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The Natural’s Bad Picks

Randy Couture used to be the man when it came to picking the winners on any given UFC card. Up to UFC 76 he was sporting an impressive 15-4 prediction rate, and most of his wrong picks were huge upsets like Kongo / CroCop. That, however, was before he turned into an asshole who can’t seem to get anything in his life right.

Around the same time Randy picked retirement over a fight with Big Nog, he also started picking some pretty weird fighters to win some pretty obvious fights. For UFC77 he went 3-3 including a bet on Jason MacDonald to beat Yushin Okami. While I’m a Big Mac fan myself, I wouldn’t have put a smelly quarter I stole from a sleeping beggar’s hat down on him.

He skipped UFC 78 … guess he was too busy doing press conferences and being generally surly to make his picks. But he was back in action for last night’s UFC and here were his picks:

UFC Interim Welterweight Championship Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes – ST. PIERRE
Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva – SILVA
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Lyoto Machida – SOKOUDJOU
Eddie Sanchez vs. Soa Palalei – PALALEI
Melvin Guillard vs. Rich Clementi – GUILLARD

If you’re still too gummy and hung over to count that up for yourself, let me make it easy for you: he went 1-4. The only fight he managed to pick correctly was GSP vs Hughes, which was about the most obvious fight of the bunch (unless you’re one of the 52% who text messaged into the UFC poll last night – haha, you guys are retards).

All jokes of Randy having a voodoo life curse aside, I think the main problem is that he’s in too political of a position now to make the picks that he really wants to make. When you’re training half the fucking MMA fighters in Vegas, you can’t really make a prediction on The Fight Network that one of them is going to lose. While I don’t think anyone other than Silva had the official ‘Team Couture’ title, it wouldn’t surprise me if Guillard and Palalei dropped into the gym a few times during their camp.

**CORRECTION** I had initially listed Couture as picking CroCop over Gonzaga, which is incorrect – everyone made a big deal of the fact that Randy was right about Gonzaga. What I meant to say was Couture picked CroCop over Kongo. I dunno what’s wrong with my brain today, but here’s hoping it clears up before my reputation as a moron is cemented.

  • Tommy says:

    Finally! One guy who had a worse night of picks then myself. Randy is slowly slipping from his throne.

  • Jemaleddin says:

    Jeez, even I got the top three right (but didn’t hazard a guess on the last two because I didn’t know shit about Rich or Soa).

    GSP has one thing that Hughes doesn’t: broad experience. Matt can talk all day about sticking to what works, but if he doesn’t retire, he needs to go work with some new camps and learn some new skills. GSP is smart enough to know that he can learn something from everyone, and to cross-train like crazy. And it’s obviously been improving his skills.

    Silva is too small to be fighting at 205. I don’t know what caused the aversion to cutting in Pride, but every guy that comes (except Big Nog and Heath Herring, I guess) needs to drop a weight class. Crocop could easily get to 205, Hendo is going to 185 and Wandy should follow him. He looked small next to Chuck, and Chuck looks small next to other guys (like Rampage) at 205. A little snorkel-free cardio and some advice from Tito on how to cut, and he could be fighting his old pals Dan and Anderson.

    Watching Machida fight is like an episode of “How It’s Made.” Sure, it’s nice to see the machine that stamps out the metal base of a light-bulb, but it’s not exciting. Boring as a machine, but effective. And his biggest strength is slowing fighters like Sokoudjou down and controlling the pace. If you didn’t smell the hype coming off of Sokoudjou, you weren’t paying attention to Houston Alexander’s last fight. Beating little Nog when he can’t juice (USA!) and sneaking in some good shots on Arona don’t make you a top 10 fighter, no matter what the Pride fanboys think.

    So once Tim beats big Nog at UFC 81, can we stop pretending that Pride ever mattered?

  • Pride will always matter. It’s like an episode of How It’s Made when they go to a porno shoot. Yeah it’s trash. But damned entertaining trash.

  • Bruce Leroy says:

    I like porn

  • Tommy says:

    It will matter but only so much. Seems to me if you go back to Prides start, If you failed in the UFC you went to Pride and fought other people who either failed or the match was tainted somehow. Not enough notice to sway the outcome, like Rampage. Way different sized opponents to make a great KO video reel. Steriods, just all sorts of shit that don’t happen on this side of the hemisphere.

  • Jemaleddin says:

    Oh, and to add to my list of people who should drop a weight class: Fuck Fedor vs. Randy, let’s see Fedor vs. Chuck or Rampage. Fedor’s smaller than Randy – heck, he’s smaller than Rampage. Do some cardio, lard-ass and come to where the real competition is at 205.

