UFC Commissioner Dana White stumbled to the stage with a torn copy of A People's History of the United States in one hand, an empty bottle of rum in the other, and a J.D. Salinger autographed T-Shirt. "Fuck it," he said, gathering his strength, "Everybody is dead anyway." He then smeared himself with black-face and began his long rumored, spot-on, Wyclef Jean impersonation:
Gracie vs. Beltran
With one week of training, Beltran is being sent in to lose. Gracie by 1st round sub.
Hague vs. Tuchscherer
I don't really care. Hague is an elementary school teacher I believe? I don't know. Tuscherer by G-n-P TKO 2nd.
Davis vs. Stann
I am not going to lie and say that I have seen a lot of these guys, but I always hear their names. Davis by lots of take-downs to decision.
Nover vs. Emerson
This one is hard for me. I really liked what I saw of Nover on TUF. I thought he had a lot of promise and I bought the hype. He hasn't arrived yet though. Emerson is a fighter I can never support. If you don't know, as a young man he was involved in a gang of rich, white kids who went around with guns robbing and beating people. He ended up missing out on jail time. Maybe he has moved beyond that, but he is not someone I can support. Emerson has, on the other hand, been able to get the most out of his limited talent. He has some bread and butter striking complemented by an increasingly capable take-down defense. If Nover has been able to improve his training, he his the higher ceiling, the better ground game and the more diverse striking package. This fight will show us where he is. If you are going to play it safe, call it for Emerson. I like Nover by split decision.
Torres vs. Guillard
Guillard showed up on the scene with all of the (striking) talent in the world. What he has showed us in the years since is one of the lowest fight IQs in the game. Guillard has rare, rare power, and can always win. That being said, he know how to lose. If this fight goes to the ground, and it will, Guillard will lose. Torres represent Nova Uniao. That counts for something. Torres by sub in the 1st.
Danzig vs. Bucholz
Danzig is absolutely my kind of fighter. He is good all-around. He has tight, competent boxing. He makes few mistakes on the floor. He is a driven, talented fighter. Danzig's problem is that he just doesn't have the body and athleticism to fight at the highest levels at 155. I have always called Bucholz to lose, and he seems to win somehow. I don't see him winning here though. He isn't a good enough wrestler to make anything happen. Danzig wins a hard, but unanimous decision.
Serra vs. Trigg
Who the F knows man. Both of these guys are a roll of the twelve-sided die. Trigg is notorious for being RNCed, so I called that Mayhem Miller, who excels at RNCs, would beat him. Trigg proceeded to beat Mayhem up.Serra, the jiu-jitsu black-belt, is best known for beating the tar out of GSP. I like Serra better, does that count for anything? I think Serra has more power. Trigg has better wrestling, but Serra isn't that worried about getting taken down, however, he doesn't submit much from the bottom. I say Serra by split-decision.
Maia vs. Miller
Ouch. They are puttin' the hurt on me. Two of my favorite fighters in a similar style match-up. I am a big supporter of Miller's career. He has a real, pulling, yanking, strength submission game to go with a wrestling base. Maia hovers above this world on the BJJ mother ship laughing at the rest of us vain attempts at the graceful art. I see this as the kind of match-up I see in the gym a lot wherein the Shooto guy has a very good, strong, basic submission game that they can lay on quick and strong. Maia would be playing the part of the sub wizard in the gi studying Youtube on the weekends and flipping through all the obscure books. What makes Maia different is that he has some rare athleticism to back it up. I want to pull for Miller, and his savvy could make this a little interesting, but Maia still gets the sub in the 1st.
Swick vs. Thiago
No one can say that Thiago has gotten the easy road here in the UFC. Apparently he has to fight the entire American Kickboxing Academy roster to get anywhere. This is a hard fight and I would rather see Thiago get more of a chance to develop. The odd thing about Swick is that he uses his monster reach more to get under-hooks than to jab. He has some good tight hooks and some sneaky power. Thiago has real power too, and a ground game. Swick probably takes this by having more experience, but I say Thiago by KO in the 2nd.
Marquardt vs. Sonnen
I often talk about "my kind of fighter." Sonnen is not that. He is an asshole Republican real estate agent who wrestles people until they get bored with their own careers and retire to the decision. He is kind of ridiculous and notorious for getting subbed, screaming and crying and then saying he was never subbed. Marquardt has the complete game. Just complete enough to never beat Anderson Silva. Sonnen can out wrestle him, but Marquardt will take advantage at every other opportunity. I call Marquardt by screaming sub in the 2nd.
Couture vs. Coleman
Two pioneers. One successful and respected. One bitter and pitied. Coleman once dominated the sport to such a degree that they had to change the rules. Of course that rule was no headbutting. If that is your only skill and you never progress then....then.....you become Mark Coleman, who I feel bad for, but who had every opportunity to get better and didn't. Couture, on the other hand, was a wrestler who got arm-barred by Enson Inoue (who owns my gym) and progressed to someone who could fight to a draw with Jacare in a grappling match. Couture also has very good boxing. I will give Coleman the power edge, but he doesn't use it so effectively. Coleman also has better single and double-leg take-downs, but does that really matter against Couture who lives for the clinch? Two old men come out smelling like Old-Spice and Icy Hot and gum each other......or....or Couture by TKO in the 3rd.
There it is kids. Donate it to Haiti. Apparently I have been taking this space to taunt Arash Markazi, not knowing that he was battling and beating back cancer. Beating Cancer, Arash, well above average. Your MMA writing, somewhat below.