Commissioner White pimp walked to the podium in Memphis wearing two Peabody ducks as slippers and weeping for the public option. "How will a new generation of fighters come up with no access to health care? How will extending Medicaid down 10 years cover them until they are punch-drunk and diapered?....Quack!" He blew his nose on his Ted Kennedy airbrushed T-shirt and backed slowly away.
Burns vs. Grant: Burns nickname is "Fire." Almost as clever a "Rock" Quarry. Burns biggest weapon is his cornea death claw punching style. If Grant isn't blinded during the course of the fight he will wrestle and retain top control for a decision.
Johnson vs. Garcia: Has Johnson improved since the TUF finals? I wasn't impressed. He is OK on the ground. Garcia knocks him out in the 3rd.
Palhares vs. Linhares: I like Linhares's size and record. I also like his beard. His non-metaphorical beard. I just don't think his competition has been as fierce as the flesh tank they call Palhares. Tank in the military sense. Palhares has been on my radar for a while and I still expect him to do big things. I think he gets vicious takedowns throughout the fight and pound Linhares out in the 2nd.
Hendricks vs. Funch: Two not so experienced guys here. Although Hendricks has a long wrestling career. Funch is an interesting fighter but Hendricks busts him up with wrestling and some big strikes. Hendricks by decision.
Nelson vs. Wiman: Nelson has the game and background I would like to support. I always bet against Wiman but he is putting together a solid run- when he goes against mediocre competition. Nelson fighting at this level probably has everything to do with being BJ Penn's buddy without having BJ Penn's talent. I think Wiman is the guy to bet on here but I am going to go out on a limb and say Nelson by surprise sub in the 1st.
Belcher vs. Gouveia: Belcher...worst tattoo in sports. One of Gouveia's training partners says Gouveia isn't into training. Both came in overweight. Belcher by sloppy decision via Biloxi boxing.
Buentello vs. Struve: Struve has the game that I support; a giant dude that is all subs. But, and I begin this sentence with a but, I am a giant Buentello fan and I drive the bus for him routinely. Buentello has good-good stand-up and has been in the game too long for a gimmie sub. It worries me that he is a basket case who just severed times with his gym. That is a concern, but I think Buentello gets a TKO in the 3rd.
Fitch v. Pierce: Fitch is one of the best fighters in the world, rotting on the shelf. Pierce is up and coming but Fitch tools him for the decision.
Florian v. Guida: I do admire Guida's heart. I love that he backs his union, but he isn't my favorite fighter. Florian has upped his game so much in every area that he might be one of my favored fighters. Florian's defensive wrestling has gotten good enough and his defensive guard is solid enough that he will be able to stall until he can work his game. Low kicks and elbows plus a jab should be good for the decision. I predict blood in the hair.
Mir v. Kongo: Mir has managed to convince people that he is one of the better heavyweights. Is he? Kongo is one of the best strikers out there. Mir is a smart fighter though and he knows that he has to win on the ground. Two problems- First, Mir doesn't have any real takedowns. Not that good, but Kongo has no takedown defense. Second, leg-locks seem like a good strategy except that Kongo will make Mir pay for being in that position by bustin' up his noggin. The longer the fight goes on, the more chance Mir has of getting knocked out. How do I call this? I am a bit at a loss. Mir by decision?
Penn vs. Sanchez: Please. Is there any doubt of my pick? Once BJ Penn's space capsule make a safe descent to Earth, the deal is sealed. Where does Sanchez match up with Penn? His striking has improved but BJ is better. His wrestling ain't great. His subs are good against humans. Sanchez is going to be big for the weight class. That will be interesting. BJ wait him out and destroys his soul in the 4th.
There you go kids. Mail it off to Santa. Fax it to Markazi. Enjoy.