(“And, presto! The dove vanishes before your very eyes. Now, if I may have a volunteer from the audience, I will amaze you with a trick learned during my extensive travels in the orient …” PicProps: Sherdog.)
There are two ways to look at this: Either the extensive knowledge gleaned from their years of training and competing in mixed martial arts leads a majority of professional fighters to believe Shane Carwin will defeat Brock Lesnar tonight at UFC 116 … or Lesnar’s peers are even more sick of this a-hole than we are and they don’t care who knows it.
Either way, a kind of astonishing 62 percent of pros surveyed by Sherdog.com for its recurring “Pros Pick” piece on Saturday tabbed Carwin to unseat Lesnar, despite the fact he remains a slight betting underdog. Judging from the voter turnout – 61 athletes participated in the super-scientific polling process – The Dog didn’t have to try too hard to get the pros to come out of their shells and voice their opinions, either.
For example, the ever diplomatic Seth Petruzelli weighed-in thusly : “Please, Shane, smash that overgrown non-veggie eating poop stick.”
Heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez brings a lot of excitement to his fights from bell to bell. In an interview setting? Not so much. Velasquez is a great guy but let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to get him to say anything interesting. Just ask Ariel Helwani, who does about all he can to pry something, anything good out of Velasquez in this video.
In the wake of UFC President Dana White reconfirming this week that Velasquez has got dibs on the winner of Shane Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar, Helwani asks Velasquez who he’d rather fight. Either guy, Velasquez says. Who does he think will win on Saturday, Helwani asks. Depends, Velasquez says. Would the businessman in him rather chase the bigger payday of a fight with Lesnar than Carwin? No, he just wants to fight the best, Velasquez contends. What will we see from him in his next fight? He just wants to get better in all aspects of MMA.
Brock Lesnar could have a lot of things working against him when he climbs into the cage tonight for UFC 116 – a long layoff, possible lingering effects of a career-threatening disease, his most dangerous challenger to date and the concentrated hatred of all the good and decent people of the world, just to name a few. With so much already on his plate, it was a little weird earlier this week when Lesnar disclosed that he used some of the extra time off he had while recovering from that hole God put in his stomach lining to switch from an orthodox striking stance to southpaw for his fight with Shane Carwin.
Maybe it’s the smirk on Lesnar’s face during the opening seconds of the above video, but it’s hard not to wonder: Is Brock just fucking with us? Does he really intend to try to fight Carwin as a lefty tonight? Or is this just some gamesmanship on the part of the former WWE wrestler?
Just a friendly CP reminder that the weigh-ins for UFC 116 are live at 7:00pm ET tonight.
If watching the UFC’s pre-fight presser at 6:30 doesn’t float your boat, there are some videos to help you kill some time after the jump, including one of Brock Lesnar’s college wrestling matches, a light heavyweight version of Brock in his early days with the WWE and a highlight featuring early and recent clips of Shane Carwin’s bouts and the backstage interviews from the weigh-ins.
Remember to check in with us tomorrow for our UFC 116 liveblog at 10pm ET. If you’ve never joined in the festivities, give it a try. The Potato nation knows how to party like it’s 1999.
(Will Shane bring the pain, or does Brock have this on lock? Anybody want a peanut?)
UFC president Dana White, heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, interim champ Shane Carwin, and middleweights Chris Leben and Yoshihiro Akiyama are all about to take the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena’s Hollywood Theatre for a UFC 116 press-conference. You can follow the presser live on CagePotato.com via the media-player after the jump, starting at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT. If you’re watching, let us know your thoughts in the comments section…
For a match-up of such epic proportions, both literally and figuratively, Lesnar vs. Carwin does not offer a ton of evidence to analyze.
In the grand scheme of the MMA heavyweight scene, both Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin are relative newcomers, as their total career fights combined equates to a number one-half of former god Fedor Emelianenko’s times at bat. In only five fights, Lesnar has shown marked improvement and new aspects of an evolving game in each outing, and even though Carwin specified that his focus is becoming a well-rounded fighter, his right hand alone has left a trail of twelve motionless cadavers in its wake.
My team of MMA scientists submitted the official report from their pre-fight ceremonial ritual — in which bits of evidence are fed into the “MMA Math Machine” to extrapolate key factors that assist in fight predictions — and the findings for both read: Big. Strong. Wrestle good. Punch hard.
As much I’d like to over-glorify things, that’s really what this fight boils down to.
Of course, if you had some balls you’d bet actual money on the fights, and not silly-ass "PotatoChips." As usual, we’d like to help you win some cash for Saturday’s event — or at the very least not take heavy losses. Betting lines are below, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com; if you don’t know what this stuff means, read this first.
MAIN CARD Brock Lesnar (-130) vs. Shane Carwin (+140) Yoshihiro Akiyama (-200) vs. Chris Leben (+185) Chris Lytle (-195) vs. Matt Brown (+160) Krzysztof Soszynski (-218) vs. Stephan Bonnar (+195) George Sotiropoulos (-195) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (+160)
SPIKE TV PRELIMS Brendan Schaub (-295) vs. Chris Tuchscherer (+264) Ricardo Romero (-145) vs. Seth Petruzelli (+120)
PRELIMINARY CARD Goran Reljic (-155) vs. Kendall Grove (+145) Gerald Harris (-245) vs. Dave Branch (+200) Daniel Roberts (-170) vs. Forrest Petz (+145) Karlos Vemola (-160) vs. Jon Madsen (+150)