The Stupidity Continues: My UFC 130 Picks

Posted: May 23, 2011 in Journalism, MMA

As I said in my last picks article, picking fights is ridiculous. This isn’t a team sport. This is a one-on-one fight, and a freak injury, flu bug, or single lucky break can completely invalidate conventional wisdom. Nevertheless, everyone does it, so I decided to make some picks for the last card. The result was I embarrassed Sherdog’s Jason Probst, who like most of the paid MMA journalists, isn’t any better than a typical blogger like me.

Can you out-pick this man?

The comparison wasn’t entirely fair, though. I didn’t know most of the undercard fighters, so I refused to make picks. Jason had no choice but to try. As I pointed out, he’s paid to know the undercard fighters, so his failure at that level still shows a lack research, but my failure to pick shows just as researching on my part. (Again, though, no one’s paying me a dime. I can accuse people of molesting collies. It doesn’t matter.)

UFC 130 is going to be different, though. The undercard is packed with fighters I do know. So, to see if I really am better at this than Jason Probst, I’m going to try this again.

Aside: Actually, I pick on Jason with love. Unlike most MMAJs, Jason is legitimate journalist. There is a huge cultural problem with MMAJ, as there isn’t a need to do your research — the fans often don’t care — but he shouldn’t spend too much time on this anyway. As I stated, picking fights is largely a waste of time. I’m just goofing on the guy. In areas that matter, he appears to do his research.

Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Hamill


Emotionally, I have to go with Jackson here. I don’t dislike Hamill at all, but it’s hard not to love Jackson. He’s so damn funny. It’s a rare event to find a person that like to talk so much and has people really wanting to hear him talk. That’s Jackson. However, I’m supposed to pick this fight on logic. Hamill is younger and an incredible wrestler. He’s no Jonny “Bones” Jones, but who is? The bottom line is that Hamill will take down Jackson as often as he wants, at least in round 1, and possibly in the later rounds as well. Perhaps he’ll use takedowns to earn enough points to impress the judges. This would be a great strategy because those points are awarded even if the takedown does no damage and doesn’t result in a dominant position. Unfortunately for Hamill, he thinks he’s a boxer. It’s apparent to me that he’ll try to out-box one of the few, truly-competent boxers in the UFC. This typical fighter arrogance will cost Hamill a fight he should easily win.

Jackson by 3rd round KO/TKO.
Probst’s Pick: Jackson by close decision.

Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson


This will be a frustrating fight for me. The average fan will love it, but I’ll hate it. Roy Nelson hasn’t submitted anyone in his last 8 fights, and Frank Mir seems to want to work only on his striking. This could be an amazing jiu-jitsu war, but it won’t be. These guys will throw strikes instead. Nelson will throw haymakers that work well against other MMA heavyweight fighters because they can’t box. Mir will be a more technical striker. I have to go with Mir, but I won’t call a knock out. If Nelson can withstand three rounds of Junior Dos Santos’s striking, then he can withstand the same thing from Frank Mir. This will have the ignorant fans booing. As always, it will be for the wrong reason.

Mir by decision.
Nelson by 3rd round KO/TKO.

Rick Story vs. Thiago Alves

Wow! Great matchmaking. This is a tough one. As heavy as these guys hit, they’re both able to take a punch as well, so don’t be surprised by a hard-hitting battle that doesn’t result in a stoppage. I have to go with Alves, though. The reason is that in his last fight (against John Howard), Alves showed remarkable growth as a fighter. He just seemed more precise and patient. He wasn’t going for broke at every step. It’s not that he’s a reckless fighter, or that Rick Story sucks; it’s all relative. I’ve seen some real improvement from Alves, and there’s every reason to believe he’s gotten even better since then. (I haven’t heard any stories in the press to the contrary.)

Alves by exciting decision.
Probst’s Pick: Story by clear decision.

Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago

As an American, it’s going to be difficult to to pick against the combat veteran. Stann was a Marine in Iraq, so my emotion has me going with Stann. Jorge Santiago has a decent win-loss record, but he’s had that outside the UFC. In the UFC he’s 1-2 but against some pretty decent competition. Still, what I’ve seen of his Sengoku fights hasn’t been spectacular, whereas Stann has been steadily improving. This boils down to whether Santiago can withstand Stann’s punching power. I don’t think he can, at least not after he gasses in round 3.

