Commissioner Dana White inhaled a hot of whiskey and spit it out over his replica Zippo lighter, his eyes swollen from tears and several hard days of alcohol. A dishwashers apron tied loosely around his waist. "Fuck it." He sobbed. "What's that song?" And fell to his knees, salty tears dripping on to his Sparklehorse T-shirt.
Pierce vs Paulino
It isn't that tune-ups and give me fights can't go wrong, it is just that they usually don't. Pierce by devastation in the 1st.
Schafer vs. Brilz
While I think some might be selling Brilz short in this one, I go for Schafer by sub in the 3rd.
Schaub vs Gormley
While the cast members of TUF 10 were rightly maligned as a second rate assortment of never going to be(s), it was slightly wrong to think of them in that since because the heavy weight ranks are thinner than Manute Bol around Ramadan. Schaub came off as a competent athlete with a solid jab and a good right off of it. He throws pretty straight down the pipe and his natural strength should be enough to keep Gormley off of him. I think Schaub will never be great, but he is probably getting better. Sometimes throwing straight punches in MMA is all it takes. Schaub by TKO in the 3rd.
Sakara vs. Irvin
My support and affection for Sakara were without basis when I began to follow him all those years ago. The intervening time has done nothing to help him and should have only discouraged me. Has it? No. People are weird. I enjoy Irvin as well. He is like your cousin who pours black powder onto the stove to see what happens. You know that in an Irvin fight something absurd is going to happen. Maybe the turnbuckles will explode and kill both off them. As stupid as Sakara fights he might grab Irvin by the knee and start slamming his head into it. Meanwhile, Irvin will acquire non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and die int the ring. Sadly reports are that Irvin was fighting a piankiller addiction and now is cutting to a new, lower weight. That is not a good combination. He is known as one of the harder strikers in the sport, but it is entirely offensive in nature. He has nothing in the way of defense. His fights have to end in the first few minutes or he is done. As I alluded to earlier, Sakara fights about as dumb as can be possible. He would be better punching himself in the head. I just think there is too much working against Irvin in this fight. I think Sakara gets the TKO in the 2nd. Of course this TKO might include something in his own body exploding.
Ludwig vs. Elkins
I don't know much about Elkins, but Ludwig is a fighter hat I have almost no confidence in. He began his career as a striking prodigy and then proceeded to never get better. All that has to be done is to get him on the ground and then beat him up. Elkins record gives very little indication of whether he has anything to beat Ludwig, who can still knock people out. It is very hard for me to back Ludwig, but I don't know anything about Elkins. Let's say Ludwig by TKO in the 1st. But don't bet on it.
Matyushenko vs Marshall
I am interested in this fight even though it has every chance to be the most boring fight this month. Matyushenko is the type of fighter that I usually have a hard time picking against. He is tough and experienced. He has a good clinch and a sufficient chin. Marshall is a guy who is never going to be great but has a skill set I like. He can pump the jab and has a long, skinny ground game. His take-down defense isn't super but it exists. I think time is catching up with Matyushenko and that Marshall's ceiling is slightly higher than I originally thought. I see some omaplata sweeps and a good deal of jabs. Marshall by decision.
Guida vs. Gugerty
Like almost everyone else, I do like Guida. He is very hard not to like. Do I like his game? Not really. There are aspects of it, the stamina, the single-leg that I respect. His striking has never come around. His guard passing has never struck me as more than pedestrian. I am going out on a limb on this one. I think Gugerty grabs a submission in the 1st. It sinks and stays and the UFCX keeps Guida even though he will be sporting 4 straight losses.
Roberts vs Howard
Has Howard really proved himself in the UFC yet? Three straight wins but no real proof for me. Has Roberts done anything to make us think he can expose Howard? ? ? I don't know. I say advantage Howard and see a TKO in the 3rd.
Buentello vs. Kongo
I have been a big Buentello fan since way back. I think most people will take one look at Kongo and one and Buentello and figure there is no way. Well, it will not be easy going for him. His beard was exposed by Arlovski who sent him to an early shoulder nap. Just remember that Buentello is the real deal as a striker and has been putting the stamp on guys since the late nineties. Of course Kongo is also a great striker with real, real power. He has a harder right but probably not as good with the hooks. Kongo might actually be the better wrestler here. An oddity. I would like to see Buentello win, and I think that he could, but I believe the cards are in Kongo's favor here and he gets a second round TKO.
dos Santos vs. Gonzaga
This is an important fight. A lot of what happens for the rest of the year in the heavyweight division will sort itself out in this fight. I am right on the verge of supporting dos Santos every time he steps in the ring. What we haven't seen yet is any of his ground game. Gonzaga has a world class ground game which we also haven't seen any of recently. While Gonzaga has some real power and OK striking, dos Santos is the far more technical and has some scary explosiveness in his fists. All it takes is one punch for dos Santos to settle this. This is the last time I don't pick him. Gonzaga by sub in the 1st.
Jones vs. Vera
Two fighters I love fighting each other. That's how it goes sometimes. I bought the hype on Vera and I still do. Maybe it is because I see him as so technically correct. Don't misinterpret that to mean that he fights smart. He doesn't fight dumb but he seems to fight comfortable. I think he one the fight against Couture, but he didn't go out and make that emphatic. Jones also beat the tar out of Matt Hamill and lost on a rules violation. I don't know how anyone could watch Jones and not love the guy. He is only 21 and has a freaky hybrid game fused from his greco-roman background and his affinity for kung-fu movies. He is creative and talented. The guy will be champion one day. I think this is really going to come down to a few factors. Vera's ability in the clinch, which was not there against Couture. Jones's technical striking level. Will he check kicks our counter strike effectively. Jone or Vera's toughness. Will Jone's be able to take the kicks to the legs and the body. Will Vera be able to fight through the poundage and get back to his feet. I love Jones, his winning would make me happy. I love Vera and his losing would be painful. I am going with Vera by TKO in the 3rd round of an awesome fight.
Print it out on a flyer, hand it to Markazi and sign Amy Chavez's name on it.