Friday, July 20, 2012

UFC 149: Who's Number Two?

This weekend was supposed to be the third match between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.  After splitting the first two matches then coaching opposite each other on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter the end of this rivalry seemed imminent.

Of course, the UFC did not take into account one of the worst injury bugs ever to effect a card.  Originally, Erik Koch and Jose Aldo had their championship fight scheduled for UFC 149 and was going to be one of the rare times the lighter weights would main event a pay per view card. 

Not counting the main event, the UFC also botched the announcement of signing Bibaiano Fernandes, one of the top bantamweights in the world.  Instead he ended up signing with One FC and we are left with Francisco Rivera against Roland Delorme.

There is also a lot less sexiness on the card after Akiyama dropped out due to injury in training.  Also, a fight between former light heavyweight champion Shogun Rua and Thiago Silva was scrapped and eventually to UFC on Fox 4.

This past week my genius showed once again. If you count my bonus Strikeforce picks I finished 8-2.  Now too shabby if I say so myself.

Now on to the picks…

Last Card: 5-1Year: 51-29 

This is a surprising bout to kick off the main card in my opinion. It made more sense to me to put Court McGee and Nick Ring to kick off the show. However, this is a fight that should entertain the Calgary fans.

Clements debuted (11-4, 1-0 UFC) debuted wit ha split decision win over Keith Wisniewski at UFC 145. The Menace, who owns the fastest MMA KO in history at 3 seconds, looked wild in my opinion. His striking is far from technical but when he was able to avoid the clinch he was able to throw bombs.

Riddle (6-3. 6-3) is a life time UFC fighter. He debuted on TUF season 7 and has been in the Octagon ever since. His submission game has improved over this time and consistently puts up entertaining fights. Deep Waters has only finished one opponent in his career and has lost 2 of his last 3.

This is a case where I think fighting in front of his native fans will hinder Clements’ performance. I think he comes out looking to finish the fight early and Riddle survives long enough to get him down and stay on top.

Riddle Unanimous Decision (30-27)

I am very surprised to see Ebersole (50-14-1, 4-0) on this card. He defeated TJ Waldburger a month ago at the Guida-Maynard FX card. After the fight, he announced a desire drop to lightweight but instead he has an opportunity to move to 5-0 at welterweight before he moves to 155.Ebersole has not lost since 2007 (11 fights) with the only loss to Hector Lombard, the guy in the co-main event. The man fans call “The White Anderson Silva” has the experience and skills to win this fight wherever it goes.  My one concern is that there is little for him to gain here besides a paycheck and maybe a bonus. 

James Head (8-2, 1-1) looks to play spoiler in this welterweight match up. After a submission loss to Nick Ring in his debut, a drop to welterweight proved successful as Head submitted Papy Abedi in the first round. Head should prove to be less of a test than Waldburger on the ground for the veteran Ebersole.

Ebersole Submission (Arm Triangle) Round 2

Kongo (17-7-2, 10-5-1) should change his name to the Ultimate Heavyweight gate keeper. He beats Pat Barry, Matt Mitrione and Paul Buentello but loses to Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez and most recently, Mark Hunt. A four fight unbeaten streak was snapped with when he was KOd in the first by the already mentioned Hunt.  Kong is well-rounded and despite all the crap I give him when I discuss his fights is capable of putting away any fighter.

Jordan (13-3, 1-0) steps in for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and is presented with a huge opportunity.  HE announced his arrival in March with a second round TKO over Oli Thompson.  An unknown to many, Jordan will look to take advantage of Kongo’s questionable chin and get another knockout. 

This fight is a toss up for me.  Both guys are strikers who have been Kod in the past.  In this fight I expect Kongo to use his wrestling to wear down the young Jordan, if he doesn’t Kongo could find himself on a Fuel card soon.

Jordan TKO Round 1

This is a fight that every single middleweight in the world should be watching.  Lombard (31-2-1, 0-0) is making his UFC debut and is #6 in my rankings. A impressive win likely pits him against Anderson Silva. There is a logjam in the division. Between Lombard, Weidman, Stann, Bisping and Belcher Joe Silva's job gets much easier with a KO win by Lightning. Lombard has done all he can outside the UFC to make a name for himself and now is his chance to step up and make the most of his opportunity.

