Hey, you want to hear something crazy? There’s another UFC event in like three days. And though it’s not the most thrilling card in recent memory, I’ll definitely be paying close attention, because Saturday marks the rematch of my vomit-video bet with Ryan Harkness of Fightlinker. (Read all the details/backstory here.) So these are the picks I’m going with, God help me. Let me know what you think in the comments section, and remember to come back here this Saturday at noon PT / 3 p.m. ET for our live results coverage.
Matt Hughes def. Thiago Alves via decision
Matt Hughes may be on the decline, and Thiago Alves is definitely on the come-up, but they haven’t passed each other yet, so to speak. Though Alves caught Karo Parisyan at UFC Fight Night 13, he’s failed in previous big tests against Spencer Fisher and Jon Fitch. Hughes may have trouble with Alves’s striking and youthful energy, and a submission victory is unlikely, but I can see the future Hall of Famer dominating the young challenger with his wrestling and grinding out a decision.
Michael Bisping def. Jason Day via KO/TKO, round 1
Michael Bisping only runs into problems when he’s matched up against big wrestlers; Jason Day is not a big wrestler. “Dooms” schooled Alan Belcher in his Octagon debut, but he has nothing on the Count, who looked impressively dangerous in his first middleweight match in April. Fun fact: All five of Day’s losses have come by first-round stoppage; why bet against the trend?
Marcus Davis def. Mike Swick via KO/TKO, round 2
The Irish Hand Grenade has said he’s not judging Mike Swick by his last performance, but I can’t get over the fact that Swick looked emaciated during the Burkman fight and fought like a pussy. Meanwhile, Davis is far more well-rounded than people give him credit for, and gets overlooked because he hasn’t been presented with a tough challenge yet. I expect Davis to rise to the occasion, big time, and extend his impressive win streak to 12. WAR HAND-GRENADE!!!
Nate Marquardt def. Thales Leites via submission, round 3
There are many who think Nate Marquardt is one of the top ten middleweights in the world. I’m not one of those people, but there’s no denying his submission prowess or his resume, which includes wins over Shonie Carter, Kazuo Misaki, Dean Lister, and most recently Jeremy Horn. Leites has good credentials and a great record, but Marquardt represents a large step up in competition for him. I think a jiu-jitsu showdown is inevitable, and Marquardt will eventually come out on top.
Fabricio Werdum def. Brandon Vera via decision
This might be the toughest fight to pick on the card. Brandon Vera is a dangerous striker, and who knows what would have happened if he didn’t break his hand during the Tim Sylvia fight (his first career loss). On the other hand, Werdum has gone toe-to-toe with much scarier strikers than Vera (Kharitonov, A. Emelianenko, and Arlovski among them) and avoided being knocked out. Werdum’s a little bigger than Vera, and better on the ground. I’m leaning towards the Brazilian because he has more ways to win, but it’s very hard to predict how, especially because neither fighter has ever been stopped. Could be a battle.