Randy Couture v. Brandon Vera
Shawn: Randy is obviously a member of a race of superhumans, while Vera is one of those phillipinos. We all know phillipinos are weak. It’s not racist; it’s science. I remember this one kid from high school who was from the Phillipines. I hated him. He had bad jokes, stupid pants, and what could have only been an intentionally shitty haircut. Man, I wonder what happened to him. (No I don’t.) Anyway, by my calculations, superhuman beats weak phillipino nine out of ten times.
Clint: I see Randy taking this the way he took out Tim Sylvia… ageless guile. Vera is bigger, taller anyways, and probably quicker but he doesn’t have the same ways to win that Randy seems to have. Randy can TKO, submit and basically wrestle/hump guys. Vera on the other hand has only really has TKO and hump to look to. Randy by UD
Rodriguez: Man, I will walk away from this fight satisfied if, win or lose, Randy doesn’t get hurt. He’s gonna have to work not to though. We know Vera is capable of mauling people in the Thai clinch even though he hasn’t done it since his ‘sabbatical’. Randy’s strongest area is in the Greco clinch when he can swim and bash his opponents with uppercuts and hooks. As long as Father Time doesn’t pull a Lethal Weapon and tell Randy “It’s just been revoked!” about his fountain of youth, I see a good night for the grandpa that could. Randy takes another triumphant stoppage after battering Vera against the fence for 13 minutes. Randy Couture by TKO in round 3.
Subo: Randy’s not going to try standing with Vera. He might at the beginning, but the second Brandon’s shin makes contact with Randy’s, Captain America is going to start flashing back to that time Pedro Rizzo paralyzed him for days and, boom, Greco-Roman wrestling for the win. I see dark fucking clouds with red eyes that rain menstrual blood from the sky every time I picture Brandon Vera earning a title shot for beating Reese Andy, Mike Patt, K-Sos and Randy in his last fight ever – because there’s no way I see Randy continuing if he loses this fight – and my therapist said not to do that anymore. Randy by TKO in the second.
Fightlinker: This is clearly an attempt by the UFC to lob as easy of a softball as you’re gonna get headlining a card to Randy Couture. Therefore it will horribly backfire and Brandon Vera will win by startling knockout, setting up 6 months of ‘The Truth is Back!’ talk from half the annoying jackasses who follows the sport. Vera via WTF in round 2.
Jake: I only started following MMA AFTER Vera had fucked off and disappeared, so I never fell for any of the bullshit hype everyone else did. Brandon strikes me as the kind of guy who defeats himself most of the time. Considering he’s had trouble putting away total cans, I’m giving this to Randy, round 3 TKO.
The rest of the card after the jump!
Mike Swick v. Dan Hardy
Subo: Normally, you can blow right past the pre-fight bullshit that goes on between chatty fighters, but this match’s banter has given me pause. Swick pretty much said that everyone doubts his speed before the fight, and then he gets to explain that he is in fact fast in the post-fight presser after another quick finish. He goes on to point out that, of Hardy’s three win streak, two were by split decision (though, to be fair, whoever gave it to Marcus Davis was probably also pretending to be Irish). These have sunk in my brain, and after Paul Daley fucking lit up Martin Kampmann, maybe Swick would’ve won that fight, too. Or maybe I’m just stupid. Oh well, Quick Swick by something speedy.
Shawn: Swick trains with one of the best camps in the world and has a 9-1 record in the UFC. Hardy has a mohawk and sounds like he’s a character from a Charles Dickens novel. Swick > Hardy.
Fightlinker: Swick trains with one of the best camps in the world and has a 9-1 record in the UFC. Hardy has a mohawk and sounds like he’s a character from a Charles Dickens novel. Hardy > Swick.
Jake: I like Hardy’s whole “trained with the Shaolin monks” angle, and he’s probably the only British fighter I’m even remotely interested in. Still, Swick is way too smart and way too consistent to fuck up what will probably be his only title shot. Swick via decision.
