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UFC 83: Picks, Predictions, and More

(Will Serra prove to be MMA’s Buster Douglas, or will he send thousands of Canadians home drunk and angry?)

As UFC 83 draws nigh, we’re faced with the daunting task of predicting the winners in Saturday night’s bouts. But just picking the victor isn’t enough. In addition, we’ve decided to get really specific with our predictions, to the point where it’s mostly absurd. This makes it almost as much fun as the UFC drinking game, where you chug every time Mike Goldberg sounds way too excited about some upcoming movie/event/paid sponsor.

Hope you’ve got your Molsons ready for the UFC’s first Canadian event. It could be a long night.

Matt Serra vs. Georges St. Pierre

Here’s the thing: a lot of people have been quick to write off Matt Serra, and we can understand why. His victory over St. Pierre was so utterly shocking – and he hasn’t been back in the Octagon since – that it’s hard not to think of that win as a one-in-a-million lucky shot. In other words, Serra seems to have about the same odds as someone launching a half-court shot at the buzzer. Sure, you can do it once, but twice in a row?

We have to consider the possibility that Serra might legitimately present problems, stylewise, for GSP. Then again, how has Serra been preparing for this fight? Well, he had back surgery, filmed a reality show, and worked out with Pete Sell. Will that get you ready to face someone like GSP, who may be one of the best pure athletes in MMA? Doubtful at best.

CP Pick: Georges St. Pierre.

Unreasonably Specific Prediction: TKO, 2:35 of round 3.

What to Watch For: the expression on Serra’s face when the Montreal crowd gives him a good old-fashioned Canadian razzing during the introductions. Will it be a look of grim focus, or ‘I-got-your-boos-right-here-ya-turkeys!’ Wait and see.

Rich Franklin vs. Travis Lutter

You’ve got to feel for Rich Franklin. One day he’s the UFC’s media darling, starring in Xyience commercials where it’s at least implied that he’s sleeping with high school girls, and then he gets demolished by Anderson Silva twice and it’s back to the middle of the pack.

The beatings he suffered at the hands of Silva might have made him look bad, but Franklin’s still better than most in the division. While Travis Lutter has great ground skills, it’s not a big enough upside against a guy like Franklin. You have to do everything he does, only better. Basically, you have to be someone like Anderson Silva, and Lutter isn’t.

CP Pick: Rich Franklin.

Unreasonably Specific Prediction: TKO, due to fatigue and punches, 4:40 of round 2.

What to Watch For: Franklin’s post-fight interview, wherein he will not mention any desire at all for another fight with Silva.

Nate Quarry vs. Kalib Starnes

Quarry has struggled with injuries recently, this much is true. But for all the people who refer to his injury troubles as a “question mark”, I have to ask, when have you ever seen his performance in the Octagon affected by injuries? Quarry recently had surgery and claims that he’s better than ever as a result. While I can’t go that far, Quarry is smart enough that he wouldn’t take this fight if he weren’t 100%.

Starnes is talented and has good size for a middleweight, but he also has the stigma as something of a quitter. Some of that is unfairly applied to him, but not all of it. He suffered a nasty cut his last time out, and that might make him a little gun-shy, but all that aside I have to think that the longer this fight goes, the better Quarry’s chances are.

CP Pick: Nate Quarry

Unreasonably Specific Prediction: TKO, 1:52 of round 3.

What to Watch For: as tough as he is, Quarry will get weepy and emotional when talking us through the Mickey’s replay. He’s just a big softie.

Charles McCarthy vs. Michael Bisping

Word on the street is that Bisping was more jovial than most when meeting the media earlier this week, which leads one to believe that he isn’t having trouble cutting to 185. If that’s the case, he could be a handful for McCarthy, who is putting all his faith into his jiu-jitsu.

