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UFC 83 Pain Poll: 5 Oz. staff makes its picks

icfc.jpgThat’s right; it’s back! The “Pain Poll” for UFC 83 is here with predictions from the staff of 5 Oz. of Pain.

What’s the consensus pick for this weekend’s much-anticipated rematch between Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre? Does anyone on the 5 Oz. staff believe that Travis Lutter has a chance to upset Rich Franklin? Read on to find out.

Matt Serra vs. Georges St. Pierre for Serra’s UFC welterweight title

Sam Caplan: I don’t want to sell Serra short like I did the first time he faced St. Pierre last year but what am I supposed to do, make a contrived prediction? I have to call it like I see it and I see St. Pierre winning. Serra’s right hand is dangerous but he’s not the versatile and dynamic striker that St. Pierre is. As long as St. Pierre takes that right hand seriously, I think he will be fine and I predict him to win via fourth round TKO.

Adam Morgan: Can Serra do the unthinkable twice in a row? Not likely. GSP is just too well-rounded and too athletic for me to even think about picking Serra. Serra proved last time that any fighter can win on any given Saturday in the UFC, but my job is to make a choice and on paper, that choice is Georges St. Pierre. I think GSP should look to take this fight to the ground, make Serra work, and unleash his ground and pound. It’s highly underrated and extremely vicious, especially his elbows. He throws some of the most effective elbows on the ground in all of mixed martial arts. Don’t let Serra get off with his heavy hands. Take him to the ground and pound him out. Georges St. Pierre via TKO, round two.

Sam Cupitt: Matt Serra must lose this fight but I’m not sure he will. If St. Pierre is victorious then we have very exciting match-ups against Fitch, Alves and possibly Penn and Silva to look forward to, as well as Serra vs. Hughes. If Serra manages to replicate his performance from UFC 69 then Joe Silva has to scramble to find a way to get Hughes another title shot and the line of challengers for the 170 lbs. title will be forever clogged. Moving on to the fight itself, I seriously believe Serra poses more of a stylistic threat to ‘Rush’ than any other fighter in the division. Serra is very confident in his BJJ and because of that he doesn’t have the fear of getting taken down that Fitch, Hughes and Koscheck have. Serra goes into this fight knowing that he can do very little to stop a takedown, so that allows him to throw with reckless abandon while on the feet. Having said all that, if GSP decides to just use takedowns and ground and pound he will most likely win a decision because I doubt he will make a mistake and get caught in a Serra submission. But if St. Pierre keeps this on his feet for long stretches he will have to be very careful to avoid the fearless bombs from “The Terror”. Just for the potential “I told you so” points I will earn, I’m predicting Serra via TKO in round 2.

Mike Huckaby: Something just doesn’t sit right. Haven’t we seen this before? We all acted exactly this same way the first time these two fought. There were crazy betting odds and no one gave Serra a chance. When a friend and I discuss baseball he’s a big sabermetrics guy and I just go on my gut and what I’ve seen in the past. You can feel situations. He’s a numbers guy and he calls me an old grizzled scout. If I’ve seen a situation before I keep it in my memory and that’s why my instincts are always so solid. My point is this happened before. What if Serra beats him in 2 minutes this time? If they fought a third time everyone would pick GSP handily to win again. Look, I don’t actually think Matt Serra is going to win. GSP is focused and should take his head off. On my official pick’em entries I’m taking GSP but for the time being I’m going to be the one guy to give Serra some credit. Matt, we’re sorry…. but you’re kind of a jerk and that doesn’t really help. Winner: Matt Serra, TKO, Rd1

Ram Maramba: I like Matt Serra. He’s good for the sport and is always an interesting interview. If anyone was going to upset my not-so-ambiguous mancrush Georges St. Pierre, I’m glad it was the pudgy yank. “The Terror’s” TKO victory at UFC 69 over GSP was the perfect storm of two fighters at the opposite end of their talent spectrums and meeting in the middle. His dynamic win over the favored GS makes it easy to overlook the fighter Serra really is. He’s small, somewhat one-dimensional and has had a difficult time closing out his opponents. He’s a year older to boot and is coming off injury, but other than that we’re saying all the same things mentioned before their first fight and look how that ended. Still, water has a way of finding its own level and if GSP loses again, I’m saddling up the closest pig and flying to Long Island to congratulate Serra personally. GSP via TKO in the 2nd. Bonus Prediction: GSP still can’t stick that backflip.

Rich Franklin vs. Travis Lutter

Sam Caplan: If this were a different opponent, I might be inclined to predict an upset. As long as Anderson Silva is the middleweight champ of the UFC, how does Franklin get himself motivated? He’s also been dealing with injuries, the death of his father, as well as business commitments. How focused is Franklin for this fight? Lutter is dangerous but hasn’t fought in over a year. His jiu-jitsu is top notch and he showed against Marvin Eastman that he can hurt you on his feet if he catches you. But I just keep coming back to the fact that he hasn’t fought in over a year and has been dealing with multiple injuries. I think Franklin wins this one.

Adam Morgan: Both of these cats last lost to Anderson Silva, but in different fashion. Rich got dominated while Lutter was in a position to take home the victory but failed miserably on a sloppy armbar attempt. For Lutter, it’s about redemption for not making weight that day and for Rich, it’s just about getting some confidence back and putting a W under his belt. Lutter is no joke and arguably the best grappler in the middleweight division right now, so this is no cupcake for Franklin but Franklin has dealt with top level jiu-jitsu and wrestling before and has a serviceable ground game himself. He’ll look to keep it standing and eventually overwhelm Lutter on the feet. Rich Franklin via unanimous decision.

Sam Cupitt: I see this fight going the exact same way Rich Franklin’s fight against Jason MacDonald went. Lutter has better BJJ than Franklin but just like MacDonald if Lutter can’t achieve top position then he isn’t going to win this fight. Franklin will use his good takedown defense to avoid Lutter’s shot and then will utilise his far superior striking to constantly pepper Lutter with shots, eventually scoring himself a first round TKO victory. Franklin via TKO in round 1.

Mike Huckaby: Due to what Anderson Silva does to him on an Octoberly basis, people forget how much better Rich Franklin is than every other middleweight they have. He goes out there and destroys everyone and then it all gets thrown away every October when as a birthday present to himself Rich likes to get his nose broken. Joe Rogan can hype up any fight as much as he wants but Lutter isn’t even in the same league. Franklin will do everything to keep it standing and pick him apart before taking him out. Winner: Rich Franklin, TKO, Rd 3

Ram Maramba: Travis Lutter is going to submit Rich Franklin. Gah, that hurts to even type. Franklin is another long time favorite of mine, but Lutter’s BJJ is that Rain Man-esque skill that gives jack-of-all-trades fighters like “Ace” trouble. Unlike previous grapplers Franklin’s put down, Lutter’s got the mindset and wrestling ability to put him away. As Liddell has proven, longtime fighters who’ve toed the line aren’t going anywhere, even after two losses. Both will come in ready for war, Lutter just needs it a lot more. I’ll go with the upset and pick my hometown boy and Machado student. Lutter via his favorite submissions, good ol’ armbar in the 2nd.

Nate Quarry vs. Kalib Starnes

Sam Caplan: People like to question Starnes’ heart but I am beginning to wonder whether he’s getting a bad wrap. I really like him in this fight in front of a partial crowd. Quarry is a threat to knock him out but I like Starnes’ overall game much better. Starnes via unanimous decision.

Adam Morgan: Starnes impressed me in his last fight against Alan Belcher with an extremely improved standup game. The only problem was that Starnes had very little power in those punches and at one point Belcher was letting him hit him in the face and smiling back at him. His standup is now more technical, but the punches aren’t landing with power. Quarry, on the other hand, has technical standup and power in his hands. If Starnes wants to stand with Quarry it will be a long night. Starnes will get this fight to the ground and work his superior jiu jitsu. Kalib Starnes via submission, round two.

