Wednesday, December 29, 2010

UFC 125 Predictions

You know, I really should go back and examine my past picks sometime to count up my overall records at these picks. For all I know, I could be either a savant at picking MMA fighters or a complete moron. Ah, living in ignorance. What fun!

* Brian Stann over Chris Leben, decision
My logic in picking this result is based on the UFC's shoddy history in trying to 'build' to fights, which is obviously hard to do in a non-fixed sport. Clearly the company is trying to build Chris Leben into a bit of a second-tier drawing card and all signs are pointing towards a Leben/Wanderlei Silva fight in a few months. Of course, since Murphy's law has struck down many of Dana White's fantasies, this means Stann will probably frustrate Leben and outwork him for a decision. Stann is not a great fighter but he's a tough out, so I don't think Leben will be able to knock him cold.

* Thiago Silva over Brandon Vera, knockout, R2
Probably a loser-gets-cut fight here between two of the more notable light-heavyweights in the division. Silva has lost two of his last three and he hasn't fought since losing a decision to Rashad Evans last January. Vera is also coming off a long layoff, since he basically had his face rearranged by Jon Jones last March. That was Vera's second loss in a row, though the first of those losses was a sketchy decision defeat to Randy Couture. So, in a nutshell, both of these guys need a win really badly. I think Silva is a decent second-tier fighter, whereas the ship sailed on Vera being relevant a few years ago, so I'll do with Thiago to end yet another match by looking into the camera and doing the throat-cut gesture.

* Dong Hyun Kim over Nate Diaz, decision
Really tough fight here that could go either way. Either Diaz could counter Kim's wrestling with a submission (someone nobody has ever done against the unbeaten Kim), or else DHK could stifle Diaz all night in a decision reminiscent of Diaz's loss to Clay Guida, except with less wild hair-whipping. I'll pick the latter result since Diaz is an easily-frustrated mental midget who will probably try to counter Kim's judo with sloppy boxing. Odds of Diaz making a dong joke during the post-fight interview: 7-1

* Takanori Gomi over Clay Guida, knockout, R3
Can Clay Guida avoid a Gomi strike for 15 minutes? Nope. Reports of Gomi being washed up were apparently a bit exaggerated given how he became the first fighter to KO Tyson Griffin last summer. Gomi still has some pop in his hands, and while Guida's wrestling is his bread-and-butter, Guida has shown that he won't hesitate to stand with anyone in his efforts to make a fight as entertaining as possible. Guida won't be resist to stand for just a little bit, and that might be all Gomi needs. Gomi doesn't have the submission game to finish Gomi on the ground.

* Gray Maynard over Frankie Edgar, decision
When the Jose Aldo/Josh Grispi and Roy Nelson/Shane Carwin fights were pulled from the show due to injuries to Aldo and Nelson, the world shuddered as it faced the prospect of paying for a UFC pay-per-view headlined by Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar. Nothing against these two talent-wise...they're clearly the two best lightweights in the UFC, with Edgar having proved his championship caliber by beating BJ Penn twice and Maynard by riding a perfect 10-0 record into the match. The only problem is, neither of these guys are exciting to watch. Edgar is at least active with his constant-jab boxing style, but Maynard is the dullest grind-it-out fighter this side of Jon Fitch. This has a 25-minute decision written all over it. Maynard beat Edgar back in April 2008 by outwrestling him and while Edgar has improved since then, I'm just not sure enough has changed for a different result. It's too bad that this unappealing main event sits atop this otherwise very entertaining card --- a lot of people will choose to skip it and miss out on some quality fights.

* Josh Grispi over Dustin Poirier, submission, R2....side note on Grispi, this poor guy gets busted down from featherweight title shot against Aldo to an undercard bout against a dangerous opponent. If Grispi loses, he goes right to the back of the pack at FW and his UFC career is already behind the eightball. Tough break.
* Mike Brown over Diego Nunes, decision
* Antonio McKee over Jacob Volkmann, decision
* Daniel Roberts over Greg Soto, decision
* Brad Tavares over Phil Baroni, TKO, R2
* Jeremy Stephens over Marcus Davis, decision

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