Is McCarthy a threat on the mat? Sure. Anyone who’s put the time in at American Top Team and has won all his fights by submission knows his way around an armbar. But McCarthy hasn’t fought in a year and a half, and he’s never beaten anyone who’s as good (at least on paper) as Bisping. Regardless, he seems to think it’s in the bag. Someone should tell him that there’s a difference between confidence and hubris, and it has to do with the outcome.

CP Pick: Michael Bisping.

Unreasonably Specific Prediction: TKO due to ground-and-pound, 4:15 of round one.

What to Watch For: guest commentator Kenny Florian will almost certainly make a remark about McCarthy’s jiu-jitsu that somehow manages to refer back to the fact that Ken-Flo is a black belt.

Mac Danzig vs. Mark Bocek

For those of you who only know Danzig through TUF and thus regard him with the standard amount of skepticism, let me assure you that he is, in fact, the real deal. He has skills on the feet and on the mat, and he’s a hard worker who’s made the best decision of his life in linking up with Xtreme Couture.

Bocek is on this card because he presents no significant threat to the UFC’s investment in Danzig, and because he’s Canadian. The crowd will be behind him in force, but Danzig only has to beat one guy when the bell rings. Fortunately for him it’s a guy with much less experience who’s never beaten anyone of note.

CP Pick: Mac Danzig.

Unreasonably Specific Prediction: rear naked choke, 3:18 of round one.

What to Watch For: no way are we getting through this fight without Mike Goldberg mentioning several times that Danzig is a vegan who put forth a “dominant display” on TUF. Goldberg is like a talking toy bear: he only has a few phrases to choose from once you pull his string.


Cagepotato Comments

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KTFO- April 18, 2008 at 8:53 am
Here's my predictions:

A lot of punches in the face, probably some more rolling on the ground, and a butt load of kicks.
King Silo- April 18, 2008 at 12:32 am
Matt Serra is fucked.
GSPlease- April 17, 2008 at 10:58 pm
My predictions:


Georges St. Pierre
Travis Lutter
Kalib Starnes
Michael Bisping
Mac Danzig


Jason MacDonald
Rich Clementi
Alan Belcher
Kuniyoshi Hironaka
Ed Herman
Cain Velasquez
GSPlease- April 17, 2008 at 10:04 pm
Looks like charles' lucky Kimbo/Tank prediction has gone to his head and he now thinks he's Nostradamus.

Here is a more resonable prediction:

GSP by TKO @ 3:22 of the 3rd round.
charles- April 17, 2008 at 10:01 pm
My ridiculously specific prediction:

GSP and Serra will lightly trade in Round 1, with both men landing a few good shots. Round 2 will come around, and GSP will grow increasingly frustrated and pressured to finish the fight. He will take down Serra, and in the ensuing scramble, GSP will be caught in a match ending, world shocking, history altering, mind blowing, Canada depressing triangle.

Serra by triangle, 2:43 of the second round.
Si- April 17, 2008 at 9:02 pm
Agreed with above. I do see Danzig taking this, but far more likely by G&P due to strikes than a submission victory. Bocek could definitely cause him some problems.
Anonymous- April 17, 2008 at 8:42 pm
i don't agree with the authors pretty much calling Bocek a can, he's one of the best ground fighters in that division and definitely pull an upset victory. But Mac Danzig is the real deal though
Anonymous- April 17, 2008 at 8:34 pm
and for the record, america and canada both suck cock for nickels, so argueing about it is like bragging about beating a retard at chess, that goes for england and australia too.
well yea but- April 17, 2008 at 8:22 pm
you forgot Mike Goldberg's other classic one-liners like "It's alll over!" and "Uh huh" when joe tells him something he obviously has no fucking clue about. Having Joe out of the annoucing booth is, I think, the one failing on this card. Joe does his job amazingly well and he always tells you something you had no clue about. Kenflo is just a douche.
Matt- April 17, 2008 at 7:28 pm
Oh I get it. Because it takes like water. Thats pretty creative.
French Canadian people trying to be funny is a contradiction in itself.
Bundy- April 17, 2008 at 7:25 pm
Captain Popetastic- April 17, 2008 at 7:20 pm
Lumping a country of 300 million people together in one fell swoop because of a single incorrect statement or assumption is ignorant, too, bud.
Kilgore- April 17, 2008 at 6:41 pm
S. Blake- April 17, 2008 at 6:14 pm
Yeah French (France) and French (Canadian) are nothing like each other. Ignorant Americans.

