Thursday, October 21, 2010

UFC 121 Predictions

* Matt Hamill over Tito Ortiz, decision
The question here isn't what the result of the fight will be, since Tito Ortiz hasn't won a fight since 2006 and that was against the more-than-washed up Ken Shamrock. (Actually, with the two Shamrock fights, the draw with Rashad Evans and the two questionable split decisions over Belfort and Griffin, Tito arguably hasn't won a fight since 2004. Good lord.) Nope, the real question is what excuse will Tito use after he loses. He's already complained about his bad back numerous times, there have been various personal issues he's pointed the finger at, and last time out he blamed a skull fracture for his loss. A skull fracture. Really. Anyway, Hamill wins and Tito blames the result on a wizard's curse.

* Martin Kampmann over Jake Shields, decision
Kind of an upset here, but I'm confident based on the long history of UFC "planned" fights that go awry. It seems like whenever the UFC tries to push a contender into a future title bout, he loses and plans are all screwed up. Shields is the anti-Tito, having not LOST since 2004 and going 14-0 through smaller promotions like EliteXC and Strikeforce. If Shields wins, it seems a lock that he'll get a shot at the winner of the GSP/Josh Koscheck title fight. (Fun fact: the UFC is coming to Toronto in April, and if you don't think GSP is headlining that show and drawing 60,000 fans to the Rogers Centre, you're nuts.) If Kampmann wins, however? The UFC is forced to go with deserving but dull Jon Fitch for the next welterweight title bout. It's just a bit too perfect. Kampmann catches Shields or else outworks him for a surprise decision and the WW title picture is once again put into question.

* Paulo Thiago over Diego Sanchez, decision
Speaking of the WW title picture, here's a fight between two guys that are trying desperately just to get into that picture. Thiago's only lost twice in his life, and those were decision losses to Fitch and Kampmann. Thiago at worst looks like a solid gatekeeper in the division. Sanchez, on the other hand, is on a two-fight losing streak and could face a cut from the UFC unless he drops back down to lightweight with a loss here. Diego has more to gain, but I dunno, it just seems like Diego is yesterday's news. He dropped weight classes since he couldn't cut it at 170 at begin with, so I don't see what coming back years later will accomplish. The unibrow beats the YESman.

* Gabriel Gonzaga over Brendan Schaub, knockout, R2
Thiago might be a gatekeeper, but Gonzaga definitely is. His only defeats have come to top-tier heavyweights, so if Schaub beats him, then that definitely means Schaub is a player. Unfortunately for Schaub, I don't think he's on that level yet, if he ever gets there at all.

* Brock Lesnar over Cain Velasquez, R3, TKO
This is a hard, hard main event to predict. These guys are so similar in so many ways that the only reason I'm picking Lesnar is just on the size advantage. Some argue that Velasquez has the striking edge but knocking out Ben Rothwell and old man Nogueira just doesn't do it for me. In his fight with Cheick Kongo, Kongo tagged Cain a few times but Velasquez was able to regain control through his wrestling. If Lesnar tags Cain, then CV won't have that edge since Lesnar is on his same level on the ground. It wouldn't shock me at all if Velasquez wins this one, even in a blowout fashion, but if I'm making a pick, I'm going with the champ to retain. It's even tougher since the last time Lesnar fought a notable Mexican-American in a championship bout, he lost the WWE Title to Eddie Guerrero. Will I ever stop making pro wrestling jokes about Lesnar? The answer is no.

* Jon Madsen over Gilbert Yvel, decision
* Patrick Cote over Tom Lawlor, decision
* Dong Yi Yang over Chris Camozzi, submission, R2
* Sam Stout over Paul Taylor, decision (fight of the night, right here)
* Daniel Roberts over Mike Guymon, submission, R1
* Court McGee over Ryan Jensen, decision

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