"2009, a wistful dusky year." said UFC Commissioner Dana White, wearing retro Buster Browns and drinking an Orange Julius. "We traded candidate Obama for cooperate facilitator Obama. We traded President Bush for President Lieberman. We traded Walter Cronkite.....We traded." At this his voice broke, he lowered to one knee, gathered himself and held his hand out as a modern King Kamehameha.
Gunderson vs. Oliveira: I am not one to hesitate about saying that I don't know. I don't know enough about these guys. The evidence isn't solid enough to make a decision based off of. Oliviera is nicknamed "Tractor" and fights out of Knoxvegas. Gunderson has a much longer record, but neither of them have fought any big names. Let's go Oliviera by doctor stoppage round 3.
Pyle vs. Ellenberger: People seem to be predicting things for Ellenberger. I am not sold yet. Pyle by sub in the 1st.
Munoz vs. Jensen: Two wrestler types who probably won't wrestle. Munoz is my hard luck winner by decision.
Lauzon vs. Miller: Miller is the smart pick in this. He has the size and the record and the training. I like him as a fighter. Lauzon has been winning but against nobodies. For some reason though I got Lauzon in this. I like the Lauzon's crazy factor. Lauzon by leg lock in the first.
Kampmann vs. Volkmann: If Lloyd Christmas (Volkmann) can wrestle this out then he is the one to pick but I have been sweet on Kampmann since he first came up. He hasn't been so great lately but he has very solid stand-up and a certain savvy on the ground. Volkmann has the ability to hold him down and bore us but I am going for Kampmann to land more on the feet and survive on the ground for a decision.
dos Santos vs. Yvel: This should be a barn burner. I am sold on dos Santos but don't sleep on Yvel if you have never seen him before. He is a mad man. He is a hurricane. He will poke your eyes and then kill the ref. In the end I think that dos Santos's crisp striking will get him a KO in the 2nd, but Yvel has a real ability to hurt him, especially with knees. Exciting fight.
Miller vs. Ludwig: Miller is a bad, bad man. He has crushing submissions and tough stand-up. Ludwig is no joke kickboxing, but this isn't kickboxing. Miller rips off a piece of Ludwig in the 1st.
Lauzon vs. Stout: This fight is very similar to the Miller/ Ludwig match. Lauzon isn't as powerful as Miller, which should make this encounter more interesting. I love how the Lauzons fight. They have the madcap, crazy eye, Hideo Tokoro style I can get behind. Stout is a very good stand-up fighter with little else. Lauzon gets either an anaconda or a foot-lock. I say heel-hook in the 1st. I am all about this fight.
Daley vs. Hazelett: I don't know whether I am stoked or concerned about this fight. Daley has been my boy since I saw him fighting in Cage Rage years ago. The guy can knock out anybody. Anybody. Calling him Semtex is more than appropriate. However, his ground game is nascent if it exists at all.. If you watch the Jake Shields fight it is almost absurd how unskilled he is on the ground but how his power and athleticism and will kept him in the fight. Hazelett, on the other hand, is one of my absolute favorite new fighters. He is an otherworldly grappler. He is on a different level in the cage than almost anyone else. His sense and thought process is a step ahead of everyone else. Hazelett is talking up his improved striking. He can improve all he wants but Daley is years ahead of him. Daley can knock him out at any point in this fight but I think Hazelett subs him in the 2nd. I am already nervous about this fight though. Great fighters both. Seeing as Daley failed to make weight this is either more unpredictable.
Evans vs. Silva: This is a hard one to call for me. Silva is a tough, tough dude with a killer mount. I think Evans has the speed-both hand and in general on him- but Silva is hard to take out with a flash KO. We don't know much about Evans' ground game. I know he postures up well and dispenses G-N-P, but how will he do if he gets mounted by Silva? I am not sure it will get there though. Evans has the advantage of the best camp in the business and solid wrestling to fall back on. It is a tough fight but I think Evans gets the pound TKO in the 3rd.
Put it in your cubby-hole kids. Zach, say hi to Arazh Markazi for us. Tell him to copy this and fax it in.