UFC 91 - Picks

UFC 91 is Saturday from Las Vegas and features one must see, one don't miss and one don't blink ... including the fight that millions and millions have been waiting for. As always, I'll be at BW3's in Worthington ... feel free to come down if you're local. Music trivia starts at 9 for anyone brave enough to challenge me (hear that, Lia?) ... fights start at ten.

UFC 88 I was 6-3; UFC 90 I was 6-4 ... so let's see how I do with these predictions:

Randy Couture (16-8) vs. Brock Lesnar (2-1) for the UFC heavyweight title.

Brock Lesner is a beast. 6'3" 265 pounds (which is the max for the division ... he has to cut weight to make it to that) ... and an all-world wrestler: Lesnar finished his amateur career as a two-time NJCAA All-American, two-time NCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Conference Champion, and the 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion with a record of 106-5 overall in four years of college. He wrestled professionally with the WWE and New Japan, tried out and nearly made the final roster for the Minnesota Vikings, then started training MMA. His last match was against Heath Herring in August ... watch for the monster punch nine seconds in.

Randy Couture, however, is the beast master. Yes, he's giving up 40-50 pounds in size, and 14 years in age, but he's a master at finding holes in his opponent and finding ways to win. As far as the wrestling ... he's also won multiple amateur wrestling awards. Couture won a state championship during his senior year of high school, then served in the U.S. Army from 1982–1988. He was a three-time Olympic team alternate (1988, 1992 and 1996); a semifinalist at the 2000 Olympic Trials; a three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division-I All-American and a two-time NCAA Division-I runner-up at Oklahoma State University. In 1992 he was the Division-1 runner up at 190 pounds coming in second after Smashing Machine Mark Kerr.

Brock has size, strength, explosive speed, and hands so big they had to make gloves especially for him ... nothing fit. Randy has skill, multiple ways to win, the best dirty boxing in the world, decent submission skills and years of experience. Randy's also not fought in 14 months ... Brock's last fight was August, where he wailed on Herring for 15 minutes.

Yeah ... the beast versus the beast master. I've bet against Couture before. I've been wrong, both times (Gabriel Gonzaga and Tim Sylvia). Lesnar is huge, fast, strong, and as of yet, untested. All that being said ... I'm going with Lesnar. I just don't see how Randy can do it, again.
PICK: Lesnar, knockout, second round.

Kenny Florian (10-3) vs. Joe Stevenson
This is my don't miss fight. The reach, striking and Jiu-Jitsu of Florian versus the wrestling and power of Stevenson. Florian is 3" taller, punches with precision, and has cardio for days. Stevenson is a tremendous wrestler, decent on the ground and has wicked elbows from the top or bottom. Tough fight for both, but for different reasons. Florian has won his last five; Stevenson has won five of six, the only loss being to lightweight champion B.J. Penn. Both have great submission skills ... so it's a wash in a lot of ways ... which means it will be a great fight.
PICK: Florian, submisssion, third round.

Gabriel Gonzaga (9-3) vs. Josh Hendricks (15-4-1)
Gonzaga has great Jiu-Jitsu. Hendricks is a wrestler. Gonzaga can strike. Hendricks is a wrestler. Then again, as we learned from Junior dos Santos and Seth Petruzelli, anyone can land a good knockout punch. This is my don't miss fight of the night.
PICK: Gonzaga, submission, second round.

Demian Maia (8-0) vs. Nate Quarry (10-2)
Maia has amazing ground skills and is world-class in Jiu-Jitsu. Quarry has great striking. I see Maia (again) pulling guard and taking the win. Quickly. Rumor has it winner will get fed to Anderson Silva, where he'll get demolished. Quickly.
PICK: Maia, submission, first round.

Dustin Hazelett (11-4) vs. Tamdan McCrory (9-1)
Hazelett has a great ground game. McCrory doesn't. McCrory's taller, and can strike, but isn't experienced enough in defending submissions. His height will be his disadvantage, as Hazelett will find and arm, or leg, and tweak it.
PICK: Hazelett, submission, first round.

Jorge Gurgel (12-4) vs. Aaron Riley (26-10-1)
Gurgel loves to throw knees, and strike, but uses them to set up the guillotine choke. Riley likes to break arms or knock you the fuck out ... just ask Michihiro Omigawa in Pride - Bushido 7. DAMN. Dropped like a bad habit.
PICK: Riley, knockout, first round.

Jeremy Stephens vs. Rafael dos Anjos (11-2)
dos Anjos has won 9 in a row using a variety of submissions ... arm bar, kimura, rear naked choke, arm lock ... so he's looking to submit. Stephens likes the KO. His striking is superb and he went the distance (in a loss) with Spencer Fisher, so he's good at avoiding the submission game. dos Anjos, however, is a much better ground fighter than Fisher. Also, dos Anjos has never been knocked out ... but I see that streak ending.
PICK: Stephens, knockout, first round.

Mark Bocek (5-2) vs. Alvin Robinson (9-3)
Robinson was choked out by Nate Diaz ... but so have a lot of others. Robinso has choked out a few, too ... he likes the Monte de Leon. Bocek has lost to both Frankie Egars and Mac Danzig, so one more loss and he's likely gone from the UFC for a bit, if not forever. I don't see how Bocek can withstand the submission game of Robinson.
PICK: Robinson, rear naked choke, second round.

Matt Brown (7-7) vs. Ryan Thomas (9-2)
Matt Brown is either on or off. He should have beaten Dong Hyan Kim, but lost a split decision. He said he's learned not to let it go to the judges and he will bring it this fight. Ryan Thomas is a great ground fighter; Brown likes to stand and bang. If Thomas can take Brown down, it's his game ... but I see Brown going for the kill standing.
PICK: Brown, because he's from Columbus, knockout, first round.

No comments: