Casual Picks for Casual Pricks: UFC 211
UFC 211 takes place this Saturday in Dallas, Texas. The highly-anticipated pay-per-view features a rematch between heavyweight champion “Stone Cold” Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos. Shout out to Tommy Toe Hold for introducing “Stone Cold Stipe” to the MMA world. Before we get into some picks for your pricks, let’s recap UFC Nashville
Stop! Stop! He’s Already Dead!
After a dismal showing in the prelims (I went 3 for 7), I ended up nailing all 6 of my picks for the main card. Obviously, all of my methods of victory were out of whack. I had Al Iaquinta winning by a decision (and no I didn’t predict his subsequent tirades of UFC brass) and OSP winning by a second-round TKO. The only victory that I guessed nearly spot one was the first fight of the night between Mike Perry and Jake Ellenberger. Here’s what I had to say about the opening fight between the two welterweights:
“Oh, my God. Mike Perry is going to absolutely flatten Jake Ellenberger. Perry, KO, RD. 1.”
Okay, so I was a little off with the fight ending in the first round, but holy shit was I right about a Mike Perry knockout. That was one of the most brutal standing elbows I’ve ever seen.
Jake Ellenberger, if you are reading this for some reason, I just want to say that I’m really, really sorry. I don’t think I have ever felt so bad for predicting someone’s defeat before. That was tough to watch.
Heavyweight: Stipe Miocic (c) vs. Junior dos Santos
The last time these two men fought, they beat the shit out of each other in 2014. Junior won a close decision after 5 rounds. Since then, Junior proceeded to get knocked out by Allistair Overeem and win another 5-round decision over Ben Rothwell. Stipe Miocic went on a proverbial championship killing spree, knocking the shit out of Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum (to win the title), and Allistair Overem. Stipe seems poised to be the first guy to break the dreaded two defense curse of heavyweight champions. I think his durability and wrestling will help him win this fight in the championship rounds. Miocic, TKO, RD. 4.
Women’s Strawweight: Joanna Jędrzejczