Your guide to impressing your stupid friends at UFC 166

Posted: October 17, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, Picks and Predictions, UFC Events
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UFC166UFC 166 might have a card as deep as any we’ve seen all year. Even the prelims are stacked with interesting–and hopefully exciting–fights. A hundred years from now, UFC 166 will go down as perhaps one of the three most awesome things ever to happen to the city of Houston. It will be right up there with the founding of Enron and the arrival of Ralph Sampson. Now let’s see if Nicole and I can continue our streaks of never…EVER…missing a fight prediction in all the years we’ve been at it.

Cain Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos

Nicole: There are a couple things we have learned from these guys in their previous encounters: 1) Junior hits like a Mack truck and 2) Cain can save you money by making your face look like a contorted rubber mask after 25 minutes of ground and pound. I don’t think either of those things will happen this time. Cain isn’t going to make the mistake of allowing JDS to close the distance and get a clean shot and Dos Santos isn’t going to play whipping boy for 5 rounds. This rubber match will be nothing short of a five round war. Cain’s will push the pace and ultimately his speed and wrestling will be the deciding factor.  My Pick: Velasquez by UD

Steve: After the first fight between these two beasts, I was 100% convinced Junior was the best heavyweight ever. After the second, I felt exactly the same way—about Cain. I bounced back and forth like an 80-year old trying to decide what kind of pie to order at Baker’s Square. But I’ve finally decided what’s gonna happen in this one. Cain made the blueprint on how to defeat JDS. His constant pressure and relentless attack eventually took its toll on Dos Santos and there’s no reason to think it won’t happen again. I actually think JDS will be a little sharper than before, which will force Cain to return fire more urgently. I see a closer fight, with a finish. My Pick: Velasquez KO4

Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson

Nicole: I’m going against the grain here. I know there are more people riding Cormier’s old singlet than there are clowns stuffed in an old VW but there is a new and improved Roy Nelson.  Roy recently dropped what appears to be at least a flyweight and looked trim and focused. If Nelson can succeed on a diet, then he can defeat Cormier. Roy’s chin has been tested more so than Cormier’s. While Cormier is the faster striker, if Roy’s right hand comes anywhere near Cormier’s chin then someone will need their pillow and a blanket. Cormier isn’t going to let that happen but I’m giving the decision to Roy. Daniel’s UFC debut performance was less than impressive anyway. My Pick: Nelson by UD

Steve: If you plan to watch this fight with a friend new to the sport, be ready. That’s cuz one of the talking points will no doubt be how much weight both fighters have dropped for this bout and what tremendous shape they’re in. You’ll have to do a lot of explaining when your friend scoffs at the “incredible physiques” of these two. Either way, I love this fight. I’d rather get a backrub from Jerry Sandusky than take an overhand right from Big Country, but I’m ready to make a bold call. All the punishment Roy has taken will eventually catch up to him—it always does. I think this is the fight where Nelson proves that everyone has an on/off switch. My Pick: Cormier KO2

Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez

Nicole: Melendez is looking to get back into title contention. Quite frankly, Dana gave him a mulligan with this match. Gilbert is not facing a 2009 Diego Sanchez. Diego has given the UFC some great fights but like a great sitcom that has jumped the shark, he’s only great in earlier episode re-runs. This will be an easy victory for Melendez. My Pick: Melendez UD

Steve: Melendez has proven he’s an elite lightweight. Sanchez has proven he’s not quite at that level. The vagina BJ Penn put on Diego’s face was probably the final straw. But Sanchez doesn’t know that. Like a young Rocky Balboa, he just keeps coming forward. I think Gilbert outclasses Diego in nearly every category and I think he’ll prove why he’s on the short list of true title contenders. There’s one thing I don’t like though—Sanchez tends to get the judges to favor him. I’ll ignore the urge to factor that into my pick. My Pick: Melendez by DEC

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shawn Jordan

Nicole: Gonzaga is another guy coming close to his ‘use by’ date for maximum freshness.   Jordan is a strong guy with great hands. Unless Gabriel borrowed a horseshoe from Connor McGregor for a wee bit of luck of the Irish he isn’t getting out of this one with the W. My Pick: Jordan by KO Rd 2

Steve: I have to say I’m a little confused by the Vegas line and other expert picks. I’m shocked that Jordan is a pretty healthy favorite here. I’ve expressed that I’m a fan of Jordan’s upside, his power and athleticism; but Gonzaga brings a skillset that Jordan hasn’t seen yet. In his 15 wins, Gonzo has finished all of them. I see raw power as Jordan’s only advantage in this one and while that could be enough, I feel at some point this will go to the ground. That’s where Gabriel makes fighters feel like the last person in a human centipede. My Pick: Gonzaga by SUB2

John Dodson vs. Darrell Montague

Nicole: Montague is making his UFC debut after success in the regional fight circuits. Coming off a loss to Mighty Mouse in a fight that won the FOTN bonus, Dodson will certainly be hungry and looking for another shot at the belt.  Darrell will do well in the UFC but he isn’t winning his first match in the promotion. My Pick: Dodson by Sub Rd 3

Steve: Dodson is about the only flyweight I’ll practically expect a finish from. The little guy has some pop in his fists fo sho. I feel bad for Montague to have to make his UFC debut against one of the division’s best. I’m almost about as broken up about it as I am that Billie Jean King Bruce and Kris Jenner are splitting up. My Pick: Dodson DEC

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