“What I expect of these guys is I expect these guys to go out and perform,” Dana White said after an amazing night. “Let me tell you this, and I mean it, we’re writing some [expletive] checks tonight. We’re writing checks – more than what you heard here tonight. Guys are going to get well taken care of tonight. Tonight was the greatest night of fights I’ve ever seen. There’s going to be some happy [expletives] skipping out of the MGM tonight, I’ll tell you that right now.”
Indeed, Dana. Give them all the $75,000 bonus. That was just an amazing show. And for it to garner attention on ESPN was huge. After the fight ESPN’s ticker and side bar flashed the results and even showed highlights. And not the five seconds they did for Fedor.
Now, onto the picks. I went 6-5, picking two fights perfectly, bringing my overall record to 74-51. That’s IF you count the Brown/Lytle fight. I will go ahead and take the loss, but I just want all you guys to know that I did say Lytle would win. For the record. Let’s see what we have…
Heavyweight bout: Jon Madsen vs. Karlos Vemola
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My Pick: Madsen, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Madsen, Round 3, Unanimous Decision
This was probably the only boring fight on the card. Madsen won because of takedowns in every round, but didn’t do much damage to Vemola. The fight was going like I called it, but then Madsen decided he wanted no doubt he won the rounds and went for takedowns to secure them. It was pretty much just a bunch of clinching with little action. But, I did call the outcome perfectly.
Welterweight bout: Daniel Roberts vs. Forrest Petz
My Pick: Roberts, Round 2, Submission
What Happened: Roberts, Round 3, Split Decision
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Well, I almost picked this one perfect. Roberts almost netted a Rear Naked Choke win in the first round and almost a Guillotine Choke in the second round. In the third both fighters were gassed, but Roberts scored a takedown and stayed on top until the bell rang. I don’t know about that Split Decision scoring. That second round was close but Roberts still took it in my eyes.
Middleweight bout: Gerald Harris vs. Dave Branch
My Pick: Harris, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Harris, Round 3, KO
This fight was going just like I said. Harris was winning the entire fight with aggression and control and even landing a few more shots. He was well on his way to getting that decision win when he got another takedown in the third. But he decided to lift Branch off the ground and slam him on his head for the KO victory. Shades of Rampage/Arona back in Pride. Not quite as vicious as the Rampage slam, but definitely as effective. Branch was out as soon as his head touched the canvas. Kudos to Harris for not continuing to punch Branch after the slam.
Middleweight bout: Kendall Grove vs. Goran Reljic
My Pick: Reljic, Round 2, TKO
What Happened: Grove, Round 3, Split Decision
This was a close fight. I scored it 29-28 Grove, but I could see how a judge would give Reljic the win. Goran was more aggressive and did get some takedowns. I wasn’t upset with the decision at all. However, I do find it amazing that Grove still lets fighters in close. I don’t get it. Use your reach my man. Grove takes more damage than he should.
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Light Heavyweight bout: Seth Petruzelli vs. Ricardo Romero
My Pick: Petruzelli, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Romero, Round 2, Submission
This was a crazy fight. The “Elite XC Killer” came out with a purpose. Petruzelli was all over Romero like Romero was Kimbo Slice. Just straight dominated the first round, even knocking Ricardo to the floor with a nice uppercut. Petruzelli even started to rain down some “Hulk Smash!” type of hammerfists. It was nuts. In the second, it was more of the same early. Seth landed a knee straight to the chin of Romero that put him down as well. Then somehow, some way, Romero got on top of Petruzelli, got in the crucifix mount, and locked in a Straight Armbar that caused Seth to scream out in pain and tap out. Didn’t see that coming.
Heavyweight bout: Brendan Schaub vs. Chris Tuchscherer
My Pick: Schaub, Round 2, KO
What Happened: Schaub, Round 1, TKO
I knew Schaub would get the win by KO, but I just thought it would take a while to beat on Tuchscherer before he finally fell. Turns out, all it took was a little under a minute and a half. Schaub connected perfectly and put Chris out. I think it’s time for a huge step up in competition for Schaub to see where he’s really at.
Lightweight bout: George Sotiropoulos vs. Kurt Pellegrino
My Pick: Sotiropoulos, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Sotiropoulos, Round 3, Unanimous Decision
And the second fight I picked perfectly. Sotiropoulos was all over Pellegrino from the beginning. He easily won the first two rounds in my mind. However, he definitely lost that last one. Pellegrino scored a takedown and landed more shots. Then, in the closing seconds, “Batman” broke a clinch and kneed and punched George down to the canvas. He was all over him…but the bell sounded. Almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Then the judges scorecards came out. Two of them scored it 30-27 Sotiropoulos. Really? You think George won that last round? Wow. That’s all I can say. George won that fight, but not 30-27.
Light Heavyweight bout: Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar
My Pick: Soszynski, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Bonnar, Round 2, TKO
I guess Bonnar read my post and was more motivated than ever. I thought K-Sos would do exactly what he was doing. He was getting the better of the exchanges and even bloodied up Bonnar. It was again back and forth, and in the second round, Bonnar landed a knee that dropped Soszynski. I thought maybe it was called early, but it looked like it was about done. Nice win by Bonnar. It almost seemed like he retired in his speech afterward. Who knows though? Like he said, he’s crazy.
Welterweight bout: Chris Lytle vs. Matt Brown
My Pick: Brown, Round 2, TKO
What Happened: Lytile, Round 2, Submission
Well, if you did what I said and not what I did you picked this fight correctly. I said Lytle would win but I’m not picking against Brown. However, Brown did have a nice D’Arce Choke locked in in the first round that could’ve ended it. Lytle was smart and defended it well and in the second he did what Brown couldn’t and got the submission win. Both guys looked good though.
Middleweight bout: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Chris Leben
My Pick: Akiyama, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Leben, Round 3, Submission
If you called this perfect you are either crazy or an absolute genius. Akiyama was well on his way to getting an Unanimous Decision victory, just like I called. Then somehow Leben locked in a Triangle Choke and won the fight in the last 20 seconds. That was amazing. Especially after Leben was out on his feet in the second round. To come back and win off his back like that is just crazy. In the last two weeks combined, Leben has taken home over $250,000. Not a bad two weeks.
Heavyweight Championship bout: Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin
My Pick: Lesnar, Round 2, TKO
What Happened: Lesnar, Round 2, Submission
WHAT?! WHAT?! Yeah, I’m still not over this. As much as he won’t admit it, I could see a little rust in Brock’s game. It sure showed when Shane landed that uppercut that sent Lesnar to the fence. Lesnar then was on survival mode. Shane even knocked him down and proceeded to rain down some punches. Lesnar blocked about 90% of them, but the ones that got through did some damage. I thought the ref, Josh Rosenthal, would call it, but I’m glad he didn’t. I hate when refs call the fight just because the guy on top is throwing punches. Lesnar was defending the best way he could, covering up. I don’t know about you, but that’s the definition of “defending” in my book. Don’t let the other guy hit you. He did that. He eventually got up, but that round definitely went to Carwin. In the second though, it was an entirely different story. As soon as Lesnar took him down I said to myself, “He’s not getting back up.” And I was right. I didn’t think it would end like that, but Shane didn’t get back up. Lesnar scored the takedown, got to full mount, and then out of nowhere, locked in an Arm Triangle Choke for the win. Are you freaking kidding me?! I STILL can’t believe what I saw.