Rodriguez: This is a great style match. Mike Swick reminded everyone just how heavy his fists are with a brutal KO of Ben Saunders last June. On the same night, Dan Hardy went fifteen minutes against a guy who would’ve killed him in the cage had he gotten the chance. But I don’t think either of them should be the next challenger for GSP. I said it. Fitch vs. Daley should be what sorts the next contender out. Neither of these guys inspires confidence in me when there are other, more accomplished fighters who should be in front of them. This fight’s gonna come down to aggression. Dan has shown he can keep a heavy pace and Swick is at his best when he swarms on the feet. I’d venture to say the TUF vet moves to 10-1 in the UFC with a competitive striking performance. On top of that, these guys are setting themselves up for a lose-lose situation with all of this trash talking. Swick has called Hardy a chump for earning split decisions, and Hardy gave Swick a “Runner-up” trophy at the pre-show press conference. Way to go, dudes. There’s a reason Ric Flair would talk up his opponents before matches: it’d make him look like he beat someone worthy when he won. Some of these guys just aren’t gonna learn. Mike Swick by unanimous decision.
Clint: I have been a Swick fan since I started watching MMA, yes I am a Tuf Noob. I know alot of guys seem to hate him but I find him funny. I look to see him settle into the “Quick” Welter Weight he should be. Dan is a game fighter but really the only two decent guys he has beat have been Gono and Davis, and both by Split Decision. Swick on the other hand has Ko’d his last 2 opponents, granted both are not top contenders. Swick by UD
Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang
Fightlinker: Both guys have looked pretty shit lately but I think Bisping might actually suck while Kang just has a tendancy to blow it. Blowing it vs suck is still a hard choice. But I’ll give this to Bisping because he doesn’t realize he sucks while Kang seems smart enough to understand his problems. Doubt is death. That cocky cunt Bisping via decision.
Subo: I want a time machine. First thing I’m doing is going back to 1984 and talk Gary Hart out of fucking that girl so he can beat Reagan. Then, on my way back, I’m picking up the Denis Kang that went from 2003-2006 without a loss and having him kill the current Denis Kang. I think it will work like that movie The One. That way, I won’t have to worry that Kang will never reclaim his former glory, and that Joe Silva wouldn’t dare put his British show pony in a position to lose at home… Goddamnit. That’s exactly what’s happening here. Bisping by being an asshole.
Rodriguez: I’m pretty torn by this fight. On one side, I think Denis Kang isn’t as good as people want him to be (more on that later); on the other, Michael Bisping isn’t that great, period. Dunno which one will cause the loss for either, though. Kang is a victim. MMA fans are a fickle bunch, and they often single out one fighter to put on a pedestal. Denis was unfortunately one of those people, getting shoveled in with the likes of Fedor, Shogun, Gomi and the rest of PRIDE’s top dogs. He’s had to deal with accusations of being a flake and a washout since Akiyama legitimately ended his massive four year winning streak. Can’t people just back off of him? All fighters lose, people need to accept that. People probably can’t even imagine how difficult it must be for Kang to be a regular competitor when everyone labels him a failure after every fight. But on to ‘ole Mikey: he’s got a serious challenge ahead of him. I bet Bisping still has shell shock from Hendo’s right hand. He probably wakes up in cold sweats after seeing a toothless grin in his nightmares. The guy got embarrassed in one of MMA’s seminal moments – he took “go big or go home” to a whole…’nuva…level at UFC 100. I don’t think he’ll be able to rebound from that against someone as good as Kang, so this fight is a toss-up. No prediction.
Jake: Denis has the unfortunate tendancy to fuck himself over, but he’s also had the unfortunate luck of always fighting guys on their way up Mousassi-style. Luckily, Bisping is simply too crappy to present enough of a challenge, and he’s going to get the yorkshire pudding knocked out of him. Knock him out in the 2nd, you hybrid French / Korean bastard!
Clint: I like Kang but he is hit or miss beyond belief. Bisping on the other hand is damn solid. Now I’d like to see Bisping get fucking slaughtered again but I think he will get Kang on the ground and beat him like a redheaded step child. Bisping by TKO
Shawn: I’m not exactly buying the fact that the Kang who made silly mistakes against Belcher, Akiyama, and Gayguard is a different fighter from the Kang who went on a Wanderlei Silva-esque tear through Pride and Spirit MC. I’m of the opinion that those losses are due more to the quality of competition than anything else. I’d like to think Gegard Mousasi is a slightly tougher fight than Ron Fields. Unless the fight is taking place in the back of a van behind a middle school. Then Fields takes it. After all, experience counts for something.
