Stupid Predictions™: UFC Live 6 Postmortem

Posted: October 2, 2011 in MMA
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As I discussed on Fight Fans Radio, the main card was so volatile that I could easily have gone 1-3 or 4-0 on my picks. The reality was disappointing, but at least my undercard picks provided some redemption. My record has now to 35-19 (65%) in main cards, and 64-41 (61%) overall since I’ve started Stupid Predictions™.

At Least They’re Consistent

Before I go into the picks, I need to take a dig at our consistently lost broadcast team, Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg. During the undercard, neither of them realized that Fernando Yamasaki is Mario Yamasaki’s brother. What? As professionals paid a lot of money to be well-informed, how could they not know that? Even if they didn’t know that, how many people out there look half-Japanese and half-Brazilian and have the last name, Yamasaki? Couldn’t they have deduced that? If not, why aren’t they smart enough not to bring it up and expose their unprofessionalism? This isn’t as bad as Rogan’s analysis of the Koch-Brookins fight, but I find it amazing that there’s always something in their broadcasts to ridicule. They’re clearly too comfortable, knowing they won’t be fired, so they don’t do their jobs. That won’t change unless people call them out for their ignorance. Your turn, people.

Jeff Blatnick

A real judge

I was glad to hear that Jeff Blatnick is still judging MMA. He’s been there almost from the start and is one of the few people I trust to do his job.

Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson for the UFC Bantamweight Championship

When he's done with MMA, Cruz could become a professional wrestler.

Before the fight, a Twitter-friend told me that he wouldn’t be surprised of the outcome of this fight regardless of how it ended. I responded that I’d be surprised if it was anything other than a 50-45 decision for Cruz across the board. I’m shocked a judge gave Johnson a round. As I said in my prediction post, evenly-matched bantamweights have no chance of knocking out one another, and striking is the primary weapon of these two fighters. Unanimous decision. Easy pick.

As for Johnson, he insists he’s not done at bantamweight yet despite all the calls for him to move down to flyweight when the division is formed late this year or early next year. Joe Benevidez is taking the same position, but Dana White really needs to convince these two to make that switch. Instantly, you’d have two recognizable fighters with a proper claim to a title match. Give them each one non-title fight against a couple of other fighters, and you have a perfect set up for an intriguing flyweight title fight quickly after the division’s creation. Who could argue with that?

BTW, Joe Rogan, if Cruz’s rear naked choke was as good as you say, Johnson wouldn’t have escaped it. Royce Gracie couldn’t have escaped a “good” choke from that position. EDIT: I stand corrected to a large extent. Cruz’s hand was broken.

Me: 1-0
Probst: 1-0

Stefan Struve vs. Pat Barry

Barry needs to add another dimension to his game. He fell into an easy trap. Probst picked this one perfectly.

This is MMA, not kickboxing.

Me: 1-2
Probst: 3-0

Charlie Brenneman vs. Anthony Johnson

I went with my gut, and my gut was wrong. For what it’s worth, the fight was stopped too soon. I have no bone to pick with Johnson — I’m a fan of his — but Brenneman was coherent. As some have noted, the reason for the early stop was that, although referee Mario Yamasaki could see the kick, he couldn’t see Brenneman after the kick, and was thus unable to gauge his condition properly. That is, he didn’t have all the data he needed to determine whether or not to stop the fight, but he made a split-second decision on the assumption that Brenneman was knocked silly. In any case, it’s apparent that the writing was on the wall, perhaps contributing to the early stop. Brenneman simply had no answer for anything Johnson was doing, and his failure to even attempt to duck the kick was a pretty good example of that.

Pay attention to Mario's angle. What could he see, and what couldn't he see? Did he even bother to look?

Me: 1-1
Probst: 2-0

Matt Wiman vs. Mac Danzig

This was quite a back-and-forth. The decision could have gone either way. It was a worthy recipient of fight-of-the-night honors. What amazed me throughout all of this was that Wiman was winning the ground battle, and Danzig was winning the striking battle. I didn’t expect that at all.

Me: 2-2
Probst: 4-0

Yves Edwards vs. Rafaello Oliveira

Ouch.

This was Edwards’s turn to deliver a brutal KO loss. He looked completely in control, as Oliveira didn’t really try to take the fight to the ground. He paid for it dearly. Mario Yamasaki gave him every chance to recover, earning the scorn of many watching the fight, but I thought Mario did well in this fight.

Me: 3-2
Probst: 4-0

Shane Roller vs. T.J. Grant

Too soon? (Yes.)

