Cote v Belcher
I have been very, very excited for this fight. I accidentally predicted it a few weeks ago, I’m so amped for it. Cote’s ring rust is a concern, but ultimately, Belcher doesn’t really have an ‘off’ button – he’s going to push the pace relentlessly and give The Predator ample opportunities to counter. Will The Talent maintain his distance and use his kickboxing to pinpoint Cote’s fucked up knee, or will he get caught by Cote’s power? I’m going to go with my heart and say Belcher by TKO in the second.
Stout v Stephens
I’m a big believer in home court/field advantage. A friend of mine wanted to try to get the Denver Nuggets to support a bid by us to write a book about how bad road teams in the NBA have it as far as close calls and fan abuse went (this was shortly before she stopped talking to me because she ‘felt guilty’ about going out with someone else, but I have as much control over that as I do the weather) – the energy of the sixth/12th man is undeniable, and I think it will carry Stout past Stephens (the latter’s awesome-as-shit KO over dos Anjos notwithstanding), if only by unanimous decision.
Slice v Mitrione
Remember all the shit I gave Fedor back in November for being teeny tiny at 265? Well, even his 5’11 ass has a few pounds on Kevin Ferguson, who came it at 225 with a chain on vs. Mitrione’s 253. Of course, if you’re completely bulked out at 240 and you’re not as fast as you could be, if you’re facing an insurmountable pure power disadvantage anyway, you might as well shave a little off in order to accentuate your pros. Kimbo’s got a good camp, he’s now actually been at this for a few years and I don’t think he’ll ever choke as hard as he did against Petruzelli in what was a uniquely fucked up circumstance against a guy that, despite being at 205, is right about his size. Kimbo by fast, swift counterpunching and a better gameplan (read: kimura).
Koscheck v Daley
Also known as My Head v My Heart. I tell ya, Semtex, it’s really Anthony Johnson’s fault that I can’t pick you here – I now know what Bob Rosscheck does to people that can’t prevent fights from going to the ground. I understand that you lasted almost two rounds with Shields – I think Shields/Koscheck would be awfully competitive. This isn’t, and the hatred of Koscheck made betting on your punching power unprofitable. Koscheck by sub – sorry in advance to the guys on TUF that don’t get on GSP’s team.
Machida v Rua
I feel like my current ritual of going to the bar and imbibing for the fights has slanted my snap reaction to a few recent decisions. I had Tito-Forrest II in Tito’s column right at the end, and I felt Rua won the first encounter by a clear 3-2 margin (of course, both of these fights were also at the bar tended by the aforementioned friend, so that distraction won’t be playing a role in tonight’s drinky McDrinkfest) – rewatching both fights, I see I was absurdly off on the first, but I think there are enough close rounds in the second to justify feeling that either won. Machida looked straight jacked at the weight ins and this will be his first re-match; Rua’s only rematch was against Mark Coleman, and I’ll be damned if the only learning Rua demonstrated in that fight was ‘don’t let him break your arm on a takedown’. Machida by… what is it that Machida got famous for before Silva/Evans?… oh yeah, Machida by the kind of decision that makes Ryan remember why he hates him – dominant and never really in trouble.