cole Escovedo

Renan Barao over Cole Escovedo at Bantamweight. I’m technically picking an upset here, and I shouldn’t be. Barao’s tough as nails and hasn’t lost since his first fight. I think people just think little guys named Cole are tough. He is… but he’ll get TKO’d by Barao.

Fight of the Night: Story Vs. Alves (I’m hoping Mir Vs. Nelson)

Knock out of the Night: Travis Browne

Submission of the Night: Boetsch.

My least favorite MMA personalities

Posted: April 6, 2011 in UFC

I haven’t put up a post in too long. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and I’ve gotten behind on this. I’ve been wanting to write this one for a while, mostly because it was easy to write… I’m great at not liking stuff. Here are the 10 people in my favorite sport who bother me the most.

My Ten Least Favorite MMA personalities.

1- Frank Shamrock- Frank was a good fighter, a great fighter, but he’s the worst announcer currently working in any organization. He sounds like an idiot, and is openly antagonistic to fighters he has history with. Nobody wants to hear a guy at the bar talking about how he could beat up the guy on TV, that’s what Shamrock sounds like. A blowhard who’s mad nobody’s paying attention to him. He’s also worn braces for like 10 years, and it makes him look like a middle school bully. Couple that with his limited vocabulary and tendency to repeat himself, and you have the worst announcer there is, and my least favorite guy in the sport.

2- Rashad Evans- Rashad Evans is an asshole. He won’t fight when it doesn’t suit him, and he bitches about how people don’t respect him. He puts on boring fights and celebrates with the most unrelenting trash talk in the business. Rashad Evans is one of the only fighters I hate.

3- Josh Koschek- Josh Koschek might be mentally retarded. Did anybody see this mouth-breather on The Ultimate Fighter? He’s pretty stupid, and he’s pushy too. Typically, I don’t mind assholes. I kind of like assholes! But this guy’s the worst. He talks shit poorly, but that doesn’t slow him down at all. He’s just a meathead that mistakes talking a lot and loudly for having something to say.

4- Jon Fitch- Jon Fitch is painfully boring. He’s good. Sure, but he doesn’t stop people. He wrestles, and waits for the referee to break it up and tell him he’s the winner. Also, he looks like a monkey. Typically, that makes me like people more. If it wasn’t for this guy’s monkey face, he’d probably be my number one least favorite.

5- Jake Shields- Shields is the same boring prototype that seems to clog the welterweight division. Tough wrestler with no real wins. His match against Henderson was sort of exciting, because Henderson was trying to win. Shields survived it… then held on until the ref said it was over. It was impressive, but only because the guy he was fighting was bringing it, and fighting like he wanted to win. Shields was fighting like he wanted a decision. 

6- Mirko CroCop- CroCop is the most overrated fighter today. I was at a loss as to why Dana White continually puts this fading star on the main card until I saw his crowd reaction last fight. The audience erupted for CroCop. Then watched him get his face punched in for 3 rounds. He’s not good anymore. He won’t be again. If he loves fighting, that’s fine. Retire and coach, or take gate-keeper matches where you’re still relevant. But If I’m getting tired of watching a cop get knocked out… it’s clearly gone on too long.

7- Georges St. Pierre- GSP is maybe the best fighter in the world today. He’s also the only fighter who’s PPVs I won’t buy. He hasn’t put on an exciting fight since Serra almost 5 years ago. He wrestles, really well, and I don’t want to watch it. It’s one thing when he’s locking up with Fitch, and it looks like he really can’t finish the job, it’s another thing when he doesn’t finish Hardy, who’s a striker! or Koschek, who quite frankly is not in the same league as GSP. GSP underperforms. And I won’t deny his ability, but until he starts fighting like he wants to be there, he’ll stay on this list. It’s odd that the 4 greatest 170s in the world are all on my list of least favorites. I don’t think that that means anything, as I love several Welterweights… but not the top guys. Those guys’ fights suck.

8- Michael Schiavello- The announcer for HDNet Fights and Strikeforce is amusing, and sometimes his enthusiasm is contagious, but frequently it’s just too much. I love it when it sounds authentic, but lately it’s seemed forced and annoying. If Schiavello tones it down just a bit, he’ll quickly hop off this list like an Easter Bunny with new sneakers.

9-Chael Sonnen- I used to like this well spoken and charismatic grinder… then he tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs. I’m not a stickler about steroids, I understand the allure of a pill making you better at your job. But I am a stickler about hypocrisy, and his assault on Lance Armstrong and Holier-than-thou demeanor have quickly become sticking points for me. I also think anybody that tries to parlay an entertainment career into a Republican Political career is a scumbag.

10- Diego Sanchez- I hate spazes. And Diego Sanchez is a spaz. His streaky temperament and performance is indicative of this. His name change, his weight change, his sometimes post fight pulpit preaching; all of it comes together to make a fighter I always want to see lose.