The one man who can throw a wrench into everything is Tim Boetsch (15-4, 6-3). Thats no problem for him because he has been doing that since dropping down to middleweight. Three straight wins over Kendall Grove, Nick Ring and his massive comeback against Yushin Okami. Boetsch took a lot of shots in that fight and showed resiliency.

The problem is that the Barbarian has never faced anyone with the power of Lombard. If he gets hit anywhere near the number of times he did against Okami it is going to be lights out for him.Lombard KO Round 1

The interim bantamweight title is on the line for these two tough competitors. Barão (28-1, 3-0) is on an absolute warpath. He is unbeaten in his last 29 fights and has not been in trouble in any of them. Also, Barão is the favorite by oddsmakers despite being Faber's (26-5, 2-1) popularity.

Faber was the king of the WEC before it was taken over by the UFC. He was the face of the company and has had titles in every organization he has fought in. Faber does not surprise you much with his game either. He is an aggressive fighter with incredible cardio and one of the best guillotines in the sport.

Barão will need to adapt his training partner, Jose Aldo's, fighting style, to win this fight. Aldo picked Faber apart with leg kicks (proof) en route to a decision win. If Barão can utilize his length to avoid power shots he should be able to work his stand up game.

Faber's number one goal should be to survive the first two rounds. If he can win either of them its even better. Barão is unbeatable when the bell wing but last time we saw him against Scott Jorgensen he slowed down. The championship rounds will definitely be the California Kid's if it lasts that long.Faber Decision (48-47)
There can only be one champion...
unless you count that Cruz guy
If you liked this article please leave a comment below and vote on the poll to the right.  Also, I started a weekly podcast called Split Decision on with my friend Ryan Penney (his picks below). Be easy on the kid he is still upset about Chael’s loss. 

Feel free to leave your predictions on our facebook page. The show airs  daily Monday-Friday. 

Chris “The Menace” Clements vs. Matt Riddle
First fight in the main card features the only syrup lover on the main card with Clements hailing from Ontario . The Menace (no Dennis) is 1-0 in the UFC with a decision victory his last time out. Clements has had his opponent changed a few times due to injuries, and now gets a new puzzle.. Or Riddle?(bad attempt at humor). Matt Riddle gets the call. Riddle is coming off a big win in his last fight against Henry Martinez in February. I see this fight being a bit boring….. I hope I am wrong, but I will give the Canadian (Clements) the edge in his native land via Decision.  
Brian Ebersole vs. James Head
I love hilarious facial hair… hilarious body hair makes me uncomfortable… mainly because I cant grow it in order to design it… Ebersole is a late replacement after injuries forced Claude Patrick out. Ebersole had decision victory less than a month ago, so his training camp wasn’t hurt too bad being shortened. Head got a big victory in Sweden over Papy Abedi to go 1-1 so far in the octagon. I think Ebersole looked great in his last fight, but didn’t put TJ away, and wont put Head away… which will hurt him and come round 3 Head will lock in a guillotine choke for the submission victory.
Cheick Kongo vs. Shawn Jordan
Who knows which Cheick will show up? This guy looks tough as hell and sometimes even fights that way.. other times he looks like he could careless. I am a big Shawn Jordan guy from what I have seen and I think he has a chance to at least have a say in title match ups, but wont get there himself (definition of a gatekeeper). I think Kongo gets rocked and Jordan beats the hell out of him to get a stoppage in round 2.
Hector Lombard vs. Tim Boetsch
Lombard doesn’t want Silva next… He wants Munoz(apparently the trash talk angered the newest UFC’er)He might not get his wish with a dominating performance though… I think if he impresses, he gets Silva next (Chris Weidman disagrees). Boetsch had a  great comeback victory last time out… was down on the scorecard, and came out and won it… Sadly, I don’t think this gets close to the 3rd round. Round 1 TKO for Lombard and a date with Weidman… winner gets the Spider!
Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao
Urijah Faber had a tough test in Cruz…. I think he has an even tougher test with Renan Barao. Barao has a winning streak that most UFC fighters will never get near… Barao was going to get a title shot sooner rather than later, an injury sped things up…. I think Barao wins this thing if Urijah tries to get cute and finish him… Barao will struggle when this thing gets to the championship rounds. Barao’s cardio has been questioned, and I think that might be the one chance Faber has to win it. Sadly, I don’t think this thing sees the championship rounds. Barao catches that famous chin in round 2 and ends it with an armbar to get the interim belt.
That’s it for me. Enjoy the fights and tune in on Monday to Split Decision!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

