Saturday, February 15, 2014

UFC Fight Night 36: Machida vs. Mousasi preview

Well it's been over a month since I've checked in here, and I've missed some cards. Sorry about that, but I've taken care of business, and my UFC picks should be back on schedule starting today.

Admittedly, next week's UFC 170 card would be far better of an option to end my hiatus, especially since I have quite a bit to say about the two main fights, but I do want to get in a warm up for my picks, so let's talk about Brazil's first UFC event this year.

Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi may very well be a battle for the No. 1 contendership after Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort have their match, so this is a real fight to pay attention to. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be all that competitive.

Mousasi, while very good and well-rounded, comes across to me as simply a lesser version of Machida. "The Dragon" has been nothing if not dominant since cutting down to middleweight, and I don't see that changing here.

I'll take Machida to score a KO victory in Round 3 in a fight he will have decent control of the whole time.

"Jacare' Souza and Francis Carmont has the ability on paper to be a very competitive fight. Carmont's striking actually exceeds Souza and he's certainly made a name for himself. That said, the home-field advantage of fighting in Brazil is a huge one.

I say Jacare gets a Round-2 submission win.

In the other main card fights, I'll take Erick Silva over Takenori Sato by decision; Nico Musoke to KO Viscardi Andrade in Round 1; and Charles Oliveira to submit Andy Ogle in Round 2.

In one final piece of business, I guess I'll address the Gilbert Melendez situation. While I totally understand a fighter's desire to get the maximum amount of money possible out of a deal, I'm not sure signing with Bellator is the wisest move.

Besides the fact that this organization has a limited amount of challenging fights for him, Bellator has proven that their contracts lead to long layoff periods and trips to court. Melendez needs to hope UFC doesn't call his bluff and let him move over.

While I think he's a top-five lightweight, he hasn't gotten the win necessary to keep calling himself the best in the world, so this move does no good for him and doesn't make the UFC need him more, so time will tell what will come of this situation.

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