Sup folks? It’s early Friday, my phone is broke, and I’m hungover as fuck. So fuck the formalities, you’ve been reading us long enough to know the drill, que no? I’m italics, Cruelty isnt, there’s fights this week, we pick the winners starting NOW.
Charlie Brenneman over Kyle Noke – Round 3 JD
So Charlie Brenneman is gonna try to wrestle. Spoiler Alert? He pretty much just wrestles so he’ll try to wrestle. Kyle Noke is a good submission grappler but I’m never sure if he’s a good wrestler. Is this his first fight at 170? That’s another wildcard. Brenneman has surpisingly good bjj and I don’t complain about his constant tries for top position because I like that he works to advance position as well. He’s sudden with his shots and defends submissions well. Unless Noke is a monster at this new weight class I think Brenneman should be able to survive Noke’s attacks from guard, and win via top position.
Charlie Brenneman over Kyle Noke – UD
Typical grappler vs. striker match up. I’d like to see if Brenneman’s stand up game has improved, but I doubt that he stands with Noke. Noke will get smothered on the cage walls, taken down, and grapplefucked.
Mitch Gagnon over Walel Watson – Round 3 JD
Walel is a decent striker, and I love that he’s called The Gazelle, but his takedown defense isn’t great and Gagnon is a powerful wrestler. Both guys have submission skills, so I’ll call that a stalemate and look at the wrestling aspect alone. Gagnon will be on top for most of this fight, and while he might tire and get into trouble in the third, I’ll pick him to win the first two and survive the third at least.
Walel Watson over Mitch Gagnon – TKO Rd 1
Walel is a scrappy cat, this fight could get fun quickly. Good idea putting the light guys on early, potential to get the crowd fired up with a fun fight, but keeping it off TV keeps people from switching over to college football. I think Walel catches Gagnon early and often, swarms him with strikes, and finishes in the 1st.
Seth Baczynski over Simeon Thoresen – Round 2 Submission (RNC)
Baczynski called Matt Brown a “super gnarly dude” so I would LOVE to pick against him here, but as much as I hate people who say gnarly I have an equally firm policy against picking Norwegians. JK who doesn’t love Norway? Anyway this is happening and I hate it: For the third fight in a row I’m going to pick the superior wrestler. Baczynski survived some real “gnarly” (heh) moments in his fight with Brown and still managed to force a mistake. Thoresen isn’t as dangerous striking or as veteran. After a round of back and forth, Bac will get on top, pound until Thoresen is forced to scramble and gives up his neck.
Seth Baczynski over Simeon Thoresen – TKO Rd 1
Love me some Seth Bac. His hands are sick, great fluidity in his combos. I’m wondering if Simeon can get this fight to the mat quickly, his sub game is really strong. I’m guessing no, he’s gonna run into a knee or straight punch while Simeon looks for a sloppy take down, and gets finished with some killshots on the mat.
Jim Hettes over Marcus Brimage – Round 1 TKO
I love what I saw from Hettes in his last fight and think of him as a legit prospect at the age of 24 coming out of Frankie Edgar’s camp. He uses a mix of wrestling and judo takedowns, and his gnp is scary accurate. Brimage likes to rush in to strike, and I think one of these rushes will end with a big throw and Brimage on his head. Hettes will finish quickly with punches on the ground.
Jim Hettes over Marcus Brimage – TKO Rd 2
Shit I’m torn on this fight. I think Brimage may be able to clip Hettes. Brimage problem is he getss taken down easily by great grapplers, and Hettes is a great grappler. This will probably be much like Hettes fight versus Phan, where he keeps Brimage on his back and pounds the shit outta him. Brimage is young, shit both of these guys are, and are only gonna get better.
Sean Pierson over Lance Benoist – Round 1 Submission (Guillotine)
Pierson is probably the best striker Benoist has ever faced, and Pierson is used to facing tough grapplers so this should be no adjustment for him at all. Pierson can really pile up damage if he gets his jab going, and I think Benoist will panic a little and take a sloppy shot. Pierson isn’t a great submission artist but he can grab a neck when someone gives it to him.
Sean Pierson over Lance Benoist – UD
“Benoist” looks too much like “Benoit”, and the terrible jokes and stoned giggling wont stop. Also, if you’ve fought in the UFC twice, shouldnt Sherdog have a photo of you already? Step your fight finder photo game up, Sherdog. Pierson is a solid, well rounded cat, who should be able to win this fight no matter where it goes. Benoist wont be finished, but will take a beating.