UFC on Fuel TV 4: Silva's Next Victim

After putting on the most anticipated rematch of all-time this past weekend the UFC now has to find Anderson Silva’s next victim opponent.  The UFC on Fuel TV 4 main event pits Mark Muñoz against Chris Weidman. 

The winner of this fight will jump to the front of the line for Silva’s title… at least until Hector Lombard destroys Tim Boetch July 21.  The pay per view card was a rough night for picks.

My guy Tito lost a questionable decision and a freak injury cost me on my Stun Gun.  That’s alright though because I have recovered and am looking to get 20 picks over .500 for the year.

Also, I will be heading to Kansas City this weekend for some bachelor party shenanigans for my brother who I let fight in the UFC while I held the banner.  Unfortunately, this means that I will likely not be able to catch Strikeforce live on Saturday night.

I encourage any fight fan to check it out because it is a much a better card than this Fuel TV card in my opinion. 

Quick Strikeforce picks
Lawler TKO Round 2 over Larkin
Gracie Submission Round 1 over Jardine
Marquardt TKO Round 3 over Woodley
Rockhold Unanimous Decision (49-46) over Kennedy

Now on to the real picks…
Last Card: 3-3
Year: 46-28

The first of six main card fights pits two exciting lightweights against each other.  Dos Anjos is one of the most underrated fighters in the crowded 155 pound division.  If not for a jaw injury suffered in the third round against Clay Guida and a split decision loss to Gleison Tibau he would be on a seven fight winning streak. Dos Anjos is a BJJ black belt who will need to get this fight to the ground if he wants to leave with a win.

Njokuani is one of my favorite fighters to watch when he steps into the Octagon.  His strength is clearly his muay thai and he throws more kicks in a single fight than most fighters do in an entire career.  He has not been the most successful fighter lately, alternating wins and losses in his last six, but he will always have one of the coolest moments in WEC history. 

The advantage Njokuani’s striking is smaller than the advantage dos Anjos holds on the ground.  The Assassin throws volume strikes but he has not finished an opponent in the UFC. It is just a matter of time until dos Anjos gets this fight to the ground.

Dos Anjos Submission (Arm Bar) Round 2

Dillashaw was a finalist on The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 where he ultimately lost to John Dodson.  In his first fight after the show the Viper put on a clinic against Walel Watson resulting in judges giving scores of 30-25, 30-25 and 30-26.  His wrestling is his greatest asset in his repertoire.  Look forward the young Team Alpha Male product to execute his ground and pound.

Vaughan Lee bounced back from a loss in his UFC debut with a very slick armbar from a triangle against Norifumi Yamamoto in February.  The Brit is a stud on the ground and will be very comfortable executing offense from his back if when Dillashaw takes him down.

When a wrestler, especially an inexperienced one like Dillashaw, meets a stud on the ground it is always a tricky situation.  The wrestler can dominate the entire fight but in an instant get caught in a submission, just ask Chael Sonnen.  In this case though Dillashaw controls his top position very well and I like him to cruise to a victory.

Dillashaw Unanimous Decision (30-27)

Vemola is coming off a successful middleweight debut in May where he submitted Mike Massenzio.  While the opponent may be the most impressive, Vemola deserves credit for making the weight cut, just three years ago he was fighting as a heavyweight.  The 6 time Czech Republic National Wrestling Champion is incredibly strong, was a former body builder, but his striking can get wild at times.  Also, in previous fights his gas tank has come into question.   