Sam Cupitt: Like Adam said, Starnes showed a much improved standup game against Belcher but that won’t be enough against Quarry. Starnes probably has the superior jiu jitsu but he has limited takedowns and Quarry has very good wrestling which should easily negate any of Starnes’ shots. If the fight stays standing, which I believe it will, I’m looking forward to seeing Quarry pull out a knockout victory in the exact same fashion that Jorge Rivera knocked out Kendall Grove. Quarry via KO in round 1.

Mike Huckaby: Nate might not punch quite as hard as he thinks he does but he certainly punches hard enough to end Starnes. As per usual, it’ll take Nate a round or two to wake up but at the end of the day he’ll put Kalib to sleep. Hopefully he won’t reopen the skull cut. Winner: Nate Quarry, KO, Rd2

Ram Maramba: Kalib Starnes is on the fringe of the UFC, fortunately so is Nate Quarry. Quarry looked uncomfortably slow in his last effort against Pete Sell before landing that one perfect punch. Starnes looked good standing versus Alan Belcher before Belcher opened a cave on his head. His ground game is obvious from his record and will be comfortable wherever this goes. Lighting could strike twice for Quarry, it just isn’t likely. Starnes via UD.

Michael Bisping vs. Charles McCarthy

Sam Caplan: A lot of people are selling Chainsaw short. If Bisping isn’t fully prepared for this fight, McCarthy will hurt him. However, all indications I’ve received is that Bisping trained hard for this fight and handled his first major cut in weight very well. After a couple of rough outings, I think the move to 185 lbs. will pay immediate dividends for Bisping as he makes his middleweight debut a successful one. What’s the over/under on how long until we see Bisping vs. Silva? Oh yeah, Bisping via second round TKO.

Adam Morgan: McCarthy is a jiu jitsu guy who has been sounding a lot like he only wants to rely solely on his ground game. That’s not the right gameplan against a guy like Bisping who has a good all-around game and a much better striking game than McCarthy. If Bisping can keep it standing, then McCarthy will be served some punishment. Bisping’s cut to middleweight will be a successful one. Michael Bisping via TKO, round one.

Sam Cupitt: I find it hilarious that McCarthy has been labeling Bisping as a completely average fighter who isn’t really good in any area of MMA. It’s hilarious to me because that’s how I would describe McCarthy. Sure his jiu jitsu is better than the other areas of his game but I only rank it slightly higher than Edwin Dewees’ jiu jitsu. This should be a fairly easy night for Bisping who will win the striking exchanges with ease while overpowering “Chainsaw” in the clinch. Michael Bisping via TKO, round one.

Mike Huckaby: I don’t understand this fight. On one hand you can see them feeding Bisping someone for his first fight at a new weight but McCarthy has some Chris Lytle in him in the fact he’s not exactly easy to finish. Then again he hasn’t fought in about 11 years so I’m sure he can be rusty enough for Bisping to stop him. I think he’ll drop McCarthy with a little two punch combo and whether he goes for the win with strikes or a choke is up to him. Winner: Michael Bisping, TKO, Rd2

Ram Maramba: Michael Bisping’s abrasive personality makes it easy to cloud opinion, but the fact remains he’s a top-notch standup fighter who’s home-brewed grappling game served him well before he got into a good camp. Charles McCarthy’s camp is better, but he’s being pulled out of the mothballs for this fight. His Jiu Jitsu is big league, but Bisping’s pattycake punches will pack a lot more wallop at 185. Bisping will knock the rust off of Captain Miserable for him. TKO by Bisping in the 3rd.

Mac Danzig vs. Mark Bocek

Sam Caplan: I have a lot of respect for Bocek because he’s such a highly-regard grappler. He’s been training MMA with Team Quest and his overall MMA skills looked much improved during his win over Doug Evans at UFC 79. I think he’s going to make things very interesting vs. Mac Danzig on Saturday but Danzig isn’t your typical TUF alumnus and I think he’s ready to make an impact at lightweight in the UFC right now. Danzig via unanimous decision.

Adam Morgan: Bocek is still too new to the sport of MMA to be able to take on a fighter the caliber of Danzig. His game is just overall too good for Bocek who is mainly a jiu jitsu guy. He’s a great grappler, don’t get me wrong, but Danzig has been able to blend everything together so well. He will eventually overwhelm Bocek. Mac Danzig via TKO, round three.

Sam Cupitt: Danzig could have problems if Bocek takes him down, but that’s a pretty big if. Danzig will use his polished striking to continuously land and redden the face of the Canadian. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Danzig drop Bocek a number of times until Bocek’s corner are forced to stop the fight. Mac Danzig via TKO in round 2.

Mike Huckaby: What a great matchup for Danzig. He’s quite young and much like Nate Diaz they want to bring him along slowly, though I doubt Danzig is going to publicly demand opponents of a better quality. Danzig just isn’t that good yet no matter how you look at it. Yeah, he could beat me up. But so could 3 of the 4 Golden Girls (I’d crush Betty White). Danzig has a very long way to go and Bocek is the exact quality of opponent they need to feed to him to bring him along. Winner: Mac Danzig, TKO, Rd2

Ram Maramba: Mac Danzig is the Emeka Okafor of TUF. No one will argue he was the top dog at the time, but his ceiling is low and he’s probably as good as he’s ever going to be. He’ll make for a great acid test at lightweight, shutting down anyone who’s game is incomplete, but he’ll never contend for the title. Neither will Bocek and Danzig will prove it. Danzig by TKO in the 1st.

Jason MacDonald vs. Joe Doerksen

Sam Caplan: MacDonald doesn’t understand why he has to fight Doerksen again but it’s because he needs some wins under his belt so that he can begin to move back up the middleweight ladder. He’s beaten Doerksen once before and I don’t see a reason why he won’t do it again. MacDonald via second round submission.

Adam Morgan: Why does Doerksen always get booked in rematches? First Ed Herman, now Jason MacDonald. Doerksen is always in shape and always a game fighter, even on short notice like he showed against Ed Herman. MacDonald is a good grappler with an okay standup game, but he always seems to wilt when someone puts a lot of pressure on him, something I think Doerksen will do. Doerksen will put the pressure on MacDonald and have him in bad positions early and throughout the fight. Joe Doerksen via unanimous decision.

Sam Cupitt: This fight is a coin flip for me. MacDonald and Doerksen share a similar sort of game and both have had some negative things to say about each other in the lead up to their bout. I think this will be a spirited affair and will look very similar to Doerksen’s fight with Ed Herman, except I think this one will end courtesy of the judges. After much deliberating I’ll take, Jason MacDonald via unanimous decision.

Mike Huckaby: Or as I said to Adam Morgan as I got word of this Pain Poll, “what the hell do I have to say about Joe Doerksen and Jason MacDonald?” This fight should be much like Herman and Maia in many ways, namely that MacDonald is going to control the action and give Joe a little beating. Question being if he’ll make a mistake and get submitted. I really have an odd feeling about this fight, history just shows a guy like Doerksen seems to win these finds and get the upset. I have to go with my logic and say MacDonald will avoid and get a one sided decision. Winner: Jason MacDonald, decision

Ram Maramba: Crafty may make for long careers, it just doesn’t make for interesting fights. Doerksen is a highly respected guy who beats the guys he should but runs into a wall against guys who are similar or better than him. As highly as MacDonald regards himself, he and his smarmy smirk are firmly entrenched next to El Dirte in the journeyman category. MacDonald wondered out loud why he had to stoop and rematch with Doerksen again. Here’s a hint: look at your passport, homeboy. MacDonald by…default.

Ed Herman vs. Demian Maia

Sam Caplan: Oh how I wish we’d get to see this fight on TV. Maia vs. Herman is a fight that features two of the brightest middleweight prospects in the UFC going head-to-head. People can doubt Herman all they want but his ground game was already good upon entering the UFC and his standup is starting to show signs of improvement. There isn’t a better middleweight grappler than Maia in the UFC so I think Herman is going to do all that he can to keep the fight standing in hopes of winning another fight via knockout. I like both these fighters and have gone back and forth on my prediction, but as of right now, I am picking Herman.

Adam Morgan: Speaking of Ed Herman, he’s fighting Demian Maia in what could be considered the fight of the evening. Maia is the best pure jiu jitsu guy in the middleweight division and Herman is one of the best prospects to ever come out of TUF. He has been steadily rising in the division with slick submission wins and ever improving standup. I think Maia’s MMA game right now is too raw for a well-rounded fighter like Herman who can hold his own on the ground as well. Ed Herman via TKO, round three.