Grant was ahead on points, but only Roller was truly threatening to win the fight on the ground. I never saw Roller in trouble from a submission until that last armbar. In other words, unlike the Johnson-Brenneman fight, if the fight hadn’t been stopped too soon, the outcome could have been very different . . . and my pick of a 3rd-round submission would have been perfect. Shame on Fernando for screwing up my pick . . . and I guess Shane Roller’s record. That’s probably important, too.

Me: 3-3
Probst: 4-0

Paul Sass vs. Michael Johnson

Perseverance and proper planning will usually pay off.

This fight raises a point that’s been bugging me. When you have the classic case of a dominant grappler against a dominant striker, I always state that the grappler should do nothing but try to take the fight to the ground. Don’t waste time striking with the striker. It’s a recipe for disaster (i.e., and early knockout), and the longer the fight goes, the more slippery and flexible the striker becomes, making it even harder to get the takedown. Grappling experts always respond that this is easier said than done. Well, sure. We saw Sass take a lot of hits when following my proposed strategy, but they were glancing blows, and they would have gotten more solid as the fight progressed. The strategy played out really well for Sass. Take a lesson, grapplers. Don’t waste your time striking with the striker. Relentlessly pursue the takedown, regardless of the cost. If you stay on your feet, you’ll lose anyway.

Me: 4-3
Probst: 4-0

Byron Bloodworth vs. Mike Easton

The first of many.

Despite his awesome fighter name, Bloodworth didn’t have a chance, and that’s not surprising. As I explained on Fight Fans Radio on Saturday, if names made a fighter, Wolf Blitzer would be the champion in every UFC weight class. Besides coming in at the last second, he was fighting what was probably the most energetic home crowd in UFC history, and he had his wife on his mind. For all he knew, she was in labor during the fight. I’m alright with all of this, of course, as Easton is a friend of the show and was born and raised in DC. Cheers for the local guy.

Me: 5-3
Probst: 4-0

Josh Neer vs. Keith Wisniewski

A veteran always finds new ways to win

Josh won with some awesome short elbows. Good job. Moving on, the real story is his post-fight interview. Joe Rogan insisted that Neer was complaining about broken ribs between rounds. In a misguided effort to avoid a lengthy medical suspension, Neer denied it, and Rogan, being the confrontational person he is, pointed out that they had tape showing otherwise. Neer was polite about it, but I think Rogan should keep his distance from Neer for a while.

Me: 6-3
Probst: 4-0

Walel Watson vs. Joseph Sandoval

I didn’t pick this fight, but it was important we’ve potentially seen the emergence of another body (Watson) to fill the roster in the lower weight classes. Even more important is the point made via Twitter with respect to Sandoval’s haircut.

The Final Tally

Me: 6-3
Probst: 4-0 because he didn’t pick the prelims.

I went down a bit in my percentage, but as a friend pointed out on Google+, a pick percentage near 70% is not too shabby.

A congratulations for Team Lloyd Irvin. A job well done.

Make sure to listen to Fight Fans Radio Monday through Thursday at 3pm for MMA news and analysis. Also listen in on Saturdays at 3pm before fight cards for my live Stupid Predictions™ segment.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow Fight Fans Radio on Twitter @fightfansradio
Follow Erika Lewis on Twitter @FightFan_Erika
Follow the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Twitter @UFC
Follow Jason Probst on Twitter @jasonprobst
Follow Dominick Cruz on Twitter @TheDomin8r
Follow Demetrious Johnson on Twitter @MightyMouseUFC
Follow Charlie Brenneman on Twitter @SpaniardMMA
Follow Anthony Johnson on Twitter @RumbleJohnson
Follow Stefan Struve on Twitter @StefanStruve
Follow Pat Barry on Twitter @HypeOrDie
Follow Matt Wiman on Twitter if you can find his account. I couldn’t.
Follow Mac Danzig on Twitter @macdanzigmma
Follow Yves Edwards on Twitter @thugjitsumaster
Follow Rafaello Oliveira on Twitter @RafaelloTractor …maybe. This account is unverified.
Follow Shane Roller on Twitter @shaneroller
Follow T.J. Grant on Twitter @TJ_Grant
Follow Paul Sass on Twitter @Paul_Sass
Follow Michael Johnson on Twitter @FollowTheMenace
Follow Byron Bloodworth on Twitter @ByronBloodworth …maybe. This account is unverified.
Follow Mike Easton on Twitter @mikeeastonmma
Follow Josh Neer on Twitter @joshneer …maybe. This account is unverified.
Follow Keith Wisniewski on Twitter if you can find his account. I couldn’t.
Follow Walel Watson on Twitter @135Gazelle …maybe. This account is unverified.
Follow Joseph Sandoval on Twitter @JosephSandoval1 …maybe. This account is unverified.

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