UFC comissioner Dana White pimp walked to the podium with a Chairman Mao t-shirt and a commie green cap. "Fuck you Buddha! Long live Robert Culp!" With this he kicked over a small urn, shattering it on the floor.
To the fights!
Riddle vs Soto
Don't know Soto. Riddle is still, well, an enigma. He could be the guy who destroyed another dudes brain on TV. He could be the fairly useless fighter that emerged from that scalping. I still think Riddle has some upside and some natural talent. I think he hits take-downs and gets a TKO in the 2nd.
Palhares vs. Drwal
You spell these two last names. I absolutely love Palhares, or, Paul Harris, if you will. He is a stocky power house with limited striking (limited due to his dinosaur arms) and forceful take-downs and submission. I love his game and still feel that he is a candidate to knock-off Silva. I know. I am crazy. Palhares by sub in the 3rd.
Wallace vs. Hamman
I can not lie, I do not know. Wallace throws Hamman to the ground and beats on him for a 1st round TKO.
Diaz vs. Markham
Remember my rule; "Never bet against a Diaz." It is a good rule. True, Nate hasn't been winning lately. I don't care. I love his game. Markham has never shown me anything that makes me think he will move up the ladder. Markham has power and can brawl, but Diaz is tough and can box. Diaz can also sub anybody. Anybody includes Markham in the 3rd.
Almeida vs. Brown
I still think that Almeida should have changed his nickname to "Tony." Almeida is he kind of fighter I should back. He is a Renzo Gracie guy. He has off the charts BJJ. His wrestling is alright. His stand-up? Hmmm. As I have said before, I loved watching Matt Brown grow into a folk legend among his peers on TUF. That augurs something. Almeida is coming down in weight for the first time and I don't see it helping any of his issues. I don't think it makes him a better fighter. Brown is a solid striker, can defend the take-down and has some sub defense. I can see him getting subbed, but I think he toughs it out for a decision.
Pellegrino vs. Camoes
Camoes is a guy I definitely want to jump on the bandwagon for, but he hasn't earned it quite yet. I like Pellegrino's toughness and his grind you down wrestling. I don't think he is someone who can be submitted or knocked out easily. When you have those elements plus superior wrestling, it is not hard to see a decision. Comoes could use this as his big stepping stone. I wouldn't mind if he did, I just haven't seen the evidence yet.
Miller vs. Bocek
I have long been the driver of the Miller bus. Come on aboard. The guy is a real power grappler with superior wrestling and expanding striking. I have no problem seeing him as a future champion. Bocek is a very good grappler who I said I would stop picking against. Alas poor Bocek, I must mark against you again. What Bocek has is grappling and he can't implement his game on Miller. I see Miller choosing to work on his stand-up and getting a 3rd round KO.
Fitch vs. Saunders
I am a huge Saunders fan and applaud him for taking this bout on 2 days notice. I am also a firm believer that Fitch is one of the most skilled non-champions out there. Saunders has a huge frame for the division and has done nothing but improve since his time on TUF. He put man-sized beatdowns on both Wolfe and Davis. His size allows for great knees out of the clinch. I could see him punishing Fitch, but punishment isn't enough to put Fitch away. He is touch and durable and has great wrestling and top control. I would love to see Saunders for the upset but I think the safe money says Fitch by solid decision.
Mir vs. Carwin
I just can't trust Mir as a fighter. I love that he is a huge guy with leg-locks. That is great. I respect his improvement on the feet. However, I believe the Rosetta stone to understanding Mir is his old Grappler's Quest loss to Roy Nelson. Mir came out strong. Was winning early and then faded when he couldn't dominate and wilted only to be beat. It happens time and time again when he faces adversity. I don't ascribe this to any lack of desire or mental weakness on his part. He loves the sport. He loves fighting. It is just something that happens to him. You can see him wilt, even in his win over Lesnar. As for Carwin, what do we know? He has monster power and is huge. He has also never been to the 2nd round. How will his huge frame react to the demand for oxygen? I don't know. I do know that Mir has never shown any real striking defense and less chin. I think that even though Mir is a better technical striker that Carwin and his basic 1-2 maybe 3 punching, Carwin will melt his face and cause him to wilt. I hope the fight goes into later rounds so we can see what each fighter has become. I worry a lot about Carwin not training full time and having a new-born at home. Nevertheless I call Carwin by 1st round KO.
St. Pierre vs. Hardy
The UFC has done a good job in pretending that Hardy has a real chance in this fight. To be truthful, in MMA with 4 ounce gloves, anybody has a chance. GSP has shown that he isn't immune from getting his bell rung. Hardy is a decent striker with a well thought out approach and real power. But to believe the hype, both his own and the UFC's, that he is better than GSP in the stand-up department is foolish. I would bet on GSP in a kickboxing match between the two as well. It would be a bit more of a toss-up, but... Add this in to the fact that GSP has the absolute best take-downs in MMA coupled with the best guard passing and off the charts top control. Hardy has a very tiny chance to win and I can only see GSP tooling him. If you are in to betting real money however, the line on Hardy is ridiculous when compared to the odds of an upset in MMA, which are reasonable. But this isn't betting and I am not taking chances. GSP by TKO in the 2nd.
Take it to the bunker Arash. There you go kids.