Sam Cupitt: Like the two guys above me, I’d very much like to see this fight on the PPV. This fight should give us a pretty good gauge on Maia’s striking and his ability to set up a takedown. If Herman plays this too defensive he could find himself stuck on the cage where he could have his legs sucked out from under him. That would be very bad for Herman because if Maia gets on top this fight will be over fairly quickly. Actually I’d favor Maia from any position on the ground. Herman has good offensive ground skills but does have a tendency to leave himself open to submission opportunities. We saw in his fights with Grove, MacDonald, Doerksen and even Scott Smith that Herman has a tendency to get careless and leave either his arm or neck exposed in positions he shouldn’t. Maia won’t hesitate to take something if he is given it, so control will be the key for Herman. Herman needs to control the distance on the feet while landing effective punches. Unfortunately for “Short Fuse”, conservatism isn’t one of his strong suits. Demian Maia via submission in round 2.

Mike Huckaby: I love Demian Maia with a passion. I actually saw someone pick Ed Herman by submission yesterday and I was trying to picture exactly how that would happen. Would he knock him out and then put on a submission? That’s possible. But then he’d be knocked out and wouldn’t tap so it wouldn’t be a sub. I love picks like that. You know the kind I mean, Rich Clementi > Melvin Guillard, strikes. What? Anyway, Maia will have his Marcelo Garcia moment at some point in his career but this fight should go much like Diaz/Pellegrino in that Herman will eventually do something he shouldn’t do and Maia will make him pay. Winner: Demian Maia, sub, Rd2

Ram Maramba: This is where we see if Demian Maia is an MMA fighter or a BJJ player in the MMA game. His showed he can adapt his top-shelf submission game when he shut down Ryan Jensen via RNC midway through the first. Questions about his striking and wrestling linger however and Herman will put both to the test. He’s a serviceable wrestler with a nice submission game of his own. “Short Fuse” has an ugly standup game, but his GnP is wicked. Both will want to take it to the ground however and there’s nothing Herman can throw at Maia he hasn’t seen before. In fact, Herman’s over aggressive tendencies may be the final nail in the coffin. Maia by some sort of choke early in the 2nd.

Sam Stout vs. Rich Clementi

Sam Caplan: If Clementi gets Stout on his back, it will be the beginning of the end as soon as they hit the ground. However, if the fight stays standing for an extended period of time then I don’t see how Clementi can win the fight. This is a tossup. I wrote during CBSSports.com’s Head-to-Head UFC 83 preview that I believe Clementi has the cage generalship needed to ground Stout, so I will stick by Clementi via submission as the pick.

Adam Morgan: Sam Stout has the tools to take this fight if it happens to stay standing. Clementi has all the tools to take it if it hits the ground. Stout will have a great gameplan coming out of Xtreme Couture and Team Tompkins and I believe his overall game will be too much for Clementi. Stout will sprawl out his takedown attempts and punish him on the feet. Sam Stout via TKO, round one.

Sam Cupitt: Clementi most recently submitted Melvin Guillard at UFC 79 and I can’t thank him enough for that. Stout is a similar fighter to Guillard in that he likes to keep things standing but Stout is a lot more steady and technical in his approach. Clementi’s style is much more suited to the overtly aggressive fighters like Guillard or Anthony Johnson. When a fighter is overly aggressive they leave holes for technical fighters such as Clementi to expose. However, like I said, Stout’s style is different in that regard as he prefers to pick apart his opponents with well placed power shots. Stout’s improved takedown defense should be enough to fend off Clementi as he methodically works his way through Clementi stand up defense until eventually unloading on him against the cage. Sam Stout via TKO in round 1.

