Stupid Predictions™: UFC 140 Picks

Posted: December 6, 2011 in MMA, UFC
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The last chance we'll have for a while of a meaningful challenge to the Light Heavyweight crown

This is probably my last Stupid Predictions™ segment. Recent events have sucked the joy out of commenting regularly on mixed martial arts. Unfortunately, that leaves you with dishonest and/or unprofessional “journalists” as your sole source of continuous information. Too often, you get only rumor, but considering we’re not punishing them (i.e., continuing to give them an audience), there’s nothing that can be done about that. Until outfits like ESPN, Fox Sports Net, and NBC Sports stop linking to hack sites, what choice do we have? They’re the only commentators out there. Legitimate journalists are, for the most part, focusing on football, basketball, etc. I suggest you stick with Fight Fans Radio.

To remind you, going back to my first Stupid Predictions™ article for UFC 129, my record stands head and shoulders above most of the talking heads at 47-27 (64%) for the main cards and 95-53 (64%) overall.  Let’s see if I can improve upon that.

Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship

Okay, I’m picking “Bones” Jones here, but the real pick is in how this will go down. I’ve already written quite a bit on this subject, and there are a few things you should take away from those posts. First, this remains the last meaningful challenge for Jones at Light Heavyweight as he’s already disposed of Rampage and Shogun Rua (neither a real challenge except for the fact that Jones arrogantly chose to strike with them). Like Anderson Silva and George St. Pierre, his combination of technique, strategy, reach, and the “it factor” place him head and shoulders above the rest of the division. Second, Machida represents the best stylistic matchup against someone like Jones, giving Machida a legitimate chance at winning the fight. Finally, Jones will arrogantly insist on beating Machida at Machida’s own game, and that makes Jones vulnerable. Machida will hit Jones like no one has before, and when all is said and done, Machida will be praised for a gutsy performance in his loss, giving the viewer reason to watch subsequent title defenses.

In truth, absent Machida’s “puncher’s chance,” Jones is still likely to win, and won’t face another intriguing challenge unless and until Anderson Silva moves up to Light Heavyweight. The only other opponent that will make a Jones fight interesting will be a flu bug, food poisoning, or undisclosed injury to Jones. Mere mortal opponents won’t be a threat to his title.

Win or lose, watch this fight and enjoy it. After Saturday, the Light Heavyweight championship fights will become a series of boring blowouts.

The Stupid Pick: Jones by 4th-round KO/KO

Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Why? I mean really; why? Nogueira is over the hill as a championship competitor. He’s not going to win this fight, but if he does, it won’t be good for the UFC except maybe for cards taking place in Brazil. However, Junior Dos Santos provides that push for the Heavyweight division, so Zuffa should be looking for new talent to fill Nogueira’s spot rather than pushing a guy that will never hold the title again.

On the other hand, Mir has everything to lose with this fight. He’s still a contender, and if he loses this fight, that practically ends his potential run towards a championship belt. The only thing he stands to win by taking this fight is “keeping busy.” He should be keeping busy by fighting another contender.

The Stupid Pick: Mir by 2nd-round KO/TKO, doing absolutely nothing to advance his career

Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

At the risk of repeating myself, why? This is a loser-leaves-town match, which is unfortunate because it means one (the winner) will get to stay. I’d rather see both guys fight better talent. If either could win, they’d deserve to stay on the roster. If not, they’d both go to where we expect them to go: Strikeforce. As inconsistent as they both are, each has been able to finish a UFC fight relatively recently, and against a decent opponent. This is one of the toughest pick of the night. I have no choice but to go with my sentimental favorite.

The Stupid Pick: Ortiz by close decision

Brian Ebersole vs. Claude Patrick

Ebersole is weird, but it works for him, and he finishes fights. Like his fight with Chris Lytle, though, I don’t think Ebersole is far enough ahead of Patrick to finish him.

The Stupid Pick: Ebersole by clear decision

Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung

Both haven’t fought for a while, though not so long ago that “ring rust” should be much of a factor. Hominick’s performance against Jose Aldo was surprisingly impressive, while the Korean Zombie hasn’t been able to beat anyone lately other than Leonard Garcia. Gee whiz. Hominick should win cleanly, but this should be due to his striking. I’m always reluctant to pick a KO/TKO with featherweights and lighter divisions.

The Stupid Pick: Hominick by clear decision

Jared Hamman vs. Constantinos Philippou

Hamman is the epitome of an up-and-down fighter. He’s 2-2 in his four UFC fights, both winning and losing by a finish and a decision. Prior to that, he’s 11-1, which is pretty good, though against much lesser competition. Philippou also has a .500 record (1-1) in the UFC, both decisions. Prior to that, he’s 7-1 (with one no contest). He finished almost all of those fights, and his loss was a split decision. The bottom line is that neither of these fighters is a show stopper, so I’ll go with experience.

