Everything you need to know about UFC 167 — and a few things no one needs to know

Posted: November 15, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, Picks and Predictions
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emmanuelmileyfi320 years? I remember the fat dude from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” getting his tooth knocked out and Art Jimmerson mysteriously tapping for no reason like it was yesterday. Now, almost able to drink, the UFC has finally dropped those awkward teen years like a big steaming Emmanuel Yarborough dump. Speaking of an Emmanuel Yarborough pile of crap, here are our picks and predictions for the big anniversary show tomorrow. Take a look, and instantly be the smartest guy at the sports bar huddled around your computer screen in your friend’s mom’s basement.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks

Steve: Every dominant champion has to deal with critics claiming that EVERY new contender is THE one to dethrone him. Hendricks is no exception. Fans—and I—love his wrestling and power striking combination. That excites me. GSP has made a career out of being better than everyone else at executing a gameplan that makes it impossible for his opponent to win. I just don’t see Hendricks being able to reach GSP with his left-handed H-bomb (his reach is considerably shorter); and I can’t see Johny using his wrestling against GSP to any significant advantage. While we’ve seen Anderson Silva lose this year; and Jon Jones almost lose this year, GSP might be the best of all when it comes to winning. MY PICK—St-Pierre DEC

Nicole: The “guys that can beat GSP but didn’t” line is longer than the black Friday line for 98 cent VCR’s. The next guy in the line is Johny Hendricks and number 12 is about to be called. There is no doubt Hendricks’ game plan will be to land a left to knock out the champ in spectacular fashion. The problem with that is, you have to get close enough to do it. Georges will once again work his spectacular jab to keep Hendricks at a safe distance through the first couple of rounds, stuffing any takedowns along the way. While all the haters are chomping at the bit to post their ever so clever “Georges can’t finish a sandwich” comment on the MMA forums, St. Pierre will be enjoying his 12th consecutive victory AFTER he finishes Hendricks. Johny’s gas tank won’t make it past the third round. MY PICK—GSP by SUB Round 4

Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen

Steve: How do you even pick this fight? Evans has looked shaky as hell. Sonnen isn’t really a 205er. Both guys are 1-2 in their last three fights. I guess I’ll assume both of these dudes will be at 100%, although I gotta say, Sonnen’s heart doesn’t appear to be in this one. Let me say that again… Sonnen’s heart doesn’t appear to be in this one. We all saw Rashad with that same lack of fire against Rogerio and I think we might see the same kind of result here for Sonnen. MY PICK—Evans DEC

Nicole: There isn’t a UFC cookie jar that Sonnen doesn’t have his hands in. Chael is competing in different weight classes, moonlighting as a sports journalist, and still antagonizing Brazilians.  That’s a pretty full calendar. Evans will be looking to get back into the mix after some lackluster performances and that motivation will carry him through. MY PICK—Evans by UD

Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler

Steve: I’d like to see Lawler walk to the cage wearing a sweater vest and pair of designer glasses just to fuck with MacDonald. Look, “Ares” is better than Lawler in every way…except one. Lawler’s half crazy and definitely won’t pull “an Ellenberger” by standing around getting jabbed to death. He’ll bring it to MacDonald—he has to or he’s dead meat. Unfortunately, Lawler’s aggressiveness will be his undoing. I’m thinking Rory will be forced to respond to the attack, and he’ll respond like most robots do—by turning on his inventor and trying to overtake the world. MY PICK—MacDonald KO2

Nicole: MacDonald will be looking to make this one a replay of the Ellenberger fight. Remember that “great” performance? I doubt Lawler will stand there like Jake did. Robbie will be looking to KO the welterweight fashionista in the first. MacDonald will avoid the onslaught and continue to exhaust Lawler well into the third round. My Pick—MacDonald by UD

Josh Koscheck vs. Tyron Woodley

Steve: Has anyone fallen as quickly from a title shot than Koscheck? Who am I kidding? The answer is yes…everyone (Alves, Hardy, etc). This is the fight where we learn if Kos still a top 10 fighter—or if he’s ready to move on to face Jon Fitch and Ben Askren at WSOF. Herte’s why I’m picking Woodley. I think he’s the angrier fighter. No, not the bigger dick—that’s def Kos. But I’m going to be “that guy” who predicts a finish in a fight that’s got a 99% chance of going the distance. MY PICK—Woodley TKO3

Nicole: Last time we saw Koscheck, he was getting KTFO by Robbie Lawler at UFC 157. Josh is looking to rebound from back to back losses to Lawler and Hendricks. I look for Kos to outwrestle and out grapple Woodley by just enough to earn the W. MY PICK—Koscheck by UD

Tim Elliott vs. Ali Bagautinov

Steve: I never thought I’d say this but flyweight is becoming one of my favorite divisions. One reason is because nearly every fight is fast-paced; and more importantly, seems to have implications on the rankings. This one is no exception. Bagautinov has plenty of weapons stuffed into his big fuzzy hat (that’s a metaphor), and could be a legit title threat in no time. Elliott impresses me though. My head tells me to pick the Russian; but you know where this is going. MY PICK—Elliott DEC    

Nicole: With credentials similar to fellow Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov, Bagautinov will be looking to continue painting the UFC red. The former combat sambo and pankration champion had a knockout debut against Marcos Vinicius. Elliot has too much going against him on this one. Ali perseveres well and has great power in the hands. Combine that with the ability to find those submissions and Tim is in for a bad night. My Pick—Bagautinov by SUB Rd 3



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