Matt Brown vs. James Wilks
Fightlinker: Before this fight was made, Matt Brown was supposed to fight Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, but Johnson pulled out with a knee injury. Before this fight was made, James Wilks was fighting a purposefully shitty team of Americans on TUF. That tells you the level of things. Matt Brown via hick beatdown.
Shawn: All I’ve been hearing is that I shouldn’t be too high on Brown because of the Sell fight since Sell isn’t exactly a formidable opponent these days. While there is some logic to that argument, I also point to Brown’s other UFC wins, his solid performance against Dong (teehee!), and the fact that HE SURVIVED AN OVERDOSE FROM HEROIN. Brown via murder.
Rodriguez: I didn’t watch TUF 9. Don’t care for Wilks. End. Matt Brown, on the other hand, is a manimal. He’s impressed more his fight with Dong Hyun Kim than anyone else from TUF 7 has since the show. The guy’s sub-defense might be the only concern you can have with his game. Amir tapped him on the show with a triangle, but you’d have to believe he stepped up his work with Gurgel, Franklin and Hazelett in order to close that hole (hehe). I expect Brown to continue the roll he’s on by ground and pounding Wilks to a mid-fight stoppage. Matt Brown by TKO in round 2.
Subo: I need someone to explain how this fight is so close on the betting lines. Seriously, I’ll wait. The winner of the shittiest season of TUF I’ve ever seen (and before you even START, Roy Nelson has more talent in his fat little finger than those two winners do) against a guy called THE IMMORTAL that somehow KO’ed both Pete Sell and Yves Lavigne in the same fight. I’m sure Rodriguez knows this shit by heart, but one fighter on Matt’s TUF season gave this prediction: ‘Matt Brown by… murder.’ Seconded.
Clint: How is this a Main Event fight? I guess the figure it’s gonna be a barn burner? Well i see Wilks putting something in his chew only to be shown a thing called Jew Jitsoo, yes I know he has a brown belt in it. Brown via Sub… RNC probably
Jake: Not sure how this one will turn out, but I can guarantee you that the entire time you;ll be hearing “Matt Brown, Matt Brown, Matt Brown” because for some stupid reason every announcer on the planet feels the need to say his full name all the time. I presume it’s because it’s only two sylables, but it’s annoying as hell. Wilks via some kind of choke in the first … anyone else notice from Brown’s record how vulnerable he seems to this technique, while Wilks seems to be proficient at them? Just saying.
Aaron Riley vs. Ross Pearson
Jake: Riley is a beast. He’s experienced, tough to beat, and willing to take as much punishment as his opponent can dish out. Pearson is green, untested, and walking into a complete massacre. Riley is going to tenderize him to a decision.
Rodriguez: Who is Ross Pearson. I didn’t add a question mark because it’s rhetorical. I didn’t watch one episode of TUF 9, yet I can tell you that there’s nobody who give as much resistance to Pearson like Riley will. In fact, you’re gonna be hard pressed to find another fighter on the planet as durable as Riley. The man has gone through the ringer during his career: Robbie Lawler beat him down for three rounds, Spencer Fisher had to break hiss jaw to finish him, and Yves Edwards literally knocked most of his teeth out. Sure, Eddie Alvarez piston’d his head through the turnbuckle, but I can bet Ross Pearson doesn’t have half the power required to drop him let alone do that. I will freely admit I get upset at how disrespected Aaron Riley is by so many people. The guy has been around the sport for over twelve years, never once phoning in a fight. Will people’s opinion change after Saturday? I think so. Look for superior kickboxing to give Riley the highest profile win of his career. Aaron Riley by unanimous decision.
Shawn: Pearson did nothing to excite me on TUF, which is surprising considering I can get wood from staring at the microwave. Riley is a tough sumbitch, but me gots a feeling that Riley is going to be your standard “first post-TUF fight” opponent here and will suffer a loss.
Subo: I haven’t seen enough of Riley to know if he’s good, but I’ve seen enough of Pearson to know he sucks. How many successful Taekwondo practitioners do you know of in the UFC? While you’re trying to answer that, I’m going to take the veteran Riley (28 years old and this will be his 41st pro fight) by sub in the third.
Clint: yeah Another fight I wonder about…. Main Event? Then again not a lot they can pick from across the pond. I see Riley Standing with Pearson and knocking out some of his fucked up grill.
Fightlinker: Riley is great at kicking ass, but not so great at stopping his opponent from shutting him down. Pearson via horrible fight and safe decision. I pray that I am wrong.