Commissioner Dana White cocked his arms like machine guns and chomped on an invisible cigar. "Baaaaa! Baaaaaaa!" He barked, "I'm gonna kill y'all just like that. Just like Pearl Harbor. Baaaa! Baaaa! That's what you get for bringing your kids to a battle." He chuckled. "Just playin'" As Joe Rogan in a Burqa took a drag from his wheeled hookah.
Madsen vs. Al-Turk
Al-Turk has the experience and I think the technical superiority, but his in the cage luck seems to be all dried up. Madsen hasn't lost yet, but he hasn't fought anybody. I don't really care who wins this. It is more of a test to see who belongs at the fringes of the division. Either can take it. I will go against the momentum and pick Al-Turk by a split decision if he figures out how to parry a jab.
Kelly vs. Veach
Either guy can take this too. Kelly has been a surprise and is better than I ever thought he would be. In my mind he was destined to be UK card fish food, but he has got a bit of an energetic game. Veach has also shown a lot of aggressiveness in the cage. I am also undecided on this but I see Kelly being game and getting a 3rd round TKO. A tossup.
Blackburn vs. Johnson
Again, neither fighter is someone that I am sold on. And rightfully so, that is why they are on the undercard, so we can figure out what game they really have. This match-up is more interesting to me than the previous two, however. Blackburn can strike and Johnson can choke. I don't know how they match up together, but I think Blackburn's knees are a real danger. If Johnson's take-downs are effective, he can wrap things up pretty quickly. That will be where this is contested; take-down defense vs. take-downs. Seeing as Blackburn trains with some good grapplers, I think he has enough to escape. Until I am sold on Johnson's wrestling ability, I go with Blackburn by KO in the 2nd.
Story vs. Osipzak
Osipzak has been very impressive in his improvement through his short career. He has made the switch from kung-fu dude to real fighter, a rough transition. Story, however has subbed someone through arm-triangle while in his card. That is real man strength that cannot be messed with. I see that being the deciding factor. Story by sub in the 3rd.
Davis vs. Gustafsson
Davis beats Gustafsson to death with Dwight Howard's shoulders which he somehow hijacked and implanted on his own body. Davis's wrestling is way too much here. Davis by TKO in the 1st.
Gunderson vs. Taylor
I like Gunderson's sub record, but Taylor is more proven on the big stage. I like Taylor's kick-boxing, but I am not sure if the drop in weight really helps him. I think Taylor can smack him around for a 3rd round KO.
Etim vs. dos Anjos
I like both of these guys a whole lot. Etim is a slick grappler whose kickboxing has really come on. I think he does a very good job with distance and angles. He also fights with some degree of solid strategy. Somewhat of a rarity unfortunately. dos Anjos also has some sweet stand-up with painful, painful leg kicks. I really love watching both of these guys fight and I don't care which one gets the win. I think the deciding factor will be that dos Anjosis a good enough grappler to not fall prey to Etim and his stand-up is a little more rugged. I see dos Anjos earning a decision.
(Well shit, I went out to drink and I came home and the fights had started. It had only been three Guinness and some sake and umeshu and whatever else was forced down my gullet. Now I could just check some of the results and retype everything like the Washington press corps. Will I finish anyway? Yes we can! With a house full of three drunk Japanese birds, one who has just broken this plastic thing attached to my window and knocked over the mirror.)
Munoz Vs. Grove
I really like Kendall Grove. The skills he possesses are impressive and intriguing. However, he has the beard of a 12 year-old girl. He has less chin than a recessive gene royal. It is a real liability and one that can't be trusted to the grown man world of 4 ounce gloves. Now, that being the case, can one not say pretty much the same of Mark Munoz? Well, maybe he has the beard of a pre-teen trailer park resident. But he also has very good wrestling. I hesitate to say "world-class." But he hasn't been able to put his stamp on MMA wrestling. Kendall Grove has a better total package but a more overwhelming liability. That is why I have no trouble seeing Grove win with slick grappling or aggressive striking, but I can't pick him. His chin is too weak for me to give him that credit, even though I like his game much more. Munoz by TKO in the 2nd.
Gracie vs. Hughes
Has anyone grown to be more respected in the sport, and deservedly so, than Renzo Gracie. He is a fighter to love and to be treasured. He was literally stabbed in the back during a fight in Brazil. He was a complete package as a fighter when the packages were never complete. Of course those days have passed him by and he is left being a clever grappler on the seniors circuit with an interesting pass and a plethora of students who hail his name. Again, deservedly so. Matt Hughes, the dilettante farmer, the faux redneck, the scion of mediocrity and the upper middle-class, is a true high-level black belt with out the cloth strip to wear. His guard passing is phenomenal, his top control is undeniable. He has been the best at his sport for a long time. That long time endde a year or so ago. What is Hughes now? What is he without Militech? What is he without a belt? Does he have any drive left? Even though I don't like him, I find it hard to pick against him. However, I am a child of mid-90s MMA and nothing would make me happier than to see Renzo pull it out. I am betting on Hughes getting lazy. I am betting on Hughes not caring. Has any of these things ever been true? No. Hail Mary full of Grace. Renzo by arm bar. 1st round.
Penn vs. Edgar
It is no secret that Penn is my favorite fighter of all time. He shouldn't be. He is the baby son of a wealthy family who never had to work and was able to indulge his outrageous talent in private BJJ lessons wherever he felt like traveling. Why? Why/ Because not only is his talent preternatural so is his application of his skills. He is a grappling champ who has become, perhaps, the best boxer in the sport. He is a submission machine who uses an effective jab. He can wrestle and he won't be taken down. BJ Penn is a very smart fighter. In MMA, everybody has a chance to win. That is why it is interesting, but Frankie Edgar has no real chance. He is a very good wrestler and boxer but he has none of the tools to beat Penn who has never showed signs of a weak chin or easily cut able skin. This might go to decision if Edgar keeps moving, but I doubt it. KO 4th round for Penn.
Silva vs. Maia
I have always said that if anyone can beat Silva it is Maia. But then again, I said the same thing about Dan Henderson. As unbearably good as Silva is as a striker, Maia is every bit that good as a grappler. The real issue is that Anderson Silva can grapple too. Not nearly on the same level as Maia, buit his defense is outstanding. Maia has underrated wrestling and Silva not great take-down defense. The further the fight goes on, the more chance that SIlca plants and fist or a knee on Maia. I don't think this fight make sit much past the second. If Maia wins, it will be very quick on a hell hook or knee-bar in the 1st. Maybe a choke, but I don't think so. Reality says that Silva wins by KO in the 2nd, but I will be happy either way. Two great fighters.
The fights are happening right now Arash!