(note: the image should not be construed as an endorsement of that terrible-looking Zohan movie that comes out this weekend)
* I'm almost hesitant to make a Euro 2008 pick, given that Greece came out of nowhere to win this thing the last time. But, in the end, I'll take either Germany or the Czech Republic for the win. Germany if for no other reason than it's been a while (for them) since they've won a major competition, and the Czechs because they've been in the world top-10 rankings for years now without ever winning a major competition. The Czechs are the Sergio Garcia of international football.
* UFC 85!
I'll just be quick with these ones, rather than a full-write up like last time. I'm afraid that by the time I write a long piece that half of the fighters will be hurt again. Seriously, this card is snakebitten. At least 10 fighters have had to pull out due to injuries, arrests, or (in Rashad Evans' case) because everyone he was supposed to fight got injured. That said, the UFC has done a good job in putting together a solid card in spite of all the absences.
So, without further adieu....
Hughes over Alves, R2 TKO --- Hughes is still a beast, and I think he can wrestle Thiago down and ground-and-pound. I'll be rooting for Alves, though, since a win would net him the next title shot against GSP/Fitch, which would be a good fight for the WW division.
Werdum over Vera, decision --- Maybe this will be the loss that finally convinces Vera to move down to light-heavyweight. Then again, I can't blame the guy for preferring to the fight in the far weaker weight class. Vera is a top-10 UFC heavyweight almost by default. He might not even be a top-15 LHW.
Jason "Dooms" Day over Bisping, R2 TKO --- I still think Bisping secretly sucks. The Canadian Day gets the upset. And even if Day loses, no problem. He'll just evolve new defenses, and then beat Bisping after first getting past Darkseid and the Cyborg.
Leites over Marquardt, submission R3 --- Like in the Hughes fight, I'd prefer to see the newer guy win just so we'd get some fresh title matches. A win here for Leites probably puts him next in line for Anderson Silva. So, even though I think Marquardt could easily win this, I'll put my head and heart both on the same page and go all-out for Tallest Lightest.
Davis over Swick, R2 knockout --- Or, maybe then they're talking to Swick after he wakes up, he'll get he got Swicked out. Naming moves after yourself only works if you're Ravishing Rick Rude.
Rivera over Kampmann, R1 knockout --- Going with the upset here since Kampmann is coming back from a long injury layoff.
Sanchez over Hardonk, R2 knockout --- Sanchez, the man who became a living joke when he literally ran away from Cro Cop, has quietly won his last two fights and might actually get a big-name opponent if he wins here. Hell, a three-match winning streak in the HW division might be enough for a title shot under normal circumstances.
Taylor over Liaudin, R2 knockout --- It's a battle of two second-rate fighters that UFC keeps putting on the English shows. At least it'll probably be exciting. Taylor wins even though I want to pick Liaudin due to his awesome 'Joker' nickname. Taylor gets the win unless Liaudin gets to load his gloves with Smilex.
Cane over Lambert, R2 knockout --- Cane has some upside, whereas I don't think Lambert is much of a fighter. He got one fluke win over an out-of-shape Renato Sobral, but otherwise doesn't bring much to the table.
Carneiro over Burns, R1 submission --- The marginal UFC fighter beats the newbie in the evening's "who cares" bout.
Tavares over Wiman, decision --- Tavares' last fight was one of the most boring I've ever seen. His other bouts were good, so hopefully it was an aberration and not an Arlovski-esque descent into cautiousness.
Escape Room Narrative: Losing
11 hours ago