Sup famron? Ya boys have taken a break from LINSANITY to hit you with that picks post on what is clearly a stacked goddamn card. I get a bit nostalgic thinking about when Cruelty wrote about the good ole days of MMA in Japan, when they had the best fighters, the best fights, the best cards, and roids filling the veins of all legendary fighters provided by the Yakuza! I’ve got a whole post to mark out tho, so let’s get moving. I’m italics, Cruelty isn’t, LETS GO!!
Issei Tamura over Zhang Tiequan – Rd 3 JD
I lost all faith in Tiequan when I saw him trying to work off his back against Darren Elkins. He has a terrible guard and his in-fight strategy is worse. He’s beaten guys who are inferior wrestlers, and Tamura isn’t bad in that one department. Tamura is not a great fighter but I think he can get on top, stay safe, and win a boring upset decision. FINALLY REVENGE FOR THE RAPE OF NANKING
Tiequan Zhang over Issei Tamura – TKO Rd 1
Zhang kind of impressed me in his debut fight with the UFC. He gave Elkins fits and Elkins aint a slouch on the mat. Tamura has a weird record. I think he gets overwhelmed. Also, no TUF on TUF opener? Welcome to Japan!
Takeya Mizugaki over Chris Cariaso – Rd 3 JD
Cariaso has been around UFC and WEC for years but I haven’t been terribly impressed. He does try to brawl a bit, though, so I like this matchup for an action fight. Mizugaki throws volume punches and Cariaso will play along. I think Mizugaki is a bit more accurate and should outpoint the American in a crowd-pleaser while we’re all trying to figure out what channel we’re watching UFC on THIS time.
Chris Cariaso over Takeya Mizugaki – Sub Rd 2
Mizugaki is a bit worn tho no? Cariaso is on my “Guys we should pay attention to” list, he’s still young, and has an interesting record filled with solid wins. I think he finds a choke on the finished TK later in the fight.
Steve Cantwell over Riki Fukuda – Rd 3 TKO
In Cantwell’s last fight Mike Massensio made his face into a bloody wreck, and Fukuda is coming back from a bloody wreck in a car. I think Fukuda actually might be more talented, but I don’t like picking him to win after such a long layoff. Cantwell is a decent brawler and wrestler. Fukuda will empty his gas tank trying for takedowns, and Cantwell will batter him late.
Riki Fukuda over Steve Cantwell – JD
Fukuda quietly has a solid ass record. Wins over Ninja, Villasenior, Sakura. Cantwell still does not impress me. I think Fukuda steals this fight via grapplefuck and shady Jap judging.
Norifumi Yamamoto over Vaughan Lee – Rd 1 TKO
Kid Yamamoto really hasn’t done much in years. At this point he’ll never live up to early hype, but he can still win a few fights. Lee is a well-rounded fighter who doesn’t seem to have good top control or KO power. He’s generally won by tapping non-grapplers and Kid is too veteran for that. Lee will have to come in close to dirty box and Kid will flurry on him in the transition.
Kid Yamamoto over Vaughn Lee – TKO Rd 1
Lee is brought in to job. Maybe he can grapplefuck Kid? I doubt it. I smell early KOTN fight.
Takanori Gomi over Eiji Mitsuoka – Rd 1 KO
Mitsuoka might actually be a less disciplined fighter than Gomi, and that’s saying a lot. Gomi is going to come and swing for the fences while Mitsuoka grabs desperately for a takedown. Two fights in a row, a washed up Japanese fighter gives the Japanese crowd an opportunity to remember the good old days of JMMA.
Takanori Gomi over Eifi Mitsuoka – JD
Shit I’m wondering if Mitsuoka can grapplefuck Gomi. Assuming we see Gomi use some decent footwork, stay away from takedowns, and score enough standing to win 2 of the 3 rounds.
Anthony Pettis over Joe Lauzon – Rd 1 KO
I was resisting the urge to join the Pettis bandwagon for a long time. I find his swagger irritating and that probably biased me, but he fucking dominated Jeremy Stephens and that white trash motherfucker is a good fighter. He showed that he has good jits and wrestling to go with his “showtime” standup so I’m thinking he’ll kill Creepy Joe. Joe is coming off a nice victory over a flawed fighter in Melvin Guillard but Pettis has an edge in every category.
Anthony Pettis over Joe Lauzon – TKO Rd 1
Fuck I love this fight. Can Lauzon get this fight to the mat? Can his weird Diaz-like stance fuck with Pettis? I’m guessing not. Pettis’ stand up is still next level, and J-Lau’s chin is shaky. Not going to end well for J-Lau.
Hatsu Hioki over Bart Palaszewski – Rd 3 JD
Bart is a tough guy but that’s about all you can say about him. He’s a good striker who – yes I realize he’s coming off a KO – doesn’t really have great power. Hioki is going to get takedowns and Bart doesn’t have great offense off his back.