Stann by KO/TKO in round 3.
Probst’s Pick: Santiago by decision.

Miguel Torres vs. Demetrious Johnson

Torres used to rule the bantamweight division, but then he had a couple of tough losses. He seems to be back to form, but the bantamweight division has gotten tougher. Johnson had a great win over Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, one he wasn’t expected to win. This is another tough pick. As bantamweights, both guys will through quickly and often, but with no knockout power. It’s kind of a toss up, so I won’t be bragging if I pick it right, and I won’t feel bad if I pick it wrong.

Johnson by decision.
Probst’s Pick: Johnson by decision.

Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch

This fight clearly belongs on the undercard despite the fact that most dedicated watchers know both of these fighters. Boetsch is no punk, and his last fight was a loss to an impressive Phil Davis, but he doesn’t have a single victory against a big-time opponent. Grove is a more talented fighter who uses his extra height and reach to his advantage. The problem with Kendall is that he’s always underachieved. At least he can say he’s beaten some names. I see Grove happy to allow Boetsch to take him to the ground, and working hard from the guard to find a submission.

Grove by 2nd round submission.
Probst’s Pick: Boetsch by late KO/TKO or decision.

Renan Barao vs. Cole Escovedo

I don’t really know either of these guys, but I’m going to pull a Probst here and guess. Does this mean I get paid for my picks now? Anyway, I’m going with the guy with more recent WEC experience.

Barao by 3rd round submission.
Probst’s Pick: Barao by 2nd or 3rd round KO/TKO.

Chris Cariaso vs. Michael McDonald

Once again, I find my emotion creeping into my picks. I simply can’t pick a guy that ruined the Doobie Brothers.

Oh wait, he’s not that Micheal McDonald. Well then who the hell is he? I don’t know.

No pick.
Probst’s Pick: McDonald by 3rd round KO/TKO. (I guess he likes the Doobie Brothers no matter who sings for them. Pathetic, Probst.)

Gleison Tibau vs. Rafaello Oliveira


Gleison has a much better match-up with this fight than he had with his original opponent, Bart Palaszewski. Both are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experts, but I’ve always been a fan of Tibau. Although he’s sometimes disappointed me, he’s always been fighting big names. Oliveira has fought in the UFC with less-than-stellar results against lesser opponents than Tibau has faced. I don’t see either having a dominating advantage in the submission game. Instead, Gleison’s better stand-up game will make the difference, though not being a boxer, he won’t be able to put away Oliveira within three rounds.

Gleison by decision.
Probst’s Pick: Gleison by decision.

Travis Browne vs. Stefan Struve

Struve is on the rise. He’s had more fights than he’s had birthdays and has lost only 4 times. Those loses include relatively recent setbacks against heavyweight title-contenders, Roy Nelson and Junior Dos Santos. It’s hard to pick against him, especially against a yet-to-impress fighter like Browne. To win, though, Struve will have to rely on submission skills, as Browne likes to win by knocking out his opponent.

Struve by 2nd round submission.
Probst’s Pick: Struve by close decision.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We’ll Have a Winner

So, Probst and I have very different opinions on how the card will go. It looks like there might be a clear winner or loser, with the winner’s and loser’s statuses not changing one bit. Yes, the stupidity indeed continues.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow the UFC on Twitter @UFC
Follow Jason Probst on Twitter @jasonprobst
Follow Sherdog on Twitter @Sherdog
Follow Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on Twitter @Rampage4real
Follow Matt Hamill on Twitter @Hammerufc (unverified account)
Follow Jonny “Bones” Jones on Twitter @JonnybonesFollow Jonny “Bones” Jones on Follow Frank Mir on Twitter @thefrankmir
Follow Roy Nelson on Twitter @roynelsonmma
Follow Junior Dos Santos on Twitter @junior_cigano
Follow Thiago Alves on Twitter @attpitbull
Follow Brian Stann on Twitter @BrianStann
Follow Gleison Tibau on Twitter @TibauATT
Follow Mark Bocek on Twitter @MarkBocek
Follow Stefan Struve on Twitter @StefanStruve

  1. […] let’s see how I did in the fight I’ve picked with Jason Probst of Sherdog. I’m keeping my comments brief, as there are a couple other […]

  2. […] let’s see how I did in the fight I’ve picked with Jason Probst of Sherdog. I’m keeping my comments brief, as there are a couple other […]

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