Saturday, June 20, 2015

UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne preview

I was mainly going to do major events during the summer, but with the UFC World Strawweight Championship on the line today, I felt it was necessary to make some picks today.

Jessica Penne made a decent run during The Ultimate Fighter before losing to eventual champion Carla Esparza. Penne was also a champion at atomweight in Invicta before moving up to strawweight.

Meanwhile, the champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, showcased sheer dominance in victory against Esparza to win the title. That dominance, however, may have been the byproduct of an impressive height advantage. Such an advantage will be nullified with this fight.

Both fighters are proven strikers, but Penne has certainly made a bigger name for herself as a submission artist.

This should prove to be a far more competitive fight than Jedrzejczyk-Esparza if only because Penne has a frame more capable of getting in close to the champion and keeping her on the ground. While I think Esparza is a slightly better striker than Penne, the matchup was simply a poor one.

But don't think that just because I'm expecting a more competitive fight this time around that I'm calling Jedrzejczyk a slouch. Her striking is easily the best I've seen in the UFC strawweight division and I think that it ultimately will prove overwhelming as the fight goes on. My big concern with Jedrzejczyk is that her endurance will get a real test after being held on the ground for a few minutes, which I do expect to happen.

Ultimately, this should prove to be a fight worthy of a lot more hype than it has and certainly deserving of a spot on an actual Fox network. (Seriously, who said this fight should be Fight Pass exclusive?)

German fans in Berlin should expect a great fight that will see the European holding the belt seize control late. I pick Jedrzejczyk by KO in Round 5.

I won't pick the main card, but I'll take Dennis Siver over Tatsuya Kawajiri by KO in Round 1 in the co-main event.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

UFC 188 preview

It's been some time since I've done my picks in text form, but that will probably become the norm shortly.

I am shifting away from video blogs and going back to nearly all text writing in a few months, so here's a text blog of my picks for UFC 188.

Cain Velasquez would be my unquestioned pick before his injury, but ring rust is leaving my a little more apprehensive about picking him to remain UFC World Heavyweight Champion.

Interim champion Fabricio Werdum has had quite the run since his fight with Fedor Emelianenko a few years ago, and his striking and grappling has only gotten better since returning to UFC in my opinion.

Still, I don't think Cain would be entering this fight without knowing he could be back to his high level boxing/wrestling self, so I will take him to pick up a KO win in round 3.

Other fights on Main Card

Lightweight bout: Gilbert Melendez over Eddie Alvarez by decision in my pick for Match of the Night.

Middleweight bout: Nate Marquardt over Kelvin Gastelum by KO in Round 1

Featherweight bout: Yair Rodriguez over Charles Rosa by decision

Strawweight bout: Tecia Torres over Angela Hill by submission in Round 2

Saturday, March 14, 2015

UFC 185 preview/picks

I've got a bunch of picks for you tonight!

I'm just uploading a video with no real text today because it's my mom's birthday weekend, but my picks are below if you just want the quick rundown.

UFC World Lightweight Championship: Anthony Pettis (c) over Rafael Dos Anjos via KO 3.
UFC World Strawweight Championship: Carla Esparza (c) over Joanna Jedrzejczyk via decision.
Welterweight No. 1 contender's bout: Matt Brown over Johny Hendricks via decision.
Heavyweight bout: Roy Nelson over Alistair Overeem via KO 3.
Flyweight bout: Chris Cariaso over Henry Cejudo via decision.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

UFC 184 preview

The preview of this event can be found in the video below, but I will summarize my picks as well if you're pressed for time.

UFC World Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey over Cat Zingano via KO 4
Holly Holm over Raquel Pennington via KO 3
Jake Ellenberger over Josh Koscheck via KO 1
Alan Jouban over Richard Walsh via Decision
Tony Ferguson over Gleison Tibau via Decision

Friday, February 27, 2015

Invicta FC 11 picks

UFC has the big news in women's MMA this weekend with its main event and co-main event being in the women's bantamweight division, but Invicta has yet another female-exclusive card available this week.

Those with UFC Fight Pass will be able to see Cris "Cyborg" Santos defend her Invicta Featherweight Championship against Charmaine Tweet. This will be Cyborg's first defense of the belt, so this night is important for showing Cyborg is still able to serve as a challenge to Ronda Rousey.

My guess is that she will pull off the win, as this division is limited in terms of elite talent. I'll go with Cyborg by Round-3 KO.

In the strawweight division, Alexa Grasso takes on Mizuki Inoue. Grasso is an undefeated talent from Mexico who appears on her way toward making noice in the division. Inoue lost her debut with Invicta and looks to show she can hang with the elites.

I'll take Grasso to get a big decision win here.

Rest of the Main Card

Strawweight Bout: Norma Rueda Center v. DeAnna Bennett - Center's only loss came to Joanne Calderwood, who is near the top of UFC's division rankings. I'll take her to pick up a decision over the undefeated Bennett.

Bantamweight Bout: Irene Aldana v. Colleen Schneider - Schneider is on her way out of her prime where Aldana is entering it. I'll give Aldana a 1st-round KO win.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

UFC Fight Night: Mir vs Bigfoot picks

This card is kind of being forgotten as the big Ronda Rousey-Cat Zingano bout is Saturday, but I have some picks for the main card regardless.

Main Event, Heavyweight Bout: Frank Mir vs. Antonio Silva - 'Bigfoot' Silva is in the house facing a man in Frank Mir who has been missing for quite some time. Both these guys need wins to keep their credibility going. I'm going with Silva's size to win via 1st-round KO.

Lightweight Bout: Edson Barboza vs. Michael Johnson - I'll take the local Barboza to pick up a 2nd-round KO.

Middleweight Bout: Chris Ferreira vs. Sam Alvey - I'm leaning on experience here, so I'll give Alvey the decision.

Lightweight Bout: Rustam Khabilov vs. Adriano Martins - I'll take the ranked Khabilov to win via decision.

Men's Bantamweight Bout: Iuri Alcantara vs. Frankie Saenz - Alcantara wins this squash match by 2nd-round submission.

Welterweight Bout: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Sean Strickland - A good potential opener here. I'll take the undefeated Strickland by decision.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Thatch picks

Wow. Just wow.

After a great first month of fights, we finally have a dud card in terms of name value. This card will hopefully have some quality bouts, but outside of Benson Henderson, there really isn't a true household name on this card.

Brandon Thatch appears to have a solid wrestling game and that will be huge against a fighter in Henderson, who is making his welterweight debut.

That said, elite is elite, and I expect Bendo to grind out a decision win.

Rest of the Main Card

Featherweight Bout: Cole Miller vs. Max Holloway - I see Holloway getting over Miller on stand-up, pulling out a 3rd-round KO.

Welterweight Bout: Neil Magny vs. Kiichi Kunimoto - I'll go with the more experienced fighter and give Kunimoto a decision win.

Middleweight Bout: Dan Kelly vs. Patrick Walsh - Kelly is undefeated and good from the ground, but Walsh has decent ground defense. I'll give it to Kelly, but by decision.

Lightweight Bout: Michel Prazeres vs. Kevin Lee - Both are solid on the ground, but Prazeres is more proven standing. I'll give it to "Tractor" Prazeres by decision.

Flyweight Bout: Ray Borg vs.Chris Kelades - Who came up with these nicknames? The Tazmexican vs. The Greek Assassin? I'll give these guys this: I expect a good fight, and I give Borg a Round 1 submission win.