Plus, Molson sucks. It ain't even Canadian anymore. Taste like water, so it's prob close to what you guys pass off as beer.. Budwater.. er.. Budwiser.

Moosehead is beer.
C-Bus Allstar- April 17, 2008 at 6:08 pm
And the winners are:

GSP, by TKO at 2:29 Remaining in the 1st Round.

Franklin, by TKO at 3:42 remaining in the 2nd Round.

Quarry, by TKO at 3:00(ish) remaining in the 2nd Round.

McCarthy (SURPRISE), by Arm-Bar late in the 1st Round.

Annnnd I think you're about dead on fucking accurate about Danzig winning by RNC in the first round.

Submission of the night = Danzig
KO of the night = Franklin

Fight of the night (DUN DUN DUN) = GSP vs. Serra

those are my predictions.

Allstar out.
KG- April 17, 2008 at 5:58 pm
Get'em Serra!!!!!!...............thats all i have to say.....ANd No I will not bet $$$ on this. lol
JWBIII- April 17, 2008 at 5:46 pm
Yeah, working out with Pete Sell may only get you ready for Phil Baroni. The difference in quality of training partners is incredible:

GSP - Nate Marquardt, Keith Jardine, Rashad Evans, Denis Kang, Olympic wrestlers, a WBA boxing champ, among others.

Serra - Pete Sell, Luke Cummo, and his fat boxing trainer Ray Longo.

I have a beef with the poll question regarding which accent in less annoying, "Snooty French" or "Lawn Guyland" though. GSP's accent isn't snooty french, it's straight-up Quebecois. No Quebecois francophone has a snooty french accent. Snooty french accents come from France. Those from France really turns their nose up at the Quebecois style of French.
bfowlkes- April 17, 2008 at 5:39 pm
In response to Kimbo's Lice (great screen name, btw), you have to remember that the bonuses can often get political, since it accounts for an extra $40,000 or so. Danzig getting one sounds about right, and maybe Franklin too, since Xyience screwed him out of a bunch of money. I'd be surprised to see Clementi or Stout get anything, unless they turn in mind-blowing performances.
bump- April 17, 2008 at 5:38 pm
LOL @ ‘I-got-your-boos-right-here-ya-turkeys!’
NipGrip- April 17, 2008 at 5:29 pm
I agree with most, but feel a huge dissapointment for some as Serra beats GSP. This will be again called luck and arguably so. Something, somewhere isn't going to go right for GSP or will click just right for Serra.

Also, Franklin is going to lose. Shed your final tears for him now, he is all but a faint memory. I loved him in Dumb and Dumber though..
moo- April 17, 2008 at 5:27 pm
Lmao @ Bundy.
Bundy- April 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm
You know what the greatest thing about this fight is. Win or lose, Canadians love a good old fashioned riot! Keep your eyes on the news, there is gonna be some canuck on canuck violence.
Kimbo's Lice- April 17, 2008 at 5:12 pm
K.O. of the night: Rich Franklin

Submission of the night: Mac Danzig, or maybe Maia over Herman

Fight of the Night: Serra/St. Pierre, or maybe Clementi/Stout
cpanger- April 17, 2008 at 4:56 pm
i love this website.
Jeff- April 17, 2008 at 4:53 pm
A fatigued and rattled Matt Serra attempts a desperate takedown after GSP connects with some hard shots. GSP sprawls and locks in a guillotine.

Serra taps at 4:12 of the 2nd round.