Do you hear that? The hype for this card is near eruption point. Everywhere I go I’m hearing about this fight. Jim Rome, ESPN, and even local sports radio is taking about Lesnar vs. Velasquez. I guess that’s to be expected when Brock Lesnar is on the card. Hate him or love him, he’s the biggest draw in the UFC and you will pay to see him fight. Do you know how I know? Because you are reading this.
This fight card is stacked with great fights from top to bottom. Stout vs. Taylor, McGee vs. Jensen, and the main event are all worth anybody’s time and money. Hopefully we’ll get to see that Stout/Taylor fight. Something tells me it will be the most exciting fight on the card.
Anyway, on to the reason you are here: the picks. After last week’s Super Fight Night, errr, UFC 120 event, my record fell to 101-76. Still very respectable, but I took a hit last Saturday. It won’t happen this weekend. I’m going 11-0 this Saturday night, I just know it. And I know of few of you out there have made some money using my picks. Where’s my check(s) people? The nerve of some of you.
Heavyweight bout: Jon Madsen vs. Gilbert Yvel
This is an easy pick for me. I want to say that Madsen would be smart enough to take Yvel down and control him to get an easy win, but Madsen isn’t fast enough to close the gap and make Yvel respect the takedown. I think Yvel busts him up in the first, and finishes it in the second.
My Pick: Yvel, Round 2, (T)KO
Middleweight bout: Chris Camozzi vs. Dong Yi Yang
Camozzi is a really good fighter. He was definitely one of the best in the TUF 11 house and is a very well-rounded fighter. On the other hand, Yi Yang is undefeated and loves to ground and pound his opponents. Yi Yang is a nice fighter, but I believe Camozzi will stuff those takedowns and eventually take the back and sink in a choke.
My Pick: Camozzi, Round 1, Submission
Lightweight bout: Sam Stout vs. Paul Taylor
Fight of the Night? Yeah, I’ll take bets on that. A total of 8 Fight of the Night awards between them, this will definitely be a fight to watch. I’m surprised the UFC didn’t put this bout on the Spike TV card. This will be Taylor’s debut at 155lbs, his first attempt the doctors didn’t clear him for safety reasons. This will be back and forth, but I think Stout will win 2 of the 3 rounds by out-striking Taylor. That, and the weight cut will drain Taylor.
My Pick: Stout, Round 3, Decision
Welterweight bout: Mike Guymon vs. Daniel Roberts
This fight will be about control. Roberts will have it, whether he’s the one taking Guymon down, or he pulls guard and looks for an armbar. Guymon will be in this fight, but Roberts is really good on the ground, and he’ll probably get Guymon to tap.
My Pick: Roberts, Round 2, Submission
SPIKE TV CARD
Middleweight bout: Patrick Côté vs. Tom Lawlor
I hope I’m wrong because I actually find Lawlor very entertaining and like to watch him fight, but loser will probably lose his job. Both will have lost 3 straight, and usually that spells A-X-E. Côté has the power and Lawlor has the wrestling to negate that power. Will he? Probably not because he likes to stand more than he should.
My Pick: Côté, Round 2, (T)KO
Middleweight bout: Court McGee vs. Ryan Jensen
This might be a “fan” pick, but I think McGee takes this easily. He looked three times the fighter he did when he won TUF 11 than when he was living in the TUF house, and I expect him to looked just as improved with another four months. That, and Jensen is vulnerable to the submission game and he tapped to strikes. I can’t ever pick someone like that.
My Pick: McGee, Round 2, Submission
Heavyweight bout: Brendan Schaub vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Someone is getting knocked out. Gonzaga could definitely submit Schaub, but I don’t see this fight going to the ground. Schaub is faster so he’ll probably find a few openings in Gonzaga’s stand-up, make Gonzaga over-commit, and then put the big man down.
My Pick: Schaub, Round 1, (T)KO
Light Heavyweight bout: Tito Ortiz vs. Matt Hamill
Teacher vs. Student, and I’m leaning towards teacher in this one. Hamill is a really good fighter, but Tito taught him everything he knows, and despite losing to Forrest Griffin at UFC 106, he looked pretty good. I actually thought he lost their first meeting, but won at 106. Either way, Ortiz will control Hamill and win over the judges. Don’t know if he’ll ever make that run at the title though. Franklin vs. Ortiz next? (Yes, I know I said I don’t pick people to who tap to strikes. Sue me.)
My Pick: Ortiz, Round 3, Decision
Welterweight bout: Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago
Paulo Thiago is too big for Sanchez. If Sanchez had problems with John Hathaway, he’s going to be in a world of hurt when he finds himself across the cage from Thiago. Thiago is bigger with a longer reach, which will net him the points needed to win. Sanchez really just needs to go back down to Lightweight. BJ Penn probably isn’t going to be fighting there anymore so he could possibly make a run at that title.
My Pick: Thiago, Round 3, Decision
Welterweight bout: Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampmann
This is a heck of a fight to enter the UFC on. Kampmann is the better striker of the two, but Shields is better on the ground. Both are serviceable where the other is dominate, but I think Shields’ striking is slightly better than Kampmann’s ground game. It will be tough, but you are looking at the next challenger to the Welterweight Title.
My Pick: Shields, Round 3, Decision
Heavyweight Championship bout: Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez
This is a huge fight. Probably not a big as the UFC would have you believe, but it would be a big deal if Velasquez were able to wrest the title from Lesnar. I really don’t see how he’s going to be able to do it. He COULD win, yes. His striking is better than Lesnar’s. But Lesnar is too big and too strong for Velasquez. Lesnar will take this to the ground and pound out the previously undefeated fighter. 90/10 Lesnar wins this.
My Pick: Lesnar, Round 2, (T)KO