Bart Palaszewski over Hatsu Hioki – TKO Rd 1
Again, I love this fight. This card really has a “Bushido” feel to it. All these great lighter guys in big fights with solid match ups. Think this is a toss up. If Hioki gets this to the ground Bart’s in a world of trouble, and we get the rarely seen CRAZEE JAP SUB!! If Bart keeps this standing, he probably finishes Hioki, and that’s rare. I’m leaning to Bart catching Hioki early, and finishing him with strikes on the ground.
Yushin Okami over Tim Boetsch – Rd 2 TKO
Anderson Silva is the best to ever fight at 185. I just wanted to point that out real quick because I’m picking Okami to win pretty convincingly, and Anderson just clowned in a couple months ago. Boetsch is still a long way from being a good striker or submission fighter, and his power wrestling game is not gonna work on Okami. Boetsch is slow and Okami will be able to land his boxing, which actually looked improved during the ASilva fight. He couldn’t hit Anderson but this is not the same thing.
Yushin Okami over Tim Boetsch – JD
Okami is going to give Boetsch fits once they grapple, and they will grapple. He’s going to give Boetsch a shitload of problems, but wont finish him. Okami is in the Fitch group of guys that are great fighters who cannot beat the champ. But majority of the guys at 185 are in that group so…
Jake Shields over Yoshihiro Akiyama – Round 3 JD
A female friend of mine once told me that she doesn’t mind if a guy is uncircumcised because, as she put it, “it’s more dick.” Using her disgusting yet technically accurate logic, I’m worried that Sexyama will be less sexy having cut down to 170. That’s 15 pounds less sexy, according to my MMA Nickname math. I’m not sure how the cut will help him, because he generally relies on speed and technique. Is he going to bring a power judo game to welterweight? Nah Jake Shields is going to take him down. Shields is also a big 170 and he won’t struggle with cardio like the Akiyama will after his first cut to this weight. Shields will take him down and ugly up Akiyama’s super tan face on the way to a loss to GSP in 2013.
Jake Shields over Yoshihiro Akiyama – Sub Rd 3
Will Sexyama finally bring sexy back? Did he lose his mojo like Austin Powers, or Rob Lowe? JK Rob Lowe still gets mad pussy on the reg. Shields is going to make this sloppy, use ugly striking and smother the sexy one, wear Sexyama out, and get an armbar later in the fight. Shields should stick around 170 as long as he can make the weight.
Mark Hunt over Cheick Kongo – Rd 2 KO
I love Mark Hunt for trying a sloppy armbar against Ben Rothwell. He’s definitely here for a paycheck only, but he actually tried to learn some grappling. These guys should probably both try to get takedowns to avoid danger, but I’m hoping they just kickbox because watching these two big guys show off their high school quality wrestling for 15 minutes while huffing and puffing is going to be very embarrassing. I like Hunt in the kickboxing match because Kongo let stumpy Pat Barry get inside so Hunt can do it, too. If it becomes a wrestling match I don’t give a fuck about the outcome.
Mark Hunt over Chieck KONGO! – KO Rd 1
Seriously tho, this is so throwback Japan. Mark fucking Hunt! If Kongo was smart, he would post Hunt up on the cage, try and take him down, smother him, make this a boring fight, and steal a W. I think he leaves his chin out trying to test Hunt and make shit interesting, and gets clipped something buck fucking nasty. This is probably my ZOMG PRIDE NEVER DIES moment of the night.
Quinton Jackson over Ryan Bader – Rd 1 KO
Bader’s standup is like a twitchy statue but he has big power, and he’s coming off a KO. This might give him some misguided confidence because Rampage is coming off a dismantling by Jon Jones. I don’t read too much into the Jones loss and I think Rampage is still sufficiently talented to hover around the top of the division when he’s motivated. That last loss was ugly, and he will be motivated to redeem himself with a quality win against Bader. Because he’s a twitchy statue, Bader will be an easy target for Rampage and this will be over quickly.
Rampage Jackson over Ryan Bader – KO Rd 1
So I’m seeing that Rampage had some weigh in issues, and told some people doctors in America told him he shouldnt fight. Built in excuses? Is Page having too much fun in Japan? At the end of the day I’m not sure it will matter. Bader is going to get swallowed up by the moment, not be able to get a takedown, and get throttled by Rampage hooks.
Frankie Edgar over Ben Henderson – Rd 5 JD
I really like Frankie Edgar’s style against Ben’s. Frankie will circle and box while Bendo is forced to chase him around. Bendo will stuff early takedowns but eventually he will be too distracted with the boxing and Frankie will hit a couple doubles. Even if Bendo is only on his back for a minute, it will still score a little bit. This should be fast paced but relatively one-sided.
Ben Henderson over Frankie Edgar – JD
Really tempted to pick Bendo via sub, but Frankie is so fucking game, trains with Gracie’s, FUUCCKKKKK this fight is sick. Mega props to Dana for this as the cherry on top of this card. There’s no way it sucks with this line up right? I expect a full out war, potential FOTY, both guys are equal standing and on the mat, even though they have different styles. I truly believe Bendo is Bones/Reem/Aldo level, and will prove it after this fight. He’s winning 3 of the 5 rounds, and we’re going to be lucky enough to watch this go down again.