Mike Huckaby: I really like this fight and I really want to believe that Sam Stout will finally have the ground game but I won’t hold my breath. I hate run-in wrestling type jokes but would it really surprise anyone if Melvin dove into the cage hoping to get another fight with Clementi? I mean really if you had to pick one guy that would do something that stupid it’s good old Melvin. Anyway, I’m really liking Clementi’s game more and more and as much as I like Stout I just don’t know if he’ll be able to cope in Clementi’s place of work. Winner: Rich Clementi, sub, Rd2

Ram Maramba: A longtime tool and die maker friend of mine once told me, “I’d rather be old and treacherous than young and fast.” Clementi’s not that old, but he’s definitely treacherous. He’s displayed an ability to handle younger, athletic fighters like Anthony Johnson and Melvin Guillard, and Stout fits that mold. I keep hoping Stout will finally round out his outstanding kickboxing game with some wrestling, but it’s not going to happen in time for a good ol’ Southern boy like Clementi. After more than a few punches to the face, Clementi by submission in the 3rd.

Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs. Jonathan Goulet

Sam Caplan: I’m not really interested in this fight and I am typing the writeup under duress. Are we going to see either Goulet or Hironaka remain in the UFC’s crowded welterweight position long-term? I doubt it. With so many fighters under contract, I think you can be rest assured that the loser will be leaving the UFC. This is another tossup but I will pick Goulet via split decision with the hometown crowd making the difference.

Adam Morgan: Both of these guys are little fish in the biggest pond you can find. The welterweight division is extremely crowded and this fight has little impact on the top of the division. Still, they’re fighting, so I must pick a winner. Goulet has good submissions but so does Hironaka. Goulet has zero chin while Hironaka poses some semblance of a chin. Hironaka via submission, round three.

Sam Cupitt: If you remember back to the TUF 6 Finale’s Pain Poll, I wouldn’t even pick Goulet over Paul Georgieff. There’s something about Goulet’s style and personality that just rubs me the wrong way. Even though I don’t like the guy I still wouldn’t pick him in this fight if I did. Hironaka is just better than Goulet in every area and should give the Canadian fits. Kuniyoshi Hironaka via unanimous decision

Mike Huckaby: I give Hironaka the first edge by being semi-competent, a fight quality that sometimes runs over Goulet. There’s no shame in being dealt with by Thiago Alves and Hironaka should rebound finely with active ground work and take this one. I’d love to see Goulet’s contract with the UFC. I almost feel bad for the guy. It seems like after each of his fights Joe Silva makes it clear they’ll be the ones calling him. Winner: Kuniyoshi Hironaka, sub, Rd2

Ram Maramba: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? I’m so disinterested in this fight I didn’t even bother to replace “a tree falls in the forest” with “Goulet wasn’t from Canada” and “it make a sound” with “make it onto this card.” Goulet via ill-advised haircut.

Alan Belcher vs. Jason Day

Sam Caplan: Jason Day got this spot based on his controversial split decision victory over David Loiseau during an Hardcore Championship Fighting show. There are those that believe Loiseau should have won the fight. Day is a solid regional fighter but I have questions whether he’s ready to succeed in a national promotion. Alan Belcher will be a tough test for Day and one that I do not expect him to pass.

Adam Morgan:Day has been ramping up the caliber of his opponents recently and I think he’s ready for his UFC opener. Too bad it’s against Alan Belcher, a great striker with a lot of power and an all-around tough guy. He’s only been finished twice in his career and has big time cage experience having fought in the UFC for awhile now. Day is one of those guys who has big talent but may crumple under the pressure of the big show. Belcher via TKO, round three.

Sam Cupitt: I expect good things from Belcher this year and this fight should be the perfect way to kick things off. Jason Day is tough but he just won’t be prepared for Belcher who appears to be on a mission to prove that he’s for real. I very much expect to see a very violent knockout from Alan Belcher early in the first. Alan Belcher via KO in round 1.

Mike Huckaby: Joe Silva did a masterful job here and I have no idea who to pick, though I do think I would have enjoyed Cote vs Belcher a little more. In fact Day and Belcher are so evenly matched I’m going to have to go with superstition. Day is making his UFC debut AND fighting in front of a rabid fanbase that will be behind him. That’s just tempting fate. I’m going to have to go with Belcher to outwork Day on the feet and look better to the judges. Winner: Alan Belcher, decision

Ram Maramba: I think Alan Belcher is one of the most underrated fighters on the UFC roster. Sure he’s only got one tool on his tool belt, but that tool is a giant f’ing hammer adorned with a little pair of Muay Thai shorts. Day is no slouch, but this fight would’ve been more intriguing if it was David Loiseau instead. Belcher by framing accident in the 2nd.

