ProMMANow.com UFC 171 staff picks

staff picks lady
UFC 171 is an event that honestly should make every fan fire up Fight Pass and watch from beginning to end. This is one of the best cards from open to close that I’ve seen in awhile. The undercard features undefeated flyweight Justin Scoggins looking to move up the ladder against Will Campuzano. We have Raquel Pennington coming off a big win at the TUF 18 Finale taking a huge fight against the woman who retired Julie Kedzie in Jessica Andrade. Just a good card.

As always we have assembled the top minds of ProMMANow.com to give you our picks. The main card should be exciting and who can’t wait to see what happens in the main event?

Be sure to stay close to ProMMANow for your results and play by play to go along with all of our coverage of UFC 171.

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Ovince St. Preux vs. Nikita Kyrlov 

Jack Bratcher: OSP all day. He’s only getting better and better every time we see him. His only loss in the last four years was to Gegard Mousasi. Enough said. Pick – Ovince St. Preux.

Jason Kindschy: St. Preux is really coming into his own in my opinion. The strong wrestler with potential that we saw in Strikeforce has become a well rounded martial artist. At the same time, Krylov has the power to get the finish here but I think the ability to determine where this fight takes place favors the wrestling of OSP. I expect St. Preux to dictate the range and pace of this fight with the threat of the takedown, while working his evolving striking game to get the win. Pick – Ovince St. Preux.

Gary Thomas: There hasn’t been much flaw in OSP’s game. His last loss was to Gegard Mousasi and he had a lackluster performance in his UFC debut but with that out of the way, he should be primed for a run to the top. He’s got too many weapons for Krylov.  Pick – Ovince St. Preux.

Jake Shields vs. Hector Lombard

Kelvin Hunt: If Shields can’t get it to the ground and that’s a big if, Lombard smokes him via TKO. Pick – Hector Lombard.

Jack Bratcher:  Shields wrestling/grappling will be the difference. He has enough stand up to frustrate Lombard but will need to rely on his wrestling and grappling if he’s to win. I think Shields can pull this off via decision and make it an ugly grinding fight. Pick – Jake Shields.

Jason Kindschy:  Jake Shields always finds a way to win, whether or not it’s crowd pleasing is another story, but the man is a technician. Lombard has the power and the Judo background to get the job done, yet most of us have learned that betting against Shields is bad idea. I expect Lombard to start strong and look pretty good in the first round, with Shields surviving some heavy punches. Then look for Shields to pick up the pace as Lombard fades, getting the takedowns and outpointing the Cuban-Aussie for the decision. Pick – Jake Shields.

Gary Thomas: Jake Shields has the ability to make everyone he faces fight his fight. It is a trait that has served him well throughout his UFC career. Lombard is a heavy hitter but has been sluggish at times and lackluster in a couple outings. Shields should be able to grind this out and walk away with a win. Pick – Jake Shields.

Diego Sanchez vs. Miles Jury

Kelvin Hunt: ‘m very excited about this fight.Old guard,new guard possible. Sanchez showed he’s still got a lot left in the tank in his performance against Gilbert Melendez last time out. My only concern for Jury is can he withstand the pace that Sanchez will set? If so he’ll take a decision win,if not, Sanchez will turn back father time for the decision win.I’m going with the latter. Pick- Diego Sanchez.

Jack Bratcher: Undefeated Myles Jury has beaten some good guys in the UFC, but Diego will be his biggest challenge yet. We saw the fortitude and toughness he displayed against Gilbert Melendez. Diego is nearly impossible to finish and he only seems to get tougher as the battle goes on. My heart says Sanchez here. Pick – Diego Sanchez.

Jason Kindschy: Every time Diego Sanchez steps inside the octagon there’s never a lack of thrilling violence and I expect this fight to be the same. Jury is really looking to shine here and I expect this fight to elevate him to the next level, just not with a win. I think the intensity coupled with the insane pace of Sanchez will overwhelm Jury from bell to bell. Myles does have a serious ground game and he’s no slouch standing up, but we are going to find out how he deals with constant pressure on Saturday. I expect a fired up, screaming Diego Sanchez to take Jury the distance in a FOTN performance with Diego winning the scorecards unanimously. Pick – Diego Sanchez.