So there they are, the 10 people who most bother me in MMA. I’d love to hear who’s on your list, and who on my list you like. Let’s get in a big damn fight about it.

Picks for UFC Fight Night Nogera Vs. Davis

This card comes just one week behind the last fight, which is a little rushed in my opinion, but I’ll take it. It was originally Nogera Vs. Ortiz, but this is a better fight. Ortiz isn’t suited for much anymore other than testing a legit contender’s ability to get off of his back. I don’t know if Mr. Wonderful Phil Davis is a real contender or not, but this fight means more watching Tito fight a guy who the audience thinks is Minitauro fighting down a weight class. My picks:

Preliminary Bouts:

Nik Lentz will beat Waylon Lowe in a boring ass wrestling match at 155 lbs. Nobody will or should care. These guys aren’t awful, but I don’t want to see either on a main card. Lentz might get better. Lowe won’t. These guys are Jake Shields, only without all the charisma.

Aaron Simpson is an exciting, if aging, fighter at 185 lbs. who’s coming off of two tough losses. I think he’ll beat “Super” Mario Miranda because he’s likely fighting for his spot in the company, and Miranda’s still adjusting to the UFC pressure and pace. 3rd round TKO.

Johny Hendricks will beat TJ Waldberger at Welterweight. Hendricks is coming off his first loss, but the Happy Beard Guy will get back to his winning ways after stopping Waldberger in the first. Waldberger’s good, and young, but he doesn’t train with anybody, and he can’t fight with top tier fighters in the cage until he does so in the gym.

Two Monsters fight at Heavyweight. 6’7”Sean McCorkle and 6’6”Christian Morecraft. Both men’s only losses come from Stefan Struve, a fighter I’m not really sold on. Morecraft looked better in those fights, but McCorkle’s in better shape. The leaner McCorkle should be able to outpace Morecraft at the end and either score a submission or a sloppy TKO by exhaustion in round 2 or 3.

Michael McDonald should defeat newcomer Figueroa at Bantamweight, as Figueroa’s taking the fight on short notice, and isn‘t used to the big league fight yet.

John Hathaway over Kris McCray at 170 lbs. I always pick McCray, but I’m just realizing it’s because Looks tough, not because he Is tough. He’s lost his last two, and will be bringing it hard this fight, but Hathaway’s handled the wrestling assault of Diego Sanchez and came out on top. I think he’ll do the same to the 1-dimensional McCray.

Jon Madsen will knock out Mike Russow in a sloppy wrestling match at Heavyweight. Both guys have good records but haven’t really beaten anyone. Both can hit really hard. Neither have much of a gas tank. I’m picking Madsen because he’s not a cop.

“Bruce Leeroy” Alex Caceres will beat Mackens Semerzier at Featherweight. Caceres isn’t great, but he’s marketable, and Dana’s going to feed him this guy who’s lost his last three as a means to make Leeroy more appealing to fight fans. Also, Semerzier’s nickname is “Da Menace.” I hate anybody who misspells their name on purpose.

Main Card:

Leonard Garcia will sort-of-beat Jung Chan-Sung again at Featherweight. This rematch is an awful first fight for a Main Card! Garcia’s last 6 fights have been split decisions. Jung’s an Asian grappler. This will be drab and a waste of TV Space. Garcia will get a not-win. Fans will give a not-shit.

Amir Sadollah should beat the always exciting but frequently careless Damarques Johnson at Welterweight. Sadollah’s a fan favorite, and Johnson always brings it, but the loser of this fight should probably get the ax, as neither is showing signs of moving up in their division.

Dan Hardy Vs. Anthony Johnson is the most promising fight on this card. Two exciting fighters coming off of tough loses. I’m siding with the more athletic Johnson, but I would not discount the Brit Striker. I’m pulling for Hardy, because I like his style, and he has the best post-loss interview ever, but I don’t think he can defend the takedowns of Johnson, who’s long and fast. Johnson by Decision. If Johnson does finish Hardy on the ground, it’ll not only be a testament to his skill, but also an illustration of how GSP is either a lazy or cowardly fighter for not doing the same.

Main Event:

Mr. Wonderful beats up the Clint Eastwood impersonator. The Nogueira Bros. Are overrated. All of the Pride guys, with the notable exceptions of Rampage and Anderson Silva are overrated. This is a great chance for Davis to get a meaningful win (especially since most fans will think it‘s over a former Heavyweight champ, not his little brother). A knock out would be great, but those Brazilian noggins are lined with Kevlar, look for a decision.

Submission of the Night: McCorkle

Knock out of the Night: I’m going against my earlier prediction, but I’ll say the winner of Hardy/Johnson.

Fight of the Night: Sadollah Vs. Johnson