Cain Velasquez vs. Brad Morris

Sam Caplan: I really don’t want to overlook Morris in this fight but the sky is the limit for Velasquez. As I said in CBSSports.com’s preview, I am picking Velasquez in the battle of former Bodog fighters. That’s not too bold of a prediction so I will go on the record to state that a year from now Velasquez will be fighting for the UFC heavyweight title.

Adam Morgan: If the guys from AKA are talking Velasquez up, I’m inclined to believe the hype. Velasquez has the training pedigree but lacks fight experience. Morris lacks training pedigree but makes up for it with fight experience. He’s not a world beater but should be a good test for Velasquez in his first outing inside the Octagon. Velasquez via unanimous decision.

Sam Cupitt: Despite the hype surrounding Velasquez I feel obliged to stick by my fellow countryman in Morris. We’ve heard Velasquez is an animal but we haven’t really seen much from him. I think all the hype may be to his detriment. I can see this fight ending after Morris locks onto something on the ground after Velasquez gets a little over ambitious with his ground and pound. Brad Morris via submission in round 1.

Mike Huckaby: I grew up with a kid by the name of Brad Morris. He was kind of chubby too but to the best of my knowledge he was not Australian. I have to disagree with a couple members of the Duel who stated Velasquez wasn’t a better prospect than Shane Carwin. The sky is the limit and it will be demonstrated here. I just wish I knew more about Brad Morris so I could better pretend I know what I’m talking about. Winner: Cain Velasquez, TKO, Rd1

Ram Maramba: I normally don’t like heavyweights but the three new UFC HW imports, Velasquez, Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar, are exciting fighters who use their size and speed to their advantage rather than imitating blankets. Pass me the Kool-Aid, Velasquez via UD.

18 COMMENTS
  • Sam Cupitt says:

    I refuse to believe Matt Serra is a jerk. He is one of my favourite fighters, but the onyl fight outside of a GSP rematch that I need to see is him vs. Hughes.

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  • Mike C. says:

    Sam, how can you call Lutter arguably the best grappler at MW in the UFC? How about Almeida, Maia, Leites, Lister, and Marquardt.

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  • Mike C. says:

    Sorry, it was Adam who said that.

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  • Mike C. says:

    And I don’t mean to pick on Adam but are you really calling Quarry’s standup technical? Since when is hands far apart, elbows out, and chin up good technical standup? He will get mauled when he fights a good striker.

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    Mike-

    Those guys are all great jiu jitsu guys, but I think Lutter has the best combination of wrestling AND jiu jitsu out of the group. That’s what I meant when I said he’s arguably the best “grappler” at MW. And you’re probably right about Quarry, I’ll give you that one. :)

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  • You and Caplan picking Starnes over Quarry is mindblowing at best.

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  • BJJDenver says:

    I have to say, I’m somewhat surprised at a trend across the vast world wide web. It seems that most people are picking GSP by some sort of ko/tko/strike stoppage, and I agree with that, even though I am a fan of both guys. The thing that surprises me is that so many are picking it to happen in the 3rd or 4th round.

    I would say that either way this fight goes, I don’t see it making it past the 2nd round.

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  • MMA SKOOL™ says:

    Its kind of funny that people are talking about Serra’s heavy hands but he is known, and thinks of himself as Ju-Jitsu expert.

    Anybody can rattle anybody with the right punch. Its called “5oz” gloves MMA. Does it mean they have heavy hands?

    Watch the Serra/Parisian fight. They’re punching each other in the face over and over without much effect.

    Unless Serra gets lucky again, GSP should do the same thing he did to a similar midget Sean Sherk…

    Could be cool to see some technical Ju-Jitsu in this fight. I’ll laugh even harder at Serra if he gets submitted like Hughes did.

