(I have to admit, when Goldstein suggested we do black and white portraits wearing our UFC-watching outfits for our FightPicker column I was skeptical, but I think it works.)
The UFC returns to Montreal Saturday, and for the third time in as many years I’m at home, four hours away in Ontario watching the pay-per-view on TV. *sigh* Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
Anyway, I’ll be live here Saturday night with up-to-the-minute updates and observations of the fights, while BG throws on his ascot and monocle and hits up his local sports bar, dry martini in hand, to wax poetic about the card and why Kimbo IS NOT the best fighter in MMA with the pro-TUF Affliction-wearing crowd.
With out further adieu, I give you the inaugural Ben vs. Mike (or the “new Ben” or “not Ben” or “inferior Ben,” or whatever pseudonym floats your boat) FightPicker Head-to-Head: UFC 113 Edition.
Machida vs. Rua @ UFC 113: Who will win?
BG: Machida. I still think he’s the better fighter overall, and he’s had a lot of time to correct the strategic mistakes he made in their first match.
MR: I’m going to go with Shogun on this one. I think he’s finally hitting his stride in the Octagon and he isn’t going to waste the opportunity of a UFC title shot twice. It seems like Machida is way too confident, bordering on cocky, which may be to his detriment if he takes Rua even an ounce too lightly.
Will Machida vs. Rua go to a decision?
BG: Yes. And it won’t be a controversial one this time.
MR: No. Off the record, I have a nagging suspicion it will end controversially, but this time it will either be by a cut or arguable referee stoppage.
Koscheck vs. Daley: Who will win?
BG: As long as Koscheck’s ego doesn’t force him into standing-and-banging, he’ll take this. I say Kos wrestles Daley to the ground and ends the fight there.
MR: I my better judgment tells me that Koscheck is going to take this, but if it ends in the first round I’m thinking Daley wins. I’m going to let technology decide this one. After one “Better not tell you now” and a “Reply hazy, try again” reply to my, “Does Daley smash the Fraggle?” query, my Magic 8 Ball® gives me a “It is decidedly so.” Since it predicted Couture over Sylvia and Serra over St-Pierre, I have to listen to it.
Will Koscheck vs. Daley end in a KO/TKO before round 3?
BG: Playing the odds, I’ll say no. Koscheck says he’ll be looking for the choke , and a late finish is always possible.
MR: Daley says he’s never been rocked in the cage or the street, so again, if it ends as a result of strikes, it will be at the hands of Daley. I’ll roll the dice on this one and say yes.
MR: I did an interview with TJ Grant a few weeks back for UFC.com and he said he thinks Stout takes some heavy shots in each fight on purpose to ensure he wins the “Fight of the Night” award, which incidentally, he has won four times to date. He has a chin of granite to match his “Hands of Stone” and every one of his UFC fights, except for his submission loss to KenFlo, has gone the distance. I’m picking Stout via decision and I’ll go out on a limb and say it will be FOTN.
Kimbo Slice vs. Matt Mitrione: Who will win?
BG: Mitrione. I’ve said it before — Meathead is the better brawler in this matchup. Even if Kimbo has picked up some new ground-game tricks at ATT, I doubt he’ll pull them out on Saturday.
MR: Training at ATT or not, I don’t see Kimbo subbing Mitrione. I also don’t see Meathead sticking his chin out for Slice to test. As much as these guys claim that they’re going to stand and bang, I think Kimbo’s gas tank and lack of takedown defense will lead to him losing by referee stoppage due to Mitrione ground-and-pound. I’m picking Meathead.
Patrick Côté vs. Alan Belcher: Who will win?
BG: I’m not picking the guy who’s coming back from 19 months of inactivity. Belcher has looked very sharp lately; this fight is his to win.
MR: Côté is another guy who never seems to get hurt when he is punched in the head. The last time I interviewed him he told me the same thing as Daley – that he has never been rocked in his life. He’s been working on his boxing with the Grant brothers in Montreal and they say that his hands have improved exponentially over the past few years. I can see him pulling off a highlight-reel knockout. I say Côté wins this.
Tom Lawlor vs. Joe Doerksen: Who will win?
BG: The Filthy Mauler, all day. A tougher question would be: Will Lawlor’s ring entrance feature Seth Petruzelli in a funny costume, a pro wrestling theme, or both?
MR: In spite of his lackluster showing the last time we saw him in the UFC, I think Doerksen’s experience and ground skills are going to be too much for Lawlor and I predict “El Dirte” is going to surprise “Filthy” with a quick sub or TKO. Doerksen by something grungy.
Marcus Davis vs. Jonathan Goulet: Who will win?
BG: Like Cote, Goulet also hasn’t competed since late 2008, when he was smashed by Mike Swick at "Fight for the Troops." This is just a rebound fight for Marcus Davis, and I expect him to win it.
MR: Goulet choked out an out of control, off the chain pit bull. Can Davis say he’s done anything that crazy besides wearing a skirt? Goulet by TKO.
TJ Grant vs. Johny Hendricks: Who will win?
BG: I like both of them, but Hendricks is undefeated, improving rapidly, and has been just a little more impressive in the Octagon. Hendricks it is.
MR: I’m inclined to pick Hendricks because he has yet to taste defeat and he has impressed me in his first two UFC fights, but Grant is one of those guys who quietly finds a way to win, regardless of the odds against him. I’m picking the dark horse on this one. Grant by TKO.
Tim Hague vs. Joey Beltran: Who will win?
BG: The Mexecutioner has momentum after his thrashing of Rolles Gracie. I’ll pick him via superior nickname, over Tim "Horton’s" Hague.
MR: I’m picking Beltran as well. I just think Hague is too slow to beat Joey to the punch; no pun intended.
Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Mike Guymon: Who will win?
BG: My heart says Guymon. My head says "Who knows?" I’m staying away from this one.
MR: I’d love to see Guymon with his hand raised after this one, especially after the problems he’s had in his life, but I’m thinking Yoshida takes it.
More KOs/TKOs or submissions at UFC 113?
BG: KOs/TKOs. 93% of Potato Nation can’t be wrong, can they? CAN THEY?!
MR: I agree with BG, but I’m thinking decisions are going to rule the night.