As self-appointed leader of our MMA Playground camp, I can see every pick our team makes. I’m going to go ahead and abuse that power by comparing our collective main-card choices to the oddsmaker’s, as well as explain why us Jackals are picking the way we are. I decided to post these after our picks were locked to keep any flip-floppers from blaming me if they miss a call.
BJ Penn vs. Diego Sanchez
Camp favorite: Penn (92%)
Oddsmaker favorite: Penn (-280)
Why is it like that?: Because it’s a BJ Penn fight. We as MMA fans can’t pick against him as a lightweight. The guy is capable of walking on water at 155. The dice are just too risky to roll no matter who his opponent is. Diego’s Psycho Crusher style is an appealing counter-point to BJ, but you have to go with what you’ve seen rather than what you think. Sanchez can win this fight, though, if he puts Penn through a ringer and gasses him out.
Frank Mir vs. Chieck Kongo
Camp favorite: Mir (81%)
Oddsmaker favorite: Mir (-200)
Why is it like that?: Because we remember Carmello Marerro. Kongo’s takedown defense is so awful you’d think he has his ankles taped together. The most likely outcome involves Frank getting a trip, passing guard and sending the Frenchman home with a sore arm. You can’t put it past us Jackals to use regular common sense sometimes.
Kenny Florian vs. Clay Guida
Camp favorite: Florian (81%)
Oddsmaker favorite: Florian (-210)
Why is it like that?: Because round two of Sanchez vs. Guida. Diego calculated the perfect offense to Clay’s new non-scrambling: elbows to the crown of the head. Kenny Florian is the man who perfected that in fights with Joe Lauzon and Sean Sherk. Expect Florian to try avoiding the dry-humping as long as possible before scalping Guida with gruesome elbows after the inevitable takedown.
Jon Fitch vs. Mike Pierce
Camp favorite: Fitch (95%)
Oddsmaker favorite: Fitch (-500)
Why is it like that?: Because we aren’t retarded. Fitch is gonna run through Pierce like Taco Bell through everyone who eats Taco Bell. Picking Pierce in this fight is like drinking milk on a hot day: “>a bad choice.
Paul Buentello vs. Stefan Struve
Camp favorite: Struve (59%)
Oddsmaker favorite: Struve (-145)
Why is it like that?: Because people like tall people. (How else can you explain why Shaq has four albums?) Struve has some hype behind him for whatever reason. He was pistol-whipped by dos Santos, and was losing fights to Denis “Beat Me Up” Stonjic and Chase Gormley. You might say ‘So what, he beat them.’ If you do, I’ll counter with a big fat “>”I don’t care.” If people think you’re impressive for beating those guys then it just has to be the Kool-Aid. Expect Buentello to blast Struve out in one round.
– Penn by split decision
– Mir by round 1 sub
– Florian by unanimous decision
– Fitch by unanimous decision
– Buentello by round 1 TKO