  • Tommy says:

    People, 3inches in height and two inches in reach is not that big of a fucking difference. Fucking shit people, Silva drops one fight to Chuck fucking Liddell and now you people who said he’d kill Chuck for years are crying over a little size difference? Come on, where’s he gonna lose weight from? Plus, Fedor and Randy are both small heavyweights and the match would still be good if Randy And Fedor would stop being premadonnas about it all.

  • Jemaleddin says:

    Well, Randy’s being a bitch, but not about fighting Fedor. Fedor would rather have somebody make up an international organization than fight in a regulated country for the UFC. What does that tell you?

    And I’ve been saying that Wandy was small for years, and never thought he could beat Chuck, so please don’t paint me with that brush. Somebody needs to explain to Wandy that he was middleweight champ there, and he should fight middleweight here.

  • Aaron says:

    Randy was commentating during the Gonzaga Crocop fight, and he actually picked Gonzaga to win (and also said that Gonzaga would be a tougher fight for him)

  • Aaron, you’re right. I meant to say CroCop / Kongo. Corrected!

  • MacDaddy says:

    The reason so many of the Pride fighters who’ve come over have sucked is that most of them didn’t cut weight in pride, or if they did it was insignificant. If a pride fighter wasn’t going to make weight for a match then Pride would just make it open weight and have the fight anyways. My understanding is Silva walks around at or below 205 and Liddell is naturally somewhere in the 220-230 range, and that’s a pretty fucking drastic difference. We saw the same thing with Shogun Rua, who looked like a 12 year old next to Forrest Griffin, Crocop who refuses to cut down to 205 so he’s at 225 fighting guys like Gonzaga at 250 and Sylvia who has to cut to get his fat ass to 265, Dan Henderson who has come to his senses and is moving down to 185.

    The only guys who have had any success are Quinton Jackson who got a decent american trainer to help him learn to cut down, and Nogueira, who is marginally big enough to hang with the heavyweights (although he’s only fought Herring to a decision, which is nothing to brag about).

    Every Pride fighter that gets a contract with the UFC should have to sign a clause saying that they will drop one weight class to fight, because no one is fixing the fights for them over here.

  • Jemaleddin says:

    That’s what I said – only more effectively. :-)

  • kentyman says:


    Nogueira choked Herring out the second time they fought.

  • Tommy says:

    Mac thats only because Silva stays in great shape. Not like beer gut Chuck who lets himself party like a rock star when not fighting. Plus the size difference was not that much, just Silva hunches his back when he fights and Chuck don’t, he more crouches to get low. He would have a HARD time making 185. That being said most should change weight classes. Especially CroCop who would be better suited at 205. Rampage they would just fuck with over there and never gave him a fair chance, so all things being equal he looks much better over here. Guess Silva fans gotta have some sort of reason. To me the bottom line was after the fight started. They both started confident, after Chuck hit Silva, Wanderlei realized just how hard Chuck hits nomatter what Liddell’s body may look like. After Silva attacted in the second and Chuck realized Silva didn’t hit as hard as he maybe thought, he got more confident. The telling was in the cage not the size. I still liked Joe Silva’s saying, ‘This ain’t Japan’.

  • MacDaddy says:

    Silva fought Chuck’s fight, he tried early on not to get sucked into following Chuck around the ring, but Liddell would slide a couple of steps forward with a combo then slide back and by the end of the first round Silva was starting to follow him back and get tagged with counterpunches. It’s a credit to his chin that he didn’t get knocked the fuck out because he got hit hard more times than I could count.

    I think if Silva had come out of the gate with his usual style and ripped in, got the clinch and started bombing the knees and worried less about counteracting Liddell’s game he would have had a chance at imposing himself on the fight.

    I agree that Silva would have a hard time making 185, he’s just a little bit too heavy naturally and he’s not at the age where the weight comes off easy.

    On the other hand I disagree that Chuck gets out of shape between fights, he’s just got a wierd, wierd body shape, with really wide shoulders, kind of a caved in pigeon chest and abs that stick way out. It gives the impression of him being kind of hunched over and paunchy.

  • kentyman says:

    On the other hand I disagree that Chuck gets out of shape between fights, he’s just got a wierd, wierd body shape, with really wide shoulders, kind of a caved in pigeon chest and abs that stick way out. It gives the impression of him being kind of hunched over and paunchy.

    Liver enlargement.

  • Jemaleddin says:

    Wandy walks around at 205 – he wouldn’t have to get to 185, just 195, and cut to 185 – a 5% cut should be perfectly safe for him. Less free weights, more resistance training.