Evan Dunham over T.J. Grant – Round 3 JD
Both guys were well rounded and came to the UFC with some hype, but the results have been mixed. Dunham is legit but TJ Grant’s submission grappling hasn’t worked too well against better competition. I think Dunham is the better striker and will pile up damage over time, but he struggles a bit to finish and Grant will survive.
Even Dunham over T.J Grant – TKO Rd 2
I still believe in Dunham being a threat at 155. Problem is its still pretty damn deep, and unless youre sleeping cats on the reg its gonna be hard to be noticed. Grant is game as fuck, but has had issues with great grapplers in the past, and Dunham is just that. Grant’s gameplan should be fire big shots, and throw knees when Dunham shoots, hoping one hits the button. Doubt it happens tho, Dunham smothers and finishes with G & P later in the fight.
Igor Pokrajac over Vinny Magalhaes – Round 2 TKO
Igor has been effective but he never struck me as smooth with his muay Thai. I certainly think he’s tough but hell he’s from a Soviet republic and they’re all tough. They had bread lines yknow? Project Runway taught me that in those countries “nobody says please and thank you.” Seems unlikely but whatever. The only Russian types I know are 1) a Russian Management Consultant who loved bad house music and peddling game-worn hockey gear 2) a medium-hot married Bulgarian girl who wanted me to be her “lover” in such a creepy way that my American penis was like “really? Can we be someone’s ‘lover’ that’s so weird and contrived?” It’s hard to be me sometimes, when even my dick is pretentious. Anyway, I have a dim recollection of Vinny as sorta sucking, but the internet tells me it was 4 years ago and that’s a lot of time to get your shit together. I watched some recent fights because Eastern Europe doesn’t protect intellectual property very well, and I see that he’s the type of striker that is good enough on offense but that’s where it ends. Top tier striking is about elegant defense via footwork, parrying, or angles. He doesn’t have any of that shit so this is basically a pick ‘em. WOW I rambled for a long time to get nowhere. Fuck you, this is free. I’ve seen Vinny wilt a little under pressure so I think he’ll wilt under whiteguys-cant-dance-awkward striking from Igor.
Vinny Magalhaes over Igor Pokrajac – Sub Rd 1
This fight is pretty easy to figure out. If it stays standing, Igor wins early, if it hits the mat, Vinny wins early. My fear with Vinny is he does what a lot of BJJ guys do, which is start trying to strike with everyone. This is the shit that has killed Maia the past 2 years. Use what got you to the big show. Even if it means you got to get floppy and somewhat boring, fuck it, its a fight. Igor has fucking power in those gloves, but has he fought a dude with the BJJ pedigree Vinny has? I’m guessing no. Vinny gets a trip up, and secures something early.
Cub Swanson over Charles Oliveira – Round 3 TKO
My notes have both guys marked as prospects, and they are both coked-up technical strikers. Expect high volume and fireworks here. I’m excited about this fight and not JUST because I’m clearly drunk right now. Both guys throw caution to the wind because they’re so confident in their offense, but Cowboy laid a blueprint for beating Oliveira: Body shots. Cub is good about mixing up his strikes and he’ll capitalize on this hole in Tractor’s game and finish from top-position after a knockdown. This should be rowdy.
Charles Oliveira over Cub Swanson – UD
I’m still all in on the Oliveira Hype Train. Overviewing this card, its got a ton of solid young cats on the undercard, the FX portion of the event has off the chains potential. Swanson is going to give “Da Bronx” (Gay nickname alert) some issues standing, but if this hits the mat Cub’s gonna be in a shitton of trouble. I think Cub can keep Charles at a safe distance, but wont do enough to win 2 of the 3 rounds.
Roger Hollett over Matt Hamill – Round 3 JD
So I think these two are untalented meatheads. Is that OK considering one is deaf and one is Canadian? I’m offending people right? Ok well people let’s face facts: they’re handicapped but that has nothing to do with the fact that they both have shit striking and submission skills. This fight should be a terrible kickboxing match unless Hollett really is as good a wrestler as he looked against low-level competition. In that case, it’ll be a shit blanket attack decision because Hamill won’t exactly be throwing triangles. This will be Hollett on top and Hamill playing wrist control like this is 1996. This fight sucks who cares?
