Before UFC 104, I challenged E. Spencer Kyte and a few others to a good old-fashioned prognosticate-off.
It was an epic battle, but I sealed my victory over the competition by correctly picking the round two stoppage by Cain Velasquez.
It's been a while since my last picks, but I thought that it's time I gave my vanquished foes a chance to redeem themselves, and so I renew my challenge, with the same rules as before.
1. One point for correctly predicting the winner.
2. One point for correctly predicting the method of victory (submission, T(KO), or decision)
3. One point for correctly predicting the round in which victory is achieved.
4. Rules two and three only apply when the winner is correctly predicted.
Of course, this challenge goes out not only to my conquered adversaries, but also to anyone else willing to submit their picks in the comment section below.
Since Matyushenko currently doesn't have an opponent, I'm not including his fight in my picks, and any picks for bouts not included within my picks will not be counted.
And so, without further adieu, the picks.
Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva
This fight seems fairly evenly matched to me, or at least more evenly matched than the bookies suggest.
Evans has a wrestling advantage, but Thiago Silva has the better BJJ.
On the feet, I see Thiago Silva having the better overall technique, but Rashad having possibly a better chin, and greater punching power.
This fight might be dangerous for Evans, as he is known for being a slow starter and Silva is known for finishing his fights quickly. Despite that, I think that Evans should be able to weather the early storm.
Once Evans weathers the storm, I think he'll be able to land a few punches on Silva's chin, and put the Brazilian in some real trouble.
Evans T(KO) Round Two
Dustin Hazelett vs. Paul Daley
This fight is about as classic a striker vs. grappler matchup as you can get.
That being said, Hazelett has shown at least some half-decent stand-up ability, while Daley has never really shown too much grappling skill, outside of enough takedown defense to stop Martin Kampmann.
All of this, as well as the results from historical striker vs. grappler matchups would lead to picking Hazelett.
Despite the logic presented above, for some reason I think this fight might stay on the feet a little bit too long for Hazelett's liking. Nevertheless, unless I'm getting odds, I can't in my right mind pick Daley.
Hazelett Submission Round One
Joe Lauzon vs. Sam Stout
Lauzon should have a grappling advantage over Sam Stout, but Stout probably should have a striking advantage.
Despite the assumed grappling advantage for Lauzon, I think that Stout's hard work to improve his ground game will pay off in this fight, as he'll be able to do well enough on the ground to make his striking count.
Plus, Sam Stout is from my hometown, so logic doesn't apply to my decision here.
Stout Decision Round Three
Jim Miller vs. Duane Ludwig
Miller is a sturdy well-rounded fighter. Ludwig might be able to show off some flashes of brilliance, but I fully expect Miller to be able to grind this one out.
Jim Miller Decision Round Three
Junior Dos Santos vs. Gilbert Yvel
These are two serious strikers, but given that Dos Santos is trained by the Nogueira brothers, he probably has a grappling advantage, although we've yet to see it in the UFC.
I'll take the younger more well-rounded fighter any day.
Dos Santos T(KO) Round Two
Martin Kampmann vs. Jacob Volkmann
Kampmann, despite losing a striking battle to Paul Daley, is still a far superior striker when compared to Jacob Volkman. Volkmann's striking was pretty much absent in his fight against Paulo Thiago, which really opens up the possibility in this fight for a knockout.
Volkmann's big strength is in his wrestling and submission grappling, but Kampmann, despite not being a great wrestler, is a pretty good grappler himself. Although not nearly as accomplished as Volkmann, he's beaten other grapplers, such as Thales Leites and Carlos Condit.
Unlike Leites and Condit, however, Volkmann might be able to do a better job of keeping Kampmann on his back. Provided that he is able to bring this fight down to the ground in short order, I think Volkmann can grind down Kampmann and possibly even find a submission.
Volkmann Submission Round Three
Mark Munoz vs. Ryan Jensen
This fight is an interesting one, because it represents a good opportunity for both fighters.
Jensen hasn't had a chance to show off his ground skills very much in losses to Wilson Gouveia, Thales Leites, and Demian Maia. These three fighters are all very good submission artists, so despite three submission losses, I still am not sure exactly how good Jensen is on the ground.
He's obviously not spectacular on the ground, but Munoz isn't exactly Demian Maia when it comes to submissions.
Munoz hasn't really had to show off his submission skills in the UFC to this point. What we've learned about Munoz is that his striking is still a work in progress, but his wrestling skills are excellent.
Hopefully we'll learn a little bit more about these fighters in this fight.
Munoz T(KO) Round One
Mike Pyle vs. Jake Ellenberger
Ellenberger handled himself well enough on the ground against Condit that I think he might just be able to do one better against Pyle.
Ellenberger T(KO) Round Three
Rafaello Oliverra vs. John Gunderson
Gunderson Decision Round Three
Cole Miller vs. Dan Lauzon
Lauzon Decision Round 3
I accidentally left the Miller/Lauzon pick off the list, so some people submitted a pick for that fight, others didn't, so the results are pretty messy, and those who didn't make a Lauzon/Miller pick lost an opportunity. I should have messaged you guys to get picks for Miller vs. Lauzon, but didn't notice until it was very late. My bad.
Winner With Miller Lauzon: Mike D - 17 Points (14 without his Miller 1st round Sub Pick)
I finished with a miserable 11 points, tying for 2nd last.
The Hazelett/Daley pick was probably the biggest factor in the contest.
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