UFC 100: Pepper Calls It

ufc 100 new class

In homage to my friend’s titular UFC fight-calling, I thought I would do my own, since I have become very engrossed in this sport.

So, here are my predictions. Yes, I have done some extensive homework about the fighters, but sometimes it really boils down to nicknames and past activities. So here goes:

Lightweights Matt Grice and Shannon Gugerty start the 100-ball rolling. Both of these guys have the grappling and wrestling areas down pat, so this bout is going to be taken to the floor and sorted out there. My guess is that the kids’ jiu-jitsu trainer (Gugerty) will put on a good show, but the OK City Police Officer (Grice) will take home the win.

This will be an interesting bout. CB “Doberman”  Dollaway v. Tom “The Filthy Mauler” Lawlor. As much as I would like to root for the hometown (Tempe, AZ) boy, Lawlor had a wicked beard at the end of TUF, so that alone gives him a leg up. Also, when I read that a Doberman has an “overdeveloped sense of justice,” (I can’t remember the source, and I think I added that it was overdeveloped. -Ed.) I can only think of him being a baby. Life isn’t always fair, justice isn’t always in the Octagon. A couple more tidbits: Lawlor also taught as a high school history teacher and dressed up as a Care Bear for Halloween.

In the Stun Gun KimTJ Grant fight, I am really skeptical. Grant loves to push the fights and become very aggressive, which might surprise Stun Gun enough to get a little crazy and sloppy with his hands. It might leave him open to some wicked knees and could be a turning point in a round. Of course I am still rooting and hoping for a win for  Stun Gun, Korea’s hero – he’s got a solid judo background and a strategic mind. But I will keep both eyes on the Crazy Eyes of TJ Grant.

stun gun

In the story of Jon Jones versus Jake O’Brien, it will be who wants to shock more. Bones Jones, being just 21 and MMA training for only 14 months, seems like he is catapulting himself into the definition of “upset.” He could be setting himself up to be have a rude awakening. However, with Bones being the favorite and the expectations and pressures that go along with that,  O’Brien says he feels freer and gives him more leeway to deliver surprising aggression and take it to the floor. His aggressive style might not save him this time, though. Beware the Bones!

bones jonesBones flips off Irish O’Brien for the last time.

Mac Danzig v. Jim Miller

First off, I heart anyone who makes me think of this song. Second, he has an amazing eye for photography, and I just might have to have a piece of Danzig art in my house. Third, he named his daughter Nova because he is obsessed with astronomy. This guy is well-rounded inside and outside the ring, has enough experience to know what to expect, and has been known to be extremely precise in his beatings. This could be a fight that shows Danzig is good enough to stick around, but Jim Miller is not a pushover opponent. Miller understands and trains for something that a lot of fighters deem unimportant: cardio. I have seen quite a few fights where that six-letter word has kicked a fighter’s ass and cost them a win. Miller has some great submissions behind him, but I’m still pulling for MMA Sagan.

GlennDanzigGlenn, my now 2nd favorite Danzig

The Mark Coleman – Stephan Bonnar fight might be the one I’m least excited about seeing. I know ‘The Hammer’ has been training and actually hired trainers this time, and says he’s in great shape, but as he said himself:

“There’s no quit in Stephan Bonnar.” It’s going to be a war until one is pulled off another. They don’t call Bonnar “The American Psycho” because he likes Huey Lewis and the News. His stable hands and well-executed strikes will definitely be a problem for The Hammer, standing up or on the ground.

batemanbloodyBonnar sure does love a good chardonnay while beating people up.

You always have to have a well-marketed villain. Yoshihiro Akiyama definitely fills that spot. His dichotomy of love/hate viewers will be a huge draw in the Eastern world -along with Stun Gun- which could prove to be a great marketing strategy for the UFC. He’s also got the powerful punches and judo training to counter Alan “The Talent” Belcher’s experience. But I can’t get behind a guy with as shady a past as “Sexyama.”

Dan Henderson v. Michael Bisping

Hollywood Henderson and The Count will be a great fight. Bisping beat out DANIEL CRAIG as “Coolest Man in the UK” last year. He has been training and/or fighting in some form since he was 8. He’s like a little Liverpudlian Spartan. But Hendo also has a great pedigree, including Olympian-grade wrestling tactics. I really can’t decide who wants to prove themselves more, but from watching the pre-fight shows, it looks like the Count has definitely done his homework.

the countI promise I will not make any “down for the Count” jokes. Okay, maybe one.

Jon Fitch v. Paulo Thiago

This one might be a toughie, so we’ll weigh everything here. Thiago has been training in judo since the age of 5, he’s in Special Ops Police in Brazil, and he has incredible luck (see magical KO of this video against Josh Koscheck). But all those things can’t save him from Fitch’s heart. He doesn’t know the meaning of “quit,” or “weak leg kick,” for that matter. Fitch will tenderize him like a steak.

Arianny v. Edith– Yes, ring girls are in a fight too. Whether they are aware of it or not. It is mainly for audience applause, so it really is up to the alcohol and confidence levels in the crowd. But I’m rooting for Arianny. Oh, and a guest ring girl: Holly “I slept with Hefner for 7 years and all I got were these boobs” Madison. Her nickname is long, but what she lacks in brevity she makes up for in willingness to wear knee socks all the time. Good job.

edith-ariannyArianny is giving Edith the international sign for “what makes you think I won’t lunge at you with scissors” sign.

Georges St. Pierre v. Thiago Alves

Watching this video should really clear away any doubts anyone has that GSP is not of this world.

1. After the fight, Jon Fitch Looked like this:

JonFitch ufc87photo credit

While GSP looked like this:

georges-st-pierrephoto credit

(ok, GSP didn’t look that fresh-as-a-daisy; he had a cut above his eye.)

2. The words that come to mind when I hear St. Pierre’s name: “immediate” and “calculating.” He is always ready with a counter, not just after a strike, but immediately after. Like he saw the strike his opponent was going for and had an idea of how he was going to brace and then react before the strike was finished. That is calculating.

3. Plus, besides being great-looking, he is so classy. He has great respect for good fighters, and at the end of the above linked fight, I cried because he was so gracious in his win.

The Brock Lesnar v. Frank Mir co-main event is the second fight I am not really amped about seeing. I am getting to dislike Lesnar more and more, and some of the shirts Mir wears make my eyes want to vomit, but I’m rooting for Mir in this, though I may be very wrong.

mirspace2000_20010629_34708.jpgFrank’s fighting facility. Yes, it’s the Mir Space Station. Yes, I’m a dork.

p.s. this post was brought to you by Florence Welch:

Hopefully I have goaded my buddy Echo into doing a Ben vs. Ben-style post for the next UFC match! How ’bout it, Echo?

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6 thoughts on “UFC 100: Pepper Calls It

  1. I’m game. My post will, hopefully, be up this afternoon. Though don’t expect anywhere near as much (what’s the word?) analysis. Also, I’m going to need to see a bit more bet hedging out of you. You provided far too many clear calls and that means you might have some back-peddlin’ to do later on. Leave em nice and vague and, no matter what, you can be like, “See! I told you!”

  2. I’m very curious to see how Ryan’s picks compare to yours.

    I think in the spirit of fun I might make some picks, too. Just to be sure I end up looking stupid Saturday when my girlfriend does better than me.

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