The Stupid Pick: Hamman by decision

Mark Bocek vs. Nik Lentz

Bocek is one-dimensional, but his jiu-jitsu is rock solid. The question is whether he’ll be able to get the takedown on Lentz, allowing his submission skills to come into play. Lentz has a perfect record with the UFC, with one draw and one no contest. In his no contest with Charles Oliveira, he was well on his way to a loss before Oliveira made a dumb and unnecessary move. The bottom line is that all but two of Bocek’s wins have been 1st round submissions. If he goes past the 1st round, he’s 2-3. As much as I like Bocek, Lentz is on too much of a roll here. He’ll do to Bocek exactly what he’s been doing to almost everyone lately.

The Stupid Pick: Lentz by decision

John Makdessi vs. Dennis Hallman

Oh, damn! John Makdessi is back! This is one of the more exciting fighters, and he employs a traditional style (see Lyoto Machida), making him a rare breed in the UFC. I just have to wonder why he’s fighting a 36-year-old fighter whose best days are behind him.

The Stupid Pick: Makdessi by 1st-round KO/TKO

Yves Jabouin vs. Walel Watson

Jabouin has been up and down, but mostly down, since coming to the big time. Watson is new to Zuffa, but in his one shot he knocked out Joseph Sandoval. Jabouin has more experience, but he’s about a decade older, so his experience can work against him.

The Stupid Pick: Watson by decision

Rich Attonito vs. Jake Hecht

Attonito has a decent record (10-4), but his finish percentage dropped when he made it to the UFC. Hecht is relatively unproven, this being his first shot in the major leagues. His overall record is technically a little better (10-2), but with one less finish. Still, you have to take a fighter’s major league record more seriously than you do the fighter’s minor league record, and for a newbie, the Octagon can be overwhelming.

The Stupid Pick: Attonito by decision

Igor Pokrajac vs. Krzysztof Soszynski

I’m glad I’m not on the radio show anymore because I don’t envy anyone who has to pronounce these names. Looking at the big picture, Pokrajac hasn’t been impressive in the UFC. Yes, he’s finished both fighters he’s beaten, but his UFC record is a losing one (2-3), and James Te Huna knocked him out late in the fight when Te Huna’s punches had lost considerable power. In short, he gasses out, as indicated by his inability to finish a fight outside the first round. He also rarely survives a fight outside the first round (3-8 in matches going more than 1 round). Soszynski, on the other hand, doesn’t fade nearly as much. Pokrajac’s only chance is a first round KO/TKO.

The Stupid Pick: Soszynski by decision

John Cholish vs. Mitch Clarke

And now we come to the fight on the card that pits two unknown prospects with excellent records against fighters no one knows. Remember, this is Stupid Predictions™, not Insane Predictions. Picking this fight correctly is no more impressive than flipping a coin. Any of you can do that. In fact . . .

The Stupid Pick: No pick

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow Fight Fans Radio on Twitter @fightfansradio
Follow the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Twitter @UFC
Follow Jon Jones on Twitter @Jonnybones
Follow Lyoto Machida on Twitter @lyotomachidafw
Follow Frank Mir on Twitter @thefrankmir
Follow Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on Twitter @Minotauromma
Follow Tito Ortiz on Twitter @TitoOrtiz
Follow Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on Twitter @Minotouromma
Follow Brian Ebersole on Twitter @TwasEbersole
Follow Claude Patrick on Twitter @claudetheprince
Follow Mark Hominick on Twitter @MarkHominick
Follow Chan Sung Jung on Twitter @KoreanZombieMMA
Follow Jared Hamman on Twitter @jaredhammanMMA
Follow Constantinos Philippou on Twitter if you can find him on there. I couldn’t.
Follow Mark Bocek on Twitter @MarkBocek
Follow Nik Lentz on Twitter @NikLentz
Follow John Makdessi on Twitter @JohnMakdessiMMA
Follow Dennis Hallman on Twitter @DennisHallman
Follow Yves Jabouin on Twitter @TigerJabouin
Follow Walel Watson on Twitter @135Gazelle
Follow Rich Attonito on Twitter @RichAttonito
Follow Jake Hecht on Twitter if you can find him on there. I couldn’t.
Follow Igor Pokrajac on Twitter @igorpokrajac
Follow Krzysztof Soszynski on Twitter @KSOSufc
Follow John Cholish on Twitter @JohnCholish (unverified account)
Follow Mitch Clarke on Twitter @MitchClarkeMMA

  1. […] I’ll remind you again about what this fight means to the light heavyweight division. From my Stupid Predictions™: UFC 140 article: Jones … won’t face another intriguing challenge unless and until Anderson Silva moves up […]

  2. […] I take them to task whenever they screw up (whether I write about it or not). As I pointed out when I decided to end my Stupid Predictions series, I had a better pick percentage than the alleged “professionals” in the MMA media. Apparently, […]

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