Carmont, a teammate of Georges St Pierre, is riding a seven fight win streak (2-0 in the UFC).  He also won his last fight by rear naked choke back in April.  Carmont seems to be the more complete fighter of the two.  He lacks the brute strength of the Terminator but his striking game is much more versatile.  The longer the fight goes, the worst news it is for Vemola.

Carmont TKO Round 2

Simpson’s style can best be described as grinding. He was an All-American at Arizona State and it shows when he steps in the Octagon. This will be his welterweight debut where he was originally scheduled to face perennial contender Jon Fitch.  Now he goes up against Robertson, a fighter that not much is known about (he doesn’t even have a wikipedia page) besides a loss to Mike Pierce at UFC 126 last February.

In that loss Robertson was bullied by Pierce for a round and a half before getting TKOd.  At the time I did not think much of Pierce but after recent performances I will not hold the fight against Robertson. He does hold a win against a talented fighter from Wisconsin I have seen fight multiple times in Gerald Meerchaert. 

At age 37 I expect the first time weight cut to take a toll on Simpson. Robertson gets a pass form me for his first Octagon performance and I expect him to come out inspired and lock down the biggest win of his career.

Robertson Unanmious Decision (29-28)

James Te Huna vs. Joey“The Mexicutioner” Beltran
Te Huna is the first ever New Zealander in the UFC and is showing that Kiwis know how to fight. He was won 8 of his last 9 with seven of them coming by stoppage.
  While he does not have a signature win yet in his career, it is only a matter of time before more people star taking notice. 

Beltran is back in the UFC after a successful light heavyweight debut outside the promotion.  He is a fan favorite due to his brawling style and iron chin.  Unfortunately for him, I think chin has worn down, you only need to look at the Lavar Johnson fight to see that.  After 21 fights I find it hard to believe that Beltran changed his style that much and a decision win over a 4-2 regional light heavyweight brings memories of Shania Twain.

This is a rather weak co-main even in my opinion even for a Fuel card. Te Huna at this point in their careers is just better than Joey Beltran.

Te-Huna KO Round 1

The main event features a pair of two-time college wrestling All Americans. Muñoz was supposed to face Chael Sonnen in January before he injury sidelined took him out of action until today. Muñoz fights a lot like Sonnen; his plan is to take his opponents down and hit them with is Donkey Kong style ground and pound. His four fight win streak includes victories over many different styles of fighters but no one quite as well-rounded as Weidman.

Chris Weidman is undefeated in 8 career fights (4-0 UFC). He comes out of a rising Serra-Longo Fight Team in Long Island.  His last fight against Demian Maia did not wow anybody but people need to remember he cut 32 pounds in 10 days.  The All-American only started training jiu-jitsu in 2008 but I think he has the clear submission advantage in this match up.

When two wrestlers fight it usually turns into an ugly stand up war. While I think the wrestling of Muñoz is overrated, he has only landed 23% of his takedown attempts in the Octagon, he still packs a lot of power.  Weidman will need to utilize his reach advantage to stay clear of these power shots.

When the odds came out on this fight I was surprise that Weidman was the slight favorite over the veteran Muñoz but ultimately I have to agree with the odds makers.

Weidman Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 3

Two wrestlers in the main event. What could go wrong?
Credit: MMAJunkie

If you liked this article please leave a comment below and vote on the poll to the right.  Also, I started a weekly podcast called Split Decision on with my friend Ryan Penney (his picks below). Be easy on the kid he is still upset about Chael’s loss.

Feel free to leave your predictions on our facebook page. The show airs  daily Monday-Friday. 

Please follow myself and the show on Twitter.  We recap all the fights and news in the MMA world while also interviewing fighters, promoters and trainers
Lightweight- Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Anthony Njokuani

I don’t pick against Ninjas... EVER! Njokuani by 2nd round KO via some sweet kick.

Bantamweight- T.J. Dillashaw vs. Vaughan Lee

Dillashaw impressed me in Omaha. I think he takes it to the Brit and moves to 2-0 in the Octagon.

MiddleWeight-Karlos Vemola vs. Francis Carmont

Francis has a lot of hype behind him because he trains with GSP. He has lived up to the hype so far with a 2-0 record in the octagon. Vemola will give him a strong test, but I give the nod to Carmont via Decision.

