Keith Jardine UFC’>
(Listen, buddy: win first, skanks later.)
As promised yesterday — here are the final picks I’m making for my ipecac bet with Ryan of Fightlinker. Will they be enough for me to avoid vomity humiliation? Well, Ryan has mentioned that he’s predicting Wanderlei Silva and Tito Ortiz will win their bouts, and I don’t see the rest of his choices being any less duhtarded. We’ll be scoring this on the three-point system: one point for calling the winning fighter, and additional points for correctly calling the method of victory (one point) and round (one point). How fun! My picks are below; feel free to debate them in the comments section. — Ben G.
B.J. Penn def. Sean Sherk via submission, 3rd round : I went over this in my UFC 84 gambling guide. Fowlkes made some good points yesterday, but I still think Sherk is going out like Joe Stevenson, with a bloody face and an arm around his neck. Just because Sherk’s two losses didn’t come via submission doesn’t mean that he’s unsubmittable, especially against someone as talented as Penn.
Keith Jardine def. Wanderlei Silva via decision: I also went over this in the gambling guide. (By the way, if you want to see a short video version of me making those exact same points, check out this clip from CombatWire.com.) Jardine was able to outsmart Chuck Liddell when they fought, and Wanderlei Silva is basically a dumber version of Chuck. I think the most logical pick is another decision win for Jardine.
Wilson Gouveia def. Lyoto Machida def. Tito Ortiz via decision: Machida isn’t a fight-finisher, and unless he’s in the cage with Ken Shamrock, Tito really isn’t either. But Machida is far more well-rounded, and his tendency to take his opponents out of their rhythm is well-documented. I’m very confident that Machida will win, and he could easily do it via TKO or submission, but given the recent fight histories of these two, a decision feels likely.
Thiago Silva def. Antonio Mendes via KO/TKO, 2nd round: Undefeated record + UFC experience + ATT = a total lock. Eight of Thiago Silva’s 12 wins have come via first-round stoppage; ten come via KO/TKO. The only advantage that Brazilian UFC newcomer Antonio Mendes has is that he’s 3-0 against guys named Silva. He is a hard-ass, though, and I don’t foresee a steamrolling. I say Mendes gets through round one, shaken but not quite out.
As for the undercard…
Rousimar Palhares def. Ivan Salaverry via decision: One of several undercard matches that could go either way. Palhares is young and promising, but still unproven. Salaverry is a battle-tested veteran, but he’s only fought twice in the last two years, and hasn’t won in the Octagon since UFC 52. I may regret this later, but I think Salaverry’s time has passed, and the younger fighter on the come-up will edge him out.
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou def. Kazuhiro Nakamura via KO/TKO, 2nd round: Both fighters are judokas who lost their Octagon debuts to Lyoto Machida. But even though Nakamura decisioned guys like Murilo Bustamante, Kevin Randleman, and Igor Vovchanchyn in PRIDE, I think Sokoudjou’s strength, size, and knockout power will be way too much for KazNak to handle. Fightlinker has a rule: Don’t bet on the Asian guy. I’m just saying…
Rich Clementi def. Terry Etim via decision: Etim (10-1) is a British submission specialist who lost the first time he stepped into the cage with someone halfway decent (Gleison Tibau). Clementi is an Octagon regular on a five-fight win streak. I’d guess that Clementi’s experience and momentum will carry him over, but it’s hard to predict how he’ll win, so I’ll say it’ll go to the judges, just like “No Love”‘s last fight (a win against Sam Stout) and Etim’s last fight (a loss to Tibau).
Yoshiyuki Yoshida def. Jon Koppenhaver via KO/TKO, 3rd round: Another tough one to call. On paper, Yoshida is a much more seasoned fighter than War Machine, and his last two wins came against very credible opponents (Akira Kikuchi and Dan Hardy). On the other hand, he’s never been in the Octagon before, and the curse that besets Asian fighters in the UFC presents a double-whammy. On the other other hand, Jon Koppenhaver hasn’t accomplished anything in this sport yet besides coming out on top of Jared Rollins in their bash-fest last December. Superstitions are powerful, but Yoshida should really be able to win this. Damn it, this makes me nervous…
Dong-Hyun Kim def. Jason Tan via KO/TKO, 2nd round: Okay, the Asian-curse thing really doesn’t apply here. Kim is one of the most promising fighters coming out of Korea. He’s unusually large for a welterweight, trains with Yushin Okami, and has won four of his last five matches by knockout. Sure, he’s a UFC first-timer, but his opponent’s sole Octagon appearance involved him getting KTFO by Marcus Davis at UFC 72. Tan’s 5-2 record doesn’t even justify him fighting in the UFC. Expect his contract to be terminated after this one.
Shane Carwin def. Christian Wellisch via KO/TKO, 1st round: Shane Carwin is the scariest man in the world (more on him tomorrow), and Christian Wellisch, who will be at a 30+ pound size disadvantage, is just a speedbump. It was nice knowing you, buddy.