Matt Hamill over Roger Hollett – TKO Rd 1
THE RETURN OF MAHHH HAMMMAHHHHH!!!! Here’s where I’m torn on this, so you retire, clean break from the sport, why come back for a fight with Roger fucking Hollett? Now Bonnar coming out of retirement to fight Anderson, that makes sense. He’s got a shot to test himself versus one of the best in the world, ok go. Coming out of retirement for Roger Hollett? Is it a “Want to go out with a win” type thing? That would make some sense. Anyway, Hollett gets the “1st time jitters” factor working against him, with a super motivated Hamill, this will be over early.
Brian Stann over Michael Bisping – Round 3 JD
Bisping has been calling Stann one-dimensional in interviews, and I don’t think I really disagree with him. However, Bisping isn’t exactly Aleksander Karelin so what the fuck is his point? Bisping is not going to gnp Stann for a win here. Bisping is going to try a few sad takedowns and go back to his normal circle-away kickboxing, and there I think Stann has a slight advantage. Stann is the better athlete and has better power, but Bisping is more polished. If Bisping does manage a takedown he could steal it, but instead I think Stann wins by being the aggressor and having a bit more pop to his strikes. Speaking of pop, a guy recently won a pretty big settlement in a lawsuit over “microwave popcorn lung, which you get by breathing too much artificial butter vapor. You think I’m presenting this as bullshit but really I’m on the fence because the documentary “Hot Coffee” completely scrambled my opinions on tort reform AND it showed me an old lady’s scalded crotch with dead skin dangling off. It’s the type of thing you can never really unsee…
Michael Bisping over Brian Stann – UD
Shit this is a good fight. Is Stann’s stand up good enough to trade with Bisping? Can Stan take Bisping down? WILL BISPING GET BISPING’D? While i’m still on the Stann Hype Train, I think this is a terrible fight for him. Bisping seems to be peaking right now, and I’m not sure Stann will be able to catch Bisping with that big punch or knee. I’d like to see if Stann can smother Bisping, tuen it into a scrap, and steal 2 of the 3 rounds. I dont think it happens, Bisping is going to use footwork and straight right hands to give Stann fits. Bisping vs. Weidman please and thank you.
Demetrious Johnson over Joseph Benavidez – Round 3 JD
These guys are really really fucking short, and move really really fast. Just a warning so you don’t think you’re having an acid flashback. The problem with putting these little guys late in the card is that I’m usually drunk by that point and it’s very hard to see who’s landing in a furious exchange of stumpy arms. This is from my notes: Johnson must see birds fly by with their wings fapping in slomo… he’s fast like it’s special fx. I’m embarrassed that I write this shit to myself. Anyway yes, fast. Johnson relies on CGI-fast takedowns but Benavidez is a wrestler by trade and the body type is the same. Finally the wrestling is even for both of these guys, but I give Johnson the striking edge and think he’ll win a close one.
Demetrious Johnson over Joseph Benavidez – UD
Fun fucking fight. Mighty Mouse has the ability to beat everyone at 125, and give Cruz tremendous fits. Benavidez is going to bring that Alpha Male tree trunk body frame, and great fucking grappling. Its been said by everyone, but this fights going to be on some dont blink type shit. Echo Crulety’s “Late in the card and I’m drunk and shits happening too quickly” take. This fight should be 5 rounds, these guys got the fucking shaft with Jones getting bounced to this card. Benavidez will get out of the gates late, and Mighty Mouse will grab 2 of the 3 rounds.
Jon Jones over Vitor Belfort – Round 1 KO
I don’t want to completely dismiss a main event, but I just don’t see a way that Vitor wins. This is the best and worst thing about having dominant champions: he’s going to kill basically everyone he faces in like 2 minutes. Vitor is a pretty dangerous LHW but his game is about fighting inside so he can land combos in blitz, and Jones is going to crush him from 4 feet away. Spinning gangly licorice whips to the Brazilian grill and a ref comes flying in. THE END
Jon Jones over Vitor Belfort – TKO Rd 1
Man if Belfort wins, what a helluva story. Coming in on short notice, being a huge underdog, and beating a guy that has looked unbeatable his entire career, wow. I mean I get that it’s almost impossible, but cant I go “ANYTHING ISSS POSSSSIIBBLLLLEEEEEEE” KG for a sec? If Belfort can some how slip inside that huge reach of Jones, and go old skool Vitor ’93 hand speed throw 10 hooks type shit, I dunno man. That said, Belfort is going to get knocked out. Jones will throw spinny shit, and front kicks that are going to throw Belfort off, catch him with something flashy, and finish early. We really need Jones to move up to HW so 205 can be fun again.