Welterweight- Aaron Simpson vs. Kenny Robertson

Thanks for filling in Mr. Robertson, but this will not end well for you. Simpson is coming off a tough split decision loss and looking for payback. This is a great chance for Robertson who fills in for Jon Fitch, but sadly it wont last long. Simpson by round 1 TKO

Light Heavyweight- James Te-Huna vs. Joey Beltran

James Te-Huna has been extremely impressive so far going 3-1 with his only loss coming at the hands of the Swedish version of Jon Jones (Gustafsson).  He gets a test against a vet who probably doesn’t remember his last fight in the Octagon very well in Joey Beltran. I think the kid gets a HUGE decision victory against Beltran.

Middleweight- Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman

I love America but I think Munoz dominates in this one and I don’t think it will be close. I think Munoz grounds and pounds his way to a round 2 TKO. Up next: a spider… That is a scary “reward”.
Sorry this week’s picks were quick, and uncreative but sadly Marty was yelling at me to finish these and get back to my sweatshop.

Enjoy the fights… and don’t forget #TeamChael

Saturday, July 7, 2012

UFC 148: American Gangster vs. The King of Brazil

It is finally time for the one title match everyone has been anticipating. Fans have put up with suspensions, injuries and matches that resemble a track meet more than a fight just so we can see these Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva face off one more time. UFC 148 could have been one of the great cards of the year. But injuries have taken a toll, including taking away the anticipated rematch between Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz.
On the bright side, my amazing fight prediction was a perfect 4 for 4 on the night, time for that streak to continue.

Now, on to the picks..

Previews and Predictions

Last Card:
Year: 43-25

The first of six main card fights pits two rising bantamweights against each other. Easton is 2-0 in the UFC and looks to be a guy we could be talking about as a title contender sooner rather than later. After all, he is a teammate of the champion, Dominick Cruz. In his last fight he got more than he bargained for with injury replacement Jared Papazian. He is a black belt in jiu-jitsu as well as judo and if you watched his two Octagon fights you would see his striking is not too shabby either.

Menjivar was a name that some thought would take Cruz's spot and fight for the interim title against Faber. The brass chose Renan Barao but Menjivar still gets to fight on a pay per view main card. Since coming over from the WEC he is 3-0 including finishes over Charlie Valencia and John Albert. Menjivar has the clear experience advantage and has been in the cage against some of the best guys in the sport (St-Pierre, Lauzon, Serra).

I think this could be the fight of the night. The deciding factor for me is Easton's speed, as long as he doesn't get too impatient he should be able to control the Octagon.
Easton Decision (29-28)

The last time we saw Mendes he was on his back unconscious as Jose Aldo continued his featherweight dominance. It was the first loss of my #2 145 pounder's career. Everyone knows two things about Mendes, 1. he should come out to this song and do the dance and everything and 2. he is going to wrestle you to death. He was one of the best while wrestling at Cal-Poly and he has been able to take anyone he meets in the Octagon down until Jose Aldo (with a little help from the fence). Since he has not been in the cage since January I expect to see improvement in his striking game.

McKenzie got back on the winning track in his last fight against Marcus LeVesseur. It was his 12th submission win, with 11 of them coming by his famous McKenzietine. Part of me wonders how so many fighters allow them to fall victim to the same move. Trying to grapple with McKenzie is like laying on your back in the middle of wrestling ring, eventually you're going to feel the impact of the devastating leg drop or in this case McKenzie's grip choking you out.

Mendes is more athletic and has better top position than anyone McKenzie has faced to date. While most people would have a striking edge against “Money” there is nothing spectacular about McKenzie besides his guillotine and old facial hair. Add in the fact that this is McKenzie's first trip down to featherweight, Mendes is a clear favorite in this match.

Mendes Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2

This is a bout that is thrown on the main card. The two welterweights aren't huge fan favorites and neither one has finished an opponent since 2009. That doesn't mean they are not talented fighters, however. Kim only has one loss in his career and that is to the UFC interim champ and my #2 guy Carlos Condit. He controls his fights with his judo and wrestling. It will be interesting to see how he uses these tools because he most likely doe not want to go to the ground with Maia.

