I said last week that there would be no excuse for a bad week, and I came through in spades. I went 10-0 with 3 NCs, which brings my overall record to 24-5 (5 NC). For those keeping track at home that is an 83% picking rate. This week should be a little tougher as we take a look at cards from the UFC, M-1 Global, Shooto Brazil, and NAAFS. As always, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion in the comment section.
Shooto Brazil 13
Siyar Bahadurzada (14-4-1) vs. Leandro Silva (14-5)
In this contest for the Shooto 183-pound world title, Sengoku veteran Siya Bahadurzada will have a clear edge in the striking department. Expect him to be able to land shots from the outside, but Silva will be able to get takedowns and implement a top game. Silva will not have the submission game to finish the fight, but he should get enough takedowns to take the fight and the title.
Pick = Leandro Silva
Willamy Chiquerim (13-1) vs. Vincent Latoel (13-12-2)
Fast rising lightweight prospect, Willamy Chiquerim gets a bit of a tune up fight here against a European journeyman. Chiquerim really made a name for himself on the Shooto Final Tradition card as he dominated Yusuke Endo en route to a submission victory. With the Shooto world becoming more and more international Chiquerim could soon become a regular on Japanese cards.
Pick = Willamy Chiquerim
UFC 102 Undercard
For UFC main card picks check out the PRO MMA (promma.info) staff picks featuring TUF 10’s Justin Wren.
Gabriel Gonzaga (10-4) vs. Chris Tuchscherer (17-1)
A Brock Lesnar training partner and Yamma runner up, Chris Tuchscherer will finally make his UFC debut. He is a tough wrestler who has worked hard to improve his cardio; however, he will have his work cut out against Gonzaga. The Brazilian will win this fight by submission in the first round. The real question is, will Gonzaga be able to perform at a dominant level in high profile fights?
Pick = Gabriel Gonzaga
Mike Russow (11-1) vs. Justin McCully (9-4-2)
Justin McCully is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Allan Goes, but he has trouble when he cannot secure top position. Russow is a much better wrestler, and will be able to continually takedown McCully and win a dominant top-control-decision.
Pick = Mike Russow
Tim Hague (10-1) vs. Todd Duffee (4-0)
A lot of people are excited about Tim Hague because in his last fight he submitted Pat Barry. He is a big well-rounded fighter, but Duffee is the better heavyweight prospect. In his last fight Duffee demolished UFC veteran Assuerio Silva in very impressive fashion. Although only 4-0, Duffee could quickly move up the heavyweight ladder.
Pick = Todd Duffee
Nick Catone (6-1) vs. Mark Munoz (5-1)
After waiting and waiting for Amir Sadollah, Nick Catone finally got a big fight against Tim Credeur. Mark Munoz got decapitated by Matt Hamill, but he will find new life at 185 pounds. Catone relies on his wrestling to carry him to victories, but here he is set to run into a better wrestler. Look for Munoz to test out the striking game before taking the fight to the ground and controlling the fight.
Pick = Mark Munoz
Marcus Aurelio (18-7) vs. Evan Dunham (8-0)
I’m glad Marcus Aurelio is back in the UFC after a short absence, but he might not stay nearly as long on this current stint. Evan Dunham is just the type of fighter that gives Aurelio trouble. If he wants he can keep the fight standing and land the more meaningful strikes, and if he wants to get takedowns he can hold Aurelio down and avoid submissions.
Pick = Evan Dunham
Ed Herman (15-7) vs. Aaron Simpson (5-0)
For the most part Ed Herman does his work after taking down his opponents. The problem is that he isn’t a great wrestler. In this fight he is taking on Aaron Simpson who is a far better wrestler. This could be one of those match ups between wrestlers that becomes a striking contest. Aaron Simpson has shown a great deal of power in his short MMA career, and at some point during this fight he will connect.
Pick = Aaron Simpson
Muhammed Lawal (4-0) vs. Mark Kerr (15-10)
The funniest thing I have heard in weeks is “this is really a trap fight for King Mo.” Yes, Lawal is still not fully recovered from knee surgery, but come on. Mark Kerr has not been a competitive fighter at this level since 2000. A close examination of his record will also indicate that even including his prime he was not that impressive – his best win is against Enson Inoue. Look for Lawal to show off a surprising striking game, as he stops old man Kerr in the first round.
Pick = Muhammed Lawal
Karl Amoussou (10-2-1) vs. John Doyle (8-8)
I would have much rather seen Karl Amoussou take on Nick Thompson, but injuries often get in the way. Doyle has no way to win this fight, and Amoussou is a fine grappler with tons of power. Don’t be surprised if Amoussou ends up on top and throws bombs until some Kansas City referee jumps in and stops the fight.
Pick = Karl Amoussou
Lucio Linhares (12-4) vs. Mikhail Zayats (8-3)
Mikhail Zayats fights are just another example of how combat Sambo is not equivalent to MMA. Although he is a world champion in Fedor’s favorite sport Zayats relies on his size to bully fighters, and, in the process, empties his gas tank quickly. The last time these two fought, Linhares used his ground game to score a decision. This time he will be more aggressive and score a late round submission victory. Even though he will lose this fight, Zayats is coming to a Strikeforce undercard near you, thanks to his relationship with M-1 Global.
Pick = Lucio Linahres
Rogent Lloret (7-1) vs. Alexey Oleinik (24-4)
Alexey Olenik relies on his grappling top game. Lloret is an ADCC qualifier, and he will have a pretty large size advantage in this fight. Look for Lloret to neutralize Olenik grappling game and wear out the smaller fighter over the course of the 15 minutes.
Pick = Rogent Lloret
Rob Broughton (10-4-1) vs. Jessie Gibbs (8-2)
Much like most English heavyweights, Rob Broughton is a bit of a banger with no takedown defense. Gibbs is a respectable grappler, who will be able to get this fight to the ground and keep it there long enough to win a decision.
Pick = Jessie Gibbs
Ferrid Kheder (13-4) vs. Daisuke Nakamura (19-10)
As an Olympic judoka Ferrid Kheder does have quality takedowns, but he is not the type of grappler that gives Nakamura trouble. Once on the bottom, Nakamura will continually go for submissions. Even if he doesn’t catch Kheder in one of these holds, he will be active enough on the bottom to take the decision.
Pick = Daisuke Nakamura
NAAFS – Rock N Rumble 3
Jeff Monson (31-8) vs. Tony Sylvester (11-2)
I really shouldn’t be allowed to pick Jeff Monson fights. There isn’t a heavyweight contest in which I wouldn’t pick the Snowman. This is exceedingly true on the local level. Tony Sylvester does have an impressive record, but he won’t be able to stay off the mat against Monson and therefore he will fall victim to a north-south choke. Also, if you are wondering, I am taking Monson in the over 99 kg weight class at ADCC.
Pick = Jeff Monson
Josh Hendricks (16-5) vs. Joe McCall (5-1)
I’m sure if you asked Ken Pavia before UFC 91 he would have said Josh Hendricks is the man to defeat Fedor. Hendricks was trounced in his UFC debut by Gabriel Gonzaga, but he is still 11-1 in his last 12 bouts. He will defeat Joe McCall, and hopefully when the time is right he will get another shot in the UFC.
Pick = Josh Hendricks