Here is the next batch of Staff picks, minus Rod but I will update as soon as I get his.
Ricardo Almeida vs Matt Brown
Subo: I have a healthy fear of Ricardo’s ground prowess, but zero faith that it’ll actually win him the fight. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: fighter x is better than fighter y on the feet, but y beats x on the ground. Since fights start on the feet, I’m going with x. Replace the variables correctly and I have to conclude Mattbrown takes this via face smash. He’s pretty damn good at that.
Rory Markham vs Nate Diaz
Subo: See, this is precisely why I watched the weigh-ins before weighing in (ba dum tss). Markham is at 177 – and it’s like everyone knew it going in, no scowl from Dana, no re-weigh scheduled, nada. Meanwhile, this is Nate’s first fight at 170, and he’s still skinny as a rail. Diaz’s propensity to hang out in guard gets him in trouble here and Markham shakes off his ring rust with a 2nd round TKO.
Jim Miller vs Mark Bocek
Subo: The Miller Brothers have not been kicking a whole lot of ass lately. Combine homefield advantage for the Sparta-born Miller with a little CCR magic and the fact that Bocek beating the shit out of the guy that decided to rock pseudo-Nazi imagery is about all I can remember about him – you get a Miller win, probably via submission (really just hoping for a non-decision here.)
Kurt Pellegrino vs Fabricio Camoes
Subo: This fight is practically in Gotham and you’re wondering whether or not ‘Batman’ will pull it off? GTFO. Kurt by grappling hook.
Jon Fitch vs Ben Saunders
Subo: I’m sure I’ll get killed for this, but I think this match up is more competitive than Alves/Fitch II. I just don’t see Alves doing anything to Jon that he couldn’t do in the first fight, which Fitch has a helpful replay of in the form of Thiago’s fight against GSP. Saunders is just gi-gantic for 170, has an underrated ground game and big long legs with which to push off, he does JKD for fuck’s sake and I’ll never forget the Running Man he did to Brandon Wolff. Sprinkle in my perhaps misguided belief that Killa B was telling the truth about being really, truly fucked up going into the Swick fight and my affection for his nickname… put that up against a +350 or so underdog status… fuck it. I’d rather see new contenders emerge at 170 than GSP go up in weight prematurely and get decisioned by Chael Sonnen. Saunders by TKO. If it doesn’t happen, I never wrote this.
Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin
Subo: Both came in at 265 and Mir seems to have solved his ‘fat little hips’ problem that Brock made fun of in the run-up to their rematch. Brock recently said in an interview that ‘if Shane Carwin is a better version of me, this fight is over in 30 seconds.’ Mir’s biggest advantage is on the ground, but even that’s tenuous when you have a maxed-out HW with gigantic fists ready to pound at a moment’s notice. On the feet, sure, his hands might be crisper, but has Carwin not shown the ability to eat a punch and turn into a counter? Gonzaga caught him clean multiple times and dude didn’t even hit his knees. Get ready for Lesnar/Carwin and stop dreading Lesnar/Mir III, because it ain’t happening this summer. Carwin by KO.
Georges St. Pierre vs Dan Hardy
Subo: I’m a Dan Hardy fan. He was like a kid in a candy store at the weigh-ins, bouncing around, rocking blood red contact lenses. He looks cut, focused and ready to go. Then GSP walked on the stage, and I remembered I was looking at one of the top three p4p best fighters on the planet. Then I realized that if you’re top 3 p4p today, you’re top 3 p4p all time, because of how the sport has evolved. I remembered watching GSP say he was a better wrestler than Josh Koscheck, laughing my ass off, then watching my television in confused horror for the next fifteen minutes. I thought about what GSP would’ve done to Marcus Davis or Mike Swick. I did not think about Matt Serra punching him that one time. GSP by utter domination. I’ll give Hardy enough credit to last the distance.