Maia is making his welterweight debut after a decision loss to Chris Weidman. Maia is very dangerous on the ground, that finsih talked about above in 2009 was a submission win over #1 contender Chael Sonnen. Since that win Maia has not been able to get on an extended winning streak due to his one dimensional fight game.

Maia's striking is not the biggest concern for me, it is his gas tank. He looked awful against Weidman and could barely mount any offense in the fight. I expect the weight cut to take a toll on him and his already questionable cardio.

Kim TKO Round 3

When Rich Franklin pulled out of his bout against Cung Le to face Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 it provided an opportunity for Patrick Cote to get back to the UFC for a third time. After a three fight losing streak in the Octagon Cote was cut in 2010. Since then he was won 4 straight fights, including two former UFC fighters. In his second stint in the organization Cote was one of the division's best, racking up 5 wins before losing to Anderson Silva in a championship fight. No one can question Cote's chin and if it wasn't for all his injuries who knew where he would be in his career.

Cung Le is a difficult fighter to break down. He is a very talented striker who came to MMA after an undefeated kickboxing career. The problem is that he does not see himself as a fighter. I am not going to hate on the guy for wanting to have a successful acting career, I just feel that it is very hard to be successful in the sport without focusing on it full-time. In his recent loss to Wanderlei Silva he looked good in the first round and almost finished the Axe Murderer.

If this goes in to the later rounds I think it favors Cote. Le's best chance in his fights are to finish them early but Cote has never truly been TKO outside the injury loss to Silva.
Cote TKO Round 3

The co-main event features a trilogy fight between two of the most important men in the history of the organization. Well no one may have been clamoring for this fight. It makes sense for where both guys are in their careers. Forrest is coming off a first round loss to Shogun Rua but had beaten two big names before that (Ortiz and Franklin). Griffin has not looked the same since losing the belt to Rashad Evans. He does not do anything outstanding but is the more well-rounded fighter of the two.

When looking at Tito Ortiz it is impossible for me to be rational. He as the guy who captured my interest in the sport. All his antics, the flames on the trunks, walking out with the two-sided flag, the clevert-shirts, he was the most bad-ass guy on my television. Ortiz said what he wanted and did not care who he offended. The sport may have evolved and left him in the dust but there is no doubt he deserves to be in the hall of fame. His ground and pound is legendary and I expect to see the best Ortiz, we have seen in awhile.

Ortiz Unanimous Decision (30-27)

The main event is the most anticipated fight of the year. Everyone remembers the first battle, where Sonnen dominated for 4.5 rounds before getting caught in a triangle. This has led to one of the best rivalries in the history of the sport.

When looking at the first fight there are so many variables to consider. How injured was Silva going into the fight? Did Sonnen's increased testosterone play a role in the controlling the Brazilian? Has Sonnen learned to stop a triangle?

All of these are very important questions and have to be considered for fight number two. I think Sonnen is a guy who does not necessarily deserve to be in this fight. His mouth has gotten him to the top of the division and he has not had many great performances, including a fight against Michael Bisping that judges could have gone either way on.

Sonnen fought his best possible fight in the first bout and could not finish the champion. There is no way he puts together a better performance than that. Silva, on the other hand, is now pissed off and you never want to piss off a spider.

People think this will make Silva over aggressive and ultimately get caught. The champion in his entire career has never looked over aggressive, even after getting beat up for 4.5 rounds he was still able to calmly lock on the triangle without issue. And I do not think Sonnen has the ability to “catch” Silva, he does not have the power or the willingness to stay on the feet for that to occur.

Silva Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 3

Dana White's reaction when they told them
how much money this fight is going to make.

If you liked this article please leave a comment below and vote on the poll to the right.  Also, I started a weekly podcast called Split Decision on with my friend Ryan Penney (his picks below). Feel free to leave your predictions on our facebook page. The show airs  daily Monday-Friday. 

