Ok. So Mitrione did win but it wasn’t by twister. At +600 it was definitely worth the risk in my books. Perhaps I was a little ambitious suggesting he had a ground game. I guess it’s obvious we were all wrong about the ‘epic’ Kimbo/Alexander battle so you can’t blame me too much about that call. Training is going great in Vancouver, as is the weather. Those who follow my twitter (@jasondaymma ) have seen a few pics I’m sure. No fight news just yet but I’m training like I’m in fight camp so I’m ready to go. Let the warpath back to the Octagon begin. And now, for your amusement, my pics:
BJ Penn (14-5-1) vs. Diego Sanchez (23-2) (Main Event LW Title Fight)
Every UFC they say this is going to be the fight of the year for the main event. I truly believe this will be the fight of the year. Diego is a beast. He is an aggressive force with no stop in him. He has come a long way since his days on TUF and has looked outstanding at 155. Penn has showed he is dedicated to working hard. Finally. Im very anxious to see the improvements he’s made since his resurrection against Florian. You put that together with his skill set and mind set and its a killer combination for any cagefighter to have. I’m also going to argue that Penn also has no quit in him. People critisized him for quitting against St Pierre, but it was his corner that said he was done. He was taking a beating trapped under a guy who outweighed him considerably and is in contention for the best pound for pound fighter in the world. You put all this together and it makes for one hell of a fight. I am going with BJ on this one. I think he will slow Diego down enough in the latter rounds to catch him in a submission. Rear naked in the 4th.
Kenny Florian (11-4) vs. Clay Guida (25-10)
This is another great match up. Anytime Clay fights I think it is a great match up. Both these guys are coming off losses to the fighters in the main event and both are going to be fired up and ready to prove something. Kenny’s fight against Penn definately was not his best performance, nor the best gameplan. He will working twice as hard to come back with a vengeance. If Clay can keep the pressure on Kenny and pull him out of his technical game then I think he can overwhelm Florian. It may be the less popular opinion, but I am picking Clay on this one. I think he will come out fired up and go right after Kenny, guns blazing. Guida by decision.
Frank Mir (12-4) vs. Cheick Kongo (14-5-1)
I believe Mir brings too many tools to the table for Kongo in this fight. He’s looking bigger than ever, stronger than ever, and more confident than ever. Mir’s boxing has also been looking good and he has patience when standing up or looking for the takedown. Kongo has yet to really impress me in a fight. Mir wont make a mistake that Kongo can capitalize on. I am taking Mir by submission in round 1. Probably a kimura.
Jon Fitch (23-3) vs. Mike Pierce (9-2)
I am surprised at this match up. Surprised the UFC set it up and surprised that Fitch took the fight. Mike Pierce has never fought anyone close to Fitchs skill level, for his second fight in the UFC he is stepping up big time. Fitch is gonig to overwhelm him. You simply can’t finish Jon Fitch. It won’t matter whether you can or not because I truly believe Fitch will submit him in the first.
Paul Buentello (24-10) vs. Stefan Struve (22-3)
I have to scratch my head that this is on the main card. I would rather see the Belcher and Gouveia fight myself. Both these guys are veterans and seasoned fighters. Buentello is a hard guy to submit and Stuves strength is his submission skills. How do you fight a guy that is 6’11” tall? I honestly don’t know how this fight will play out. But I am going with Struve by TKO in the 3rd round. This is a wild card for me!
Kevin Burns (7-3) vs. TJ Grant (14-3)
TJ will have his hands full with Burns for sure. We may be in for a ground clinic in this fight. Neither fighter is scared to mix it up standing or on the ground but I think TJ will choose to take this one to the matt. I am going to get bombarded for choosing the Canadian but I am calling TJ by rear-naked choke in the 3rd.
Thanks for your interest and comments on my last picks. Unfortunately, there still seems to be another ‘doomsday’ lurking about after the TUF finale. Maybe he needs to put on some weight and come up to 185 and see who’s nickname reigns supreme ‘cuz I sure as hell am not going to be called Jason “An apple a” Day. Thanks Jackals and many thanks to the kind folks at Fightlinker. Join their member program and send them some money! Maybe there will be some DoomsDay stuff for you in the future if you’re a true jackal!