This weekend the UFC has two events that are almost throwaway cards. UFC 147 on Saturday has been ravaged by injuries and might as well be TUF Brazil Finale instead of a PPV.
Friday night the UFC offers a free called, the very cleverly named UFC on FX 4. This card is highlighted by a main event battle between Gray Maynard and Clay Guida. The winner of this match will be the newest lightweight people say deserve a title shot, completely forgetting any other fight that took place in the last two months.
The under card has intriguing story lines as well. Hatsu Hioki after turning down a title shot to earn more experience will be in action against a dangerous Ricardo Lamas. Also, Dustin Pague goes for his second win in two weeks when he faces Ken Stone on the facebook under card.
After less than stellar predictions (for forgiveness I give you this) on the previous two cards I look forward to gaining back momentum this weekend.
On to the picks…
Previews and Predictions
Last Week: 1-3
Pearson, The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 winner, did not have to drop to featherweight. After all he was 4-2 in the UFC at 155 pounds, his first time at the weight in December he had a solid performance in a decision win against Junior Assunção. The
native is well-rounded
looking at his wins breakdown (3 KO, 5 Subs, 5 dec) and rarely has
disappointing performances. England
Swanson, on the other hand, is wildly inconsistent. He has above average power in the division and is always the aggressor in his fights. Sometimes this leads to impressive
KOs but he can also put himself
in poor positions and end up getting finished.
This fight could end in many ways. I can see either one with a dominating decision victory or finishing this fight. Swanson is the underdog (+160) in this fight and he looked the best I have seen him in his last fight against George Roop.
Swanson TKO Round 2
Ebersole, the king of cartwheel kicks and ridiculous body hair, is riding a ten-fight win streak into this fight. A veteran of 65 fights, “Bad Boy” is 3-0 inside the Octagon, most recently defeating Claude Patrick by split decision in December. While many view him as a novelty because the hair and his antics, Ebersole is a name to watch in a welterweight division that is wide open after the top four.
Waldburger is thought of as a young guy in the sport at only 24 years old but he has plenty of experience. Since turning pro at age 17 he has competed 21 times, winning 15 of them (3-1 in the UFC). There is no secret to Waldburger’s game. He is a grappler through and through (1 KO compared to 12 submission wins).
This fight is most likely going to be a grappling affair between the two of them but I see the experience ultimately winning out.
Ebersole Unamimous Decision (30-27)
Haven’t we seen this before….? Technically we have seen it twice with the two splitting their first two meetings. Stout won the initial meeting in 2006 by split decision that still ranks as one of the best fights in the promotion’s history. Before dropping his last fight Stout had seen a resurgence in his career winning 4 of 5 fights, including 4 bonuses.
Fisher won the rematch 15 months later by decision in another great brawl that took home fight of the night honors. Lately, Fisher has been hobbled by injuries and unimpressive in the Octagon, losing 4 of his last 5.
This fight very well could be Fisher’s swan song and there is not a better opponent he could face for it. I expect another fight of the night to come from these guys and look for Stout to remain true to his nickname.
Stout TKO Round 3
The main event pits two lightweights looking to avoid gatekeeper status against each other. In his last two bouts it looked like Maynard was going to defeat Frankie Edgar and become champion. Edgar’s crazy chin led to a draw in the first fight and “the Bully” receiving the first loss of his career in the rematch.
It’s a mental game for Maynard. How will he respond coming off a loss? Some fighters say their first loss is the best thing to ever happen to them, while others press two much in their next fight and up getting caught. Maynard has the best wrestling of any opponent in Guida’s history so expect him able to thwart any lay n pray attempt from “the Carpenter.”
At first glance Guida’s record is not overly impressive. A 9-6 record inside the Octagon seems like a guy who should not be in the title discussion but something clicked for the fan favorite in 2010. He started a four fight win streak, including a win over WEC champion Anthony Pettis.
He rode that momentum to a title eliminator fight against Benson Henderson where he ultimately dropped it by decision. “The Carpenter” has a couple things going for him besides his sweet hair. He has cardio for days too go a long with an iron chin. The one glaring weakness in his game is his striking. Guida can jump around all he wants but that does not make him hit any harder.
This is going to be a battle of two fights. I expect Maynard to win the early rounds but he can’t make the mistake he did in the two Edgar fights. In each of them he pushed for the finish too soon and ultimately gassed out; this is a recipe for disaster going against a grinder like Guida. Fortunately, for “the Bully” Guida doesn’t have the strongest hands and if the tale of Samson taught me anything, Guida will be powerless with his braided up.
Maynard TKO Round 2
|The last we'll see of Guida's gorgeous locks|
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IT ISSS TIIMMMEEE.. (for me to suck at this again)….
I tried a new strategy last time, and it worked….. but I am stupid and going back to my old crappy strategy…. I am officially going on record saying my picks will be better than both Danny Boy Downes and Marty (my co-host)… I plan on taking out 2/3 of the Downes bro’s.. We will let the sun get the 3rd one.
Here we go:
Ross Pearson vs. Cub Swanson- Featherweight Division
Ross has made the shift down a weight class, to a much more wide open Featherweight division. Pearson was an exciting fighter at 155, wonder how the shift treats him to 145… Wont be easy against Cub Swanson. Cub needed a big win in his last fight.. and he got just that with a nasty KO of George Roop. This fight isn’t going to decide who will get Jose Aldo.. But it does mean a lot in both of these fighters’ careers in the 145 pound division…
My prediction: Pearson by decision
We head over to the welterweight division for Brian Ebersole and TJ Waldburger. Ebersole is 3-0 in the UFC and TWAS(the white Anderson Silva) hasn’t lost a MMA fight in 4 years…. That is an impressive feat. He goes up against an equally impressive Waldburger 3-1 in the UFC with his only octagon loss coming at the hands of Johny Hendricks…. I see this playing out like this: Waldburger comes out aggressively, gets caught early.. and spends about 25 seconds getting elbows, and other painful shots till the fight is stopped…
My prediction: Ebersole by TKO RD 1
Sam Stout vs Spencer Fisher is the co-main event…. Stout has been up and down. After beating Joe Lauzon, he loses to Jeremy “heathen” Stevens… Stout is coming off a loss to Thiago Tavares, but has won a bonus in 4 of his last 6 fights… Send in Spencer “The King” Fisher.. It has been a good week for those nicknamed “King”… Which might be needed because Fisher is 1-4 in his last 5 fights, and might be fighting for his career.
My prediction: Stout RD 3 TKO- FOTN
Now to the main event
Gray “The Bully” Maynard amd Clay” The carpenter” Guida. Maynard landed the biggest shot before Bruce Buffer even announced his presence in the octagon, with “Hairgate 2012”. If you haven’t heard, Guida is being forced to braid his infamous wavy hair…. That is like telling Danny Boy Downes to tan.. or me to put down the Bacon.. or telling Marty to not make snide remarks about my grammar… DON’T TAKE AWAY OUR NICHE!
I think Maynard lives up to his name and bullies the always moving carpenter.
My prediction: Maynard by Unanimous Decision
Thanks for listening.. Now go get me a sandwich!