Please follow myself and the show on Twitter.  We recap all the fights and news in the MMA world while also interviewing fighters, promoters and trainers

Lets be honest, one fight has most people excited: Silva/Sonnen II….. But this card is stacked. Not a single bad fight on paper(a few lopsided bouts, but not “bad”). With the constant trash talk from Chael, and the aggressive words from Silva, this card is starting to live up to the hype before either 185 pounder steps in to the octagon.

The rumors of Silva almost backing out are becoming louder, not to mention the words of anger from the Spiders mouth, make me believe he might be a little nervous about that shiny belt.

Now on to the predictions:

Mike Easton vs. Ivan Menjivar

Mike “the Hulk” Easton hasn’t lost since 2007, his one and only professional loss. Easton was a late replacement for Renan Barão. Ivan Menjivar is coming off a big win over TUF alum and friend of the show, Jon Albert. While Menjivar was originally expected to take on Barão, he doesn’t get much of a break with Easton . Menjivar knows his way around the octagon, and his veteran skill will make this fight interesting for about a round before Easton pulls away. I will take Easton round 2 TKO.

Chad “Money” Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie

Chad “Money” Mendes is coming off his first career loss, one that came at the hands of Jose Aldo…. Not a horrible fighter by any means (at least the shiny belt thinks so). Cody McKenzie bounced back after his two fight losing streak with a big win over Marcus LeVesseur. While McKenzie is coming off a win, and Mendes is coming off a loss, I think this fight is still pretty far in favor of the $$$$. Mendes needs to be aware of one thing and one thing only: Guillotine choke. McKenzie’s 11/13 wins are thanks to guillotine joke, so basically versatility isn’t a good word to describe McKenzie. I think Mendes beats on McKenzie for 3 rounds, and holds off an submission attempt. Mendes Unanimous Decision.

Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia

Dong Hyun Kim, or as I shall call him- Stun Gun (great nickname) has 1 loss in his UFC career (the other one was changed to NC.. long story) thanks to Carlos Condit. Not a bad loss, and one of his biggest wins came against Nate Diaz… again, an impressive UFC career to this point. Kims biggest test to date will be Demian Maia. Maia has had an impressive career, but is gatekeeper role at best now (after that “fight” against Silva) and if Kim wants to make a move in the middleweight division, he needs a win here. Maia is on the downside, and I think Kim puts him away impressively in round 1 via KO ( knees).

Patrick Cote vs. Cung Le

This card only gets better and better. I would have preferred Franklin/LE, but Cote has 4 wins in a row outside the Octagon, and is trying to get back in to the UFC with this fight. I feel bad for the Canadian, but I don’t give him a shot in hell. Le wins this with some highlight kick that makes me spill my beer on my fiancé…. Rest of the fights of the night will have to be watched through a scary glare coming my way.

Forrest Griffin vs. Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz

The final fight for Tito Ortiz is against another future HOFer, Forrest Griffin. Ortiz kept his career alive with a great upset over Ryan Bader, but quickly fell back in to the funk he was in with losses to Rashad Evans and little Nog. Griffin is on the tail end of his career as well, but might have one last run in him. But it will have to start with a win over Tito. The series is 1-1 between these two. I think Griffin gets the rubber match via Unanimous decision and FOTN.

Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs. Chael Sonnen

I will say it right now.. Silva is scared of Sonnen. He has been ducking Sonnen and he knows Sonnen will win this. Say what you will about Chael, he wants this title more than anything… ANYTHING. I don’t care what people say, Chael beat the Spider for 5 rounds and made one mistake and lost.

Sonnen will win this fight if it goes to the ground. Anderson will win this fight if it stays standing.

Here is what happens: Anderson comes out pissed. He will go after Sonnen and beat his ass for round 1. Round 2 Sonnen will bring this thing to the ground and frustrate Silva. Rounds 3-5 will be a back and forth test of wills. Blood will be shed. And in round 5, Sonnen will get ground position and KNOCK OUT ANDERSON SILVA.

His trash talk will be proven. They will share FOTN honors with Griffin/Ortiz and Silva will win KO of night.

Call me crazy but I buy in to the Chael Hype!

Enjoy the fights. We will talk about all this and more on Monday!