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  • Ram Maramba says:

    Posted my picks for the third time. Note to EVERYONE: Listen to Adam Morgan.

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  • HexRei says:

    @ #8: MMA SKOOL, Serra DOES have heavy hands. He actually floored Karo early in that fight you mentioned. The guy undeniably hits hard and has pretty technical striking now in addition to his classic jitz skillz.

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  • HexRei says:

    Ok, I just rewatched the fight and “floored” is a definite exaggeration. But Serra was getting the better of the standup, most of Karo’s scoring was on the ground (ironically)

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  • BJJDenver says:

    Do people know what “heavy hands” means? It doesn’t mean that he has great striking. It doesn’t mean he is a very technical striker.

    All it means is that he has good KO power.

    He does have “heavy hands”, despite average striking ability. IF he catches you, it probably is going to have some effect.

    Mark McGwire had great power, but he is not considered a great hitter overall. Any one swing could change the game.

    Same goes for Serra, any one swing could end the fight.

    Now this doesn’t make him a KO artist or anything, just that he has that ability in his game.

    I hate when it’s 2 fighters I like and my best hope is for 3 or 4 exciting rounds, BUT I’ll stick to my prediction of GSP by some sort of ko/tko in the 2nd.

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  • glock says:

    GSP will use his athleticism to stay outside of serra’s stubby arms, and as usual will be on the balls of his feet and avoid Serra’s hapless lunges and superman punches. He unloads vicious leg kicks to slow matt down and keep him guessing. Then he mixes in high kicks and maybe a spinner or 2.
    I think GSP is gonna want to remove any doubt about whose striking is the best early on, then when he does close, I look for knees. After he delivers adequate punishment vertically the ground and pound will commence. It would be fitting to finish the BJJ guy with a choke or sub.
    Matts’ 15 minutes are up 10 minutes ago. Punisment and domination come to mind…..

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    I think Lutter is a greater threat than the staff seems to think. Even though he was obviously demoralized by his inability to make weight, he gave Silva a harder fight than Silva’s had with anybody else. Silva finally submitted him, but by then Lutter was gassed, probably from cutting weight, in addition to being demoralized. If he can hang with Silva’s striking under those circumstances, he can hang with Franklin’s, too. Once the fight hits the ground, and it seems inevitable at some point, Lutter has the skills to finish. I’m a huge fan of Franklin, but after losing twice definitively to Silva, how motivated will he be for this one? Lutter is the one who has something to prove and the motivation to do it.

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  • Wang Chung says:

    Adam Morgan: ” …. unleash his ground and pound. It’s highly underrated and extremely vicious, especially his elbows. He throws some of the most effective elbows on the ground in all of mixed martial arts. ”

    yep. i’ve been saying this to my old man and buddies forever. his gnp is brutal. i’ll never forget the elbows he threw to finish hughes off after the kick, pure bad ass. he definitely has some of the best gnp and his elbows are, in my mind, the best in the world save maybe loiseau on a very good night.

    as for predictions, i dunno, i hate the sniggling little upsetter demon that exists in mma and in my head, but from a brutally cold, analytic, objective, study of this matchup, i think georges is obviously the deadlier athlete/fighter and should win, even if he gets dragged into deep water.

    personally and from a biased point of view, i have a good feeling georges is going to put on a clinic. i’ve kept abreast of nearly all the press over the last year with both guys and it seems clear to me st. pierre is on a mission like never before, which is scary as hell if you think about his last 2 missions(beating hughes for the title, then his in-progress journey to beat serra, manhandling kos and then annihalating and making hughes look like a little girl along the way). st. pierre via gnp tko rd 2.

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  • Jay says:

    I’ll take St. Pierre with a TKO in round 2
    Franklin by KO in round 1
    Bisping by TKO in round 2
    Danzing by TKO in round 3

    I still can’t believe Starnes is in the UFC (WTF?) He’ll get punched in the arm, see a bruise and look for a way out of this fight as soon as he can.

    Quarry will win if he simply shows up.

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  • glock says:

    oh well WTF do I know……GSP- gnp-oh well…..same result….

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  • Zack says:

    Ram is wrong!!!!! He stuck the backflip!!!!!

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