Gary Thomas: Miles Jury has been on fire with 13 straight wins. Almost as impressive as Diego Sanchez’s 17-0 streak to start with. When Miles won his first pro fight, Sanchez was already 13 wins into his career. Jury has never fought anyone that can take punishment and keep moving forward. The question is how will he react when he can’t drop Diego? Tell Stitch to get ready because this should be fun. Diego FTW! Pick – Diego Sanchez.

Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley

Kelvin Hunt: If this were a five round fight I’d take Condit ALL day,but it’s not.I think with a three round fight and Woodley’s wrestling game coupled with Condit’s propensity to give up a takedown makes this a much tougher fight to call.  Also, Condit is very dangerous off his back but Woodley is very stocky and it will be hard to catch him in a sub from that position. I like Woodley in the upset via split decision. Pick – Tyron Woodley.

 Jack Bratcher: Woodley’s wrestling should make the difference here. Condit has never been KO’d but Woodley could finish him should he connect with the big one. I don’t see that happening but I do see him taking the decision. Pick: Tyron Woodley.

Jason Kindschy: Another awesome fight on this stacked card. Both combatants are very hungry for a crack at the title and I expect that show on Saturday. Woodley is VERY explosive and he should be able to take Condit down throughout this fight, but Carlos is dangerous off his back. I expect Woodley to get frustrated trying to close the distance and get in on the range of Condit, forcing him to get the takedown. While on the mat, look for Condit to stifle the ground and pound, trying to sweep and eventually getting back to his feet every time. Condit’s slick striking and ability to work off his back should prove him to be the victor in this fight, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s able to get a late finish. Pick – Carlos Condit.

Gary Thomas: This is a pick ’em for me. I think Woodley can pull this off if he executes a perfect game plan. Condit has been out of action a bit longer and if he starts slow he won’t be able to catch up.  That being said, I don’t think Condit will start slow at all. I think he has the intentions of making a statement with this fight and I see a TKO coming before the final bell. Pick – Carlos Condit.

Robbie Lawler vs. Johny Hendricks – Welterwight Title

Kelvin Hunt:  If Hendricks doesn’t use his wrestling it’s anybody’s fight with both guys having KO power.I think Hendricks has more tools in his belt,it’s just a matter of is he going to use them.  Fighter’s with KO power like him become dependent on that power and forget their bread and butter at times. I think Hendricks realizes he’s in a position that 99% of fighters don’t find themselves in coming off a loss like his last fight. He’ll do whatever he needs to do to get the win.  Hendricks via 4th round TKO. Pick – Johny Hendricks.

Jack Bratcher: Although it would be pretty cool to see Lawler comeback after all these years to win the UFC title, I think Hendricks’ wrestling will make the difference should he need or want to use it. Hendricks via decision. Pick – Johny Hendricks.

Jason Kindschy:  I want to preface this by saying that the UFC couldn’t have picked two more likable guys to throw down for a title. Both men are exciting talents with knockout power, both are humble and let their fighting speak for itself. As far as the breakdown goes, Lawler has the experience and the more technical striking, while Hendricks has the athleticism and the wrestling. We all know either guy can render any welterweight unconscious with a single blow, but I don’t think we are going to see that type of battle. I expect Hendricks to use his superior wrestling in this tilt to ensure that he goes home a champion. Lawler is without a doubt the most dangerous knockout artist Hendricks has faced to date and given his recent struggles with the judges, I anticipate he doesn’t want to leave anything to chance, especially his consciousness. Look for Hendricks to mix things up with the takedowns early, trying to drown Robbie in the later rounds, possibly showcasing his submission skills for the victor. Pick – Johny Hendricks.

Gary Thomas: Another pick ’em for me.  So here is what I want to see. Bruce Buffer does his thing , fighters touch gloves and begin an all out assault on each other. Stand and trade, exchanging shot after shot until one drops. In the end we can tell the tale of a fighter that some wrote off as finished and Robbie Lawler stands with a shiny new belt. Run tell that. Pick – Robbie Lawler.
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