Stupid Predictions™: UFC 139

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Fandom, MMA, UFC
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No rest for Zuffa

Last weekend, I didn’t do as well as I hoped I would, getting only 6 of 10 correct. Still, I have a good record: 45-24 (65%) for the main cards, and 86-50 (63%) an overall (going back to my first Stupid Predictions article for UFC 129). It’s time for another 80% success rate, so I’m back on the wagon for more. This is a pretty good card, by the way. We have six former (UFC, Strikeforce, Pride, WEC) champs on the card, all facing off against one another, and one, Cung Le, making his UFC debut. The undercard is stacked with known quantities and a new prospect, Alex Soto, who’s 6-0-1 with 5 finishes. As always, this should be a great card.

Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio Rua

I stand by my statements that, as far as vying for championships is concerned, Rua is done. His win against Machida was stylistic. Place both guys against the 10 best light heavyweights in the world, and Machida’s record would be head-and-shoulders above Rua’s. Even in victory, Rua didn’t look good against a distracted and uninterested Forrest Griffin. Henderson, on the other hand, has only a single bad fight over the past few years, and only because Jake Shields was able to get the fight to the ground (where Shields has enormous talent). Though Henderson is far better off fighting Rua on the ground, he’s still my pick to win if the fight stays on its feet.

The stupid pick: Henderson by 1st- or 2nd-round stoppage

Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles

Faber is stronger However, like all bantamweights, when facing an opponent that’s reasonably good, there won’t be a knockout. The combination of weaker strikes and faster reactions make that highly unlikely unless you’re overwhelmingly better than your opponent. Accordingly, a stoppage will occur only by submission. Faber is certainly capable of that, but no one’s ever done that to Bowles.

The stupid pick: Faber by decision

Bonus stupid pick: This is fight of the night.

Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le

I really wish Silva would retire. He deserves better than getting his brains scrambled in a one-sided fight. At the very least, the UFC should match him up with pure grapplers. Unfortunately, they haven’t done that here. Different fight; same ending.

The stupid pick: Le by 1st-round KO/TKO

Rick Story vs. Martin Kampmann

Ordinarily, I’d pick Kampmann, but the guy has done everything he could to win fights, but the judges don’t give it to him. There’s something about his style that I like, but not professional judges. That will probably be the difference in the fight. As far as factors that go into predicting fights, how stupid is that?

The stupid pick: Story by bad, unfair decision

Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury

This is a tough call. Though he’s no slouch, Kingsbury has never impressed me, but I’m not sure Bonnar is still an MMA fighter. To my knowledge, it isn’t injuries that have kept him from fighting, but rather his focus on his broadcasting career. A few years ago, Bonnar would be the easy pick, but I’ll go with the guy who’s focused on his fighting career.

The stupid pick: Kingsbury by decision

Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz

Ryan Bader was pushed as the next big thing, and he’s had some solid wins, but his two-fight losing streak is a bit concerning. Losing to Jon Jones isn’t shameful, but Bader might go down in history as being responsible for saving the career in Tito Ortiz. While this exposed his striking defense, Bader has little to worry from Brilz’s striking game. Brilz has had some tough losses, including a showing of poor striking defense himself, and bringing a wrestling game against a a better wrestler doesn’t bode well for him.

The stupid pick: Bader by decision

Michael McDonald vs. Alex Soto

Gotta love 80’s hairstyles!

I picked against McDonald in his last fight in no small part because I hate the singer of the same name. (These are stupid predictions after all.) Here, however, he gets the nod. His record is near perfect (13-1), and he has 3 wins in the UFC and WEC combined. The same can be said for Soto, except that he has less experience, and no major league experience.

The stupid pick: McDonald by decision

Chris Weidman vs. Tom Lawlor

Lawlor is a fan-favorite but an up-and-down fighter. His last victory (over 1 year ago!) was against a fading Patrick Cote who was given his walking papers by the UFC after that loss. Weidman is undefeated, with two UFC wins, and has ended fights twice by submission and twice by strikes. Easy pick.

