Well, last week was forgettable in the picking department. I went 5-5. We call that a “push” in the business. Didn’t win money, didn’t lose money. But “if you ain’t winnin’, you losin’.” At least, that’s how I see it. So that bring my overall record to 182-105. Still within reach of Win 200, but last week made it a little harder to achieve.
Well, whatever, I have faith in my abilities as should you. Like Rafiki said, “It doesn’t matter, it’s in the past.” So we move forward. This weekend we have twelve total fights, and the forecast calls for a 70% chance of going 12-0. Trust me, I checked the Fight Barometer. And this card is stacked. That main card is ridiculously talent-full and all the preliminary bouts, except for maybe the opening fight, should all be hotly contested. I can’t wait for this Saturday night, and I bet neither can you.
For those of you who don’t know, the favorite will have a negative (-) number, while the underdog will have a positive (+) number. MMA money lines are based on units of $100. If the favorite is -225, it means that you have to wager $225 to win $100. But if you are betting on the underdog, the formula is different. If the underdog is at +185, it means that if you wager $100 you will win $185 for a total of $285. Easy enough, right? Good.
If you guys are going to bet, head over to Bodog.com. As always, I appreciate half of your earnings.
Lightweight bout: Mitch Clarke (+265) vs. John Cholish (-350)
Both of these guys are decent prospects. Clarke is undefeated and Cholish only has one loss on his record. That being said, Cholish is a little more complete of a fighter than Clarke. Cholish’s striking will give him the edge in this fight and, even though he can definitely fight on the ground, his takedown defense will allow him to keep this fight standing, where his strength and accuracy will win the night.
My Pick: Cholish, Round 2, (T)KO
Welterweight bout: Rich Attonito (-225) vs. Jake Hecht (+175)
Hecht is a pretty good boxer, but his takedown defense is a tad suspect, and Attonito will look to use his Division 1 wrestling credentials to exploit that weakness. Hecht could land a shot to make Attonito think twice about coming in, but I doubt it. Attonito will look to control this fight, be it on the ground or against the cage.
My Pick: Attonito, Round 3, Decision
Lightweight bout: Mark Bocek (-140) vs. Nik Lentz (+110)
Bocek is the better fighter in terms of overall skill. But he had some trouble with Benson Henderson’s wrestling and that’s a skill Lentz excels at. Lentz will try to implement the same type of gameplan, so Bocek will have to be on his A-game. I believe he learned from his Henderson loss and won’t let the same thing happen to him again. Eventually Bocek will land a shot or two, or stuff a takedown, and work his way for a submission.
My Pick: Bocek, Round 2, Submission
Ion Television Card
Bantamweight bout: Yves Jabouin (-170) vs. Walel Watson (+140)
Watson has a huge reach/height advantage. He’ll do what he always does: keep the opponent outside and punish him with strikes using his length as the advantage. Jabouin will want to close the distance, but even if he does, I don’t see him taking Watson down or doing enough damage to him.
My Pick: Watson, Round 3, Decision
Lightweight bout: John Makdessi (-170) vs. Dennis Hallman (+140)
Makdessi is undefeated and has looked pretty good so far, but he hasn’t fought anyone nearly as good as Hallman. And even though he eventually lost to Brian Ebersole, Hallman did have a dominating position early on, and he would have submitted almost anyone else in that fight. If he comes out like he did in that fight, Makdessi doesn’t defend his submission attempts.
My Pick: Hallman, Round 1, Submission
Middleweight bout: Jared Hamman (-265) vs. Constantinos Philippou (+205)
Hamman is the better grappler, there is no doubt. But he lacks power in the striking game. Not only can Philippou take a punch, he can dish it out. If Hamman can get this fight to the ground, then it’s his. I just don’t see it happening. Philippou uses his boxing to get in and out, and eventually dropping Hamman.
My Pick: Philippou, Round 2, (T)KO
Light Heavyweight bout: Krzysztof Soszynski (-225) vs. Igor Pokrajac (+175)
Soszynski is just better all around. Pokrajac is a very good fighter, but everywhere he’s good, K-Sos is better. Outside a well placed shot that Soszynski doesn’t see coming, K-Sos wins this one going away. He out-strikes and out-grapples him, to the tune of a submission finish.
My Pick: Soszynski, Round 3, Submission
Featherweight bout: Mark Hominick (-600) vs. Chan Sung Jung (+400)
Jung is a beast in terms of he always brings it and he can take almost any shot you throw at him. But he’s really not that polished of a fighter and that will hurt him against Hominick. Hominick went 5 full round with Jose Aldo, and nearly got the upset win late in the bout. Quite impressive, though he took some damage. Still, what he showed was that he’s one of the top 145ers in the world. Jung isn’t there yet. Hominick is going to pick him apart from the outside.
My Pick: Hominick, Round 3, Decision
Welterweight bout: Claude Patrick (+120) vs. Brian Ebersole (-150)
Patrick is a better striking, if we are talking about fundamentals. But Ebersole isn’t a fundamental fighter. He wings it. That’s not to say he doesn’t have skill, because despite his appearance, he has a ton of it. This should be an excellent fight, and it’s almost a coin flip. But I think Ebersole’s experience will get him through this and he might catch Patrick on the ground.
My Pick: Ebersole, Round 2, Submission
Light Heavyweight bout: Tito Ortiz (+150) vs. Antônio Rogério Nogueira (-195)
“Lil’ Nog” just has not looked good in the UFC since his debut win over Luiz Cane. Ortiz on the other hand has looked pretty good in his last two outings, despite losing to Evans via TKO in the last. If Ortiz fights the smart fight and uses his wrestling to control the Brazilian, he’ll take 2 of 3 rounds on the judges scorecards.
My Pick: Ortzi, Round 3, Decision
Heavyweight bout: Frank Mir (-270) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (+210)
The first fight wasn’t close and I don’t see how this one will be. Nogueira did pull off a surprise knockout over Brenden Schaub, but it was just that, a surprise. Schaub was dominating that fight, but Nogueira caught in making a mistake. Mir is not going to make that mistake. There will be no questioning the outcome this time.
My Pick: Mir, Round 1, (T)KO
Light Heavyweight Championship bout: Jon Jones (-600) vs. Lyoto Machida (+400)
Everyone is counting Lyoto Machida out, saying he has no chance. If you watch MMA, you should know better. Styles make fights and Machida has the perfect style to combat Jon Jones’ length. The problem for Machida will be Jones’ wrestling. Machida is elusive, and if he can stay away from the takedowns, this fight, despite what people may think, will favor The Dragon. If Jones gets a takedown, it may be all over. However, when Rashad Evans had the title, I remember people saying that Machida was going down too. In that fight Evans couldn’t find Machida and was eventually knocked out. If Jones can’t peg Machida’s timing down, the same will happen to him.
My Pick: Machida, Round 2, (T)KO