UFC on Fuel 6: Main Card Staff Predictions
At approximately four in the morning this Saturday, or something like that, UFC on Fuel 6 will come to North Americans live from Macao. It's like the Puerto Rico of China, except instead of calling it a territory, they call it a special administrative region, which is why so many people take vacations there.
Moving on. This fight card isn't very good. That's not something that's debatable. But when you're talking about the UFC, a substandard card is still better than most other people's good cards. It's like Scarlett Johansson on a bad hair day.
So what's going to happen during the main card? Jonathan Snowden, Jeremy Botter, Matt Roth and I channel our inner Nate Silvers, all in the name of helping you make better sense of a fight card that's happening during your morning oatmeal.
Jeff Hougland vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Harris: Hougland is a ground fighter. Mizugaki is a little more well-rounded and can stop takedowns. Plus, if Mizugaki wins, this is the 10th fight in a row where he alternated a win with a loss; you can't mess with that type of streak. Mizugaki by unanimous decision.
Snowden: Hougland is not a good fighter. Mizugaki is a pretty OK fighter. I haven't called Nate Silver or anything, but early polling shows Mizugaki has a 77 percent chance of victory. Mizugaki by unanimous decision.
Botter: Mizugaki has alternated wins and losses for years. For real. He can't seem to win or lose more than one fight in a row. That's pretty amazing, when you think about it, but I don't really want to think about it more than I have to. Mizugaki by decision.
Roth: To me this is one of those fights that's been booked to showcase the more talented fighter. In this case, that's Mizugaki. He's better at pretty much everything and his boxing is top notch. I'm picking what I see is the sure thing. Mizugaki by decision.
Tiequan Zhang vs. Jon Tuck
Harris: Maybe I'm just a mark swallowing the hype, but Jon Tuck looks like a stud to me. World-class grappling, three T/KO wins. Lots to like about the Guam native, and conversely, not much recommending China native Zhang right now, except for the fact that he's from China. Tuck by TKO, Round 2.
Snowden: I don't know much about Tuck, but somehow I doubt he's facing the one Chinese fighter on the card because he's a world beater. Zhang by submission, Round 2.
Takanori Gomi vs. Mac Danzig
Harris: Is Gomi living off his own past? I don't know, but that win over Eiji Mitsuoka certainly didn't convince me that he isn't. Gomi can be tired out and submitted. Those are Danzig's strengths. Danzig by unanimous decision.
Snowden: That sound you hear? Those are tears as all the Pride fanboys realize that the promotion is finally and truly dead. Danzig by decision.
Roth: Let me get one thing out of the way and that's that Gomi sucks. I mean the current incarnation that looks heavy for every fight and hasn't been good since Nick Diaz gogoplata'd him. Mac Danzig isn't good either, but he walks out to The Misfits and has solid head movement on the feet. Mac Danzig by Decision.
Botter: I actually forgot about this fight when I was asked to turn in my predictions here, so that should tell you something about my level of excitement. I like Gomi because he tries to kill folks with punches, but Danzig has the ability to suck the life out of anyone with his grappling. Danzig by submission, Round 2.
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Paul Thiago
Harris: Really looking forward to this fight. I like Thiago, but I believe he's overrated. Kim by unanimous decision.
Snowden: This has the potential to be fight of the night. Thiago is a gun-toting, drug-dealer-dispatching badass in his real-life job, part of an elite Brazilian police squad. Let's hope they are holding his job for him down there, because Kim is about to lay and pray his way to a win. Kim by unanimous decision.
Botter: Paulo Thiago was once awesome, but I think those days are behind us. He's still likely killed more criminals than any other fighter, so he has that going for him. Kim by decision.
Roth: This is a great fight. Seriously, this is the best fight on the entire card. Thiago has been super inconsistent in his UFC career, but I still believe he's better than Kim on both the feet and on the ground. Thiago by decision.
Thiago Silva vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Harris: After his yearlong suspension and loss to Alexander Gustafsson, Silva's going to be like a frothing mastiff out there. I like Nedkov's game, and I think he'll win a lot of fights, but he won't win this one. Silva by TKO, Rd. 1.
Snowden: Thiago Silva is a monster. An angry monster, one who's been thinking about his loss to Alexander Gustafsson for seven months. Nedkov has the unfortunate job of being the first man to step into the cage with him. I wouldn't trade spots with Nedkov for all the tea in Macao. Silva by TKO, Rd. 1.
Roth: I'm not impressed by Nedkov and have no idea why he's in the UFC besides the fact that sometimes Joe Silva needs a warm body to take a beating. That's what's going to happen on Saturday morning when Thiago Silva turns his face into guacamole with knees. Silva by TKO, Round 1.
Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le
Harris: Now it's time for the main event. Yeeeeeeeeeey. I want to be enthusiastic. But I can't...I just can't do it. Their combined age is 78 and their combined injuries would paralyze a normal man. The word I want is "whatever." Franklin by TKO, Round 2.
Snowden: Remember when Jimmy Connors and McEnroe started that tennis league for old guys from the wooden racket era? This is like that, only with face punching. Franklin will win the battle of the old-timers, but Le has kindly provided a built-in excuse to explain his inevitable loss. Franklin by TKO, Round 3.
Roth: These guys are so old and shouldn't really be fighting anymore. However, I think that Franklin still serves a purpose and can put on a great fight whenever he's needed. Look for him to work Cung over on the ground. Franklin by decision.