The stupid pick: Weidman by 2nd-round stoppage

Nick Pace vs. Miguel Torres

Like all bantamweights, Pace is all over the map. He can stop you with strikes, or he can stop you with submissions, but as I’ve said before, striking submissions don’t occur in the lighter weight classes unless the talent differential is huge. While Torres hasn’t been the same fighter since losing his title, he’s hardly a chump. His record is more impressive against, overall, better talent, and he seems to be back on track. Miguel is also one of the few fighters that has stopped multiple fights with strikes even when fighting in the big leagues.

The stupid pick: Torres by 3rd-round stoppage

Gleison Tibau vs. Rafael dos Anjos

I love Tibau’s ground game. I wish he were capable of finishing fights because it would likely be fantastic to watch his transitions into submission attempts lead to a stoppage. Looking at the level of his competition from his last 8 fights (6-2), Tibau has made a respectable run of things. His last fight ended with a rear-naked choke victory. Is this a sign of things to come? I hope so.

On the other side of the Octagon, dos Anjos is a seven-fight veteran of the UFC, with a mediocre record of 4-3. Slapping an armbar on Terry Etim is not something to be ignored, and his KO of George Sotiropoulos demonstrates that he has a puncher’s chance in any fight, but it’s tough to guess whether this up-and-down fighter will be up or down Saturday night.

The stupid pick: Tibau by 2nd-round submission (kimura?)

Bonus stupid pick: This is the submission of the night.

Danny Castillo vs. Shamar Bailey

Right now, Castillo’s claim to fame is that he beat Dustin Poirier by decision. In his last fight, he was schooled by Jacob Volkmann’s ground game, though he did resist all of Volkmann’s choke attempts. Bailey, however, doesn’t have a track record of submitting opponents, and in fact hasn’t stopped a fight since making it to the big leagues. The one thing Bailey has going for him here is stylistic. Castillo will probably slug it out with Bailey, so neither fighter’s failure to impress on the ground will be much of a factor. A loss here would place either fighter in a precarious position with the UFC, with Bailey more desperate for a win.

The stupid pick: Castillo by decision

Matt Brown vs. Seth Baczynski

Brown has been far too inconsistent to warrant picking him in this, or any, fight against someone not on the verge of dismissal from the UFC.

The stupid pick: Baczynski by 1st-round submission

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 Dan Henderson on Twitter @danhendo
Follow Mauricio Rua on Twitter @ShogunRua
Follow Urijah Faber on Twitter @UrijahFaber
Follow Brian Bowles on Twitter @Brian_Bowles
Follow Wanderlai Silva on Twitter @WandFC
Follow Cung Le on Twitter @CungLe185
Follow Martin Kampmann on Twitter @MartinKampmann
Follow Stephan Bonnar on Twitter @StephanBonnar
Follow Kyle Kingsbury on Twitter @Kingsbu
Follow Ryan Bader on Twitter @RyanBader
Follow Jason Brilz on Twitter @JasonBrilz
Follow Michael McDonald on Twitter @MaydayMcDonald
Follow Alex Soto on Twitter @sotomma
Follow Chris Weidman on Twitter @ChrisWeidmanUFC
Follow Tom Lawlor on Twitter @FilthyTomLawlor
Follow Nick Pace on Twitter @NickPaceMMA
Follow Miguel Torres on Twitter @MiguelTorresMMA
Follow Gleison Tibau on Twitter @TibauATT
Follow Rafael dos Anjos on Twitter @RdosAnjosMMA
Follow Danny Castillo on Twitter @lastcall155
Follow Shamar Bailey on Twitter @ShamarBailey
Follow Matt Brown on Twitter @IamTheImmortal
Follow Seth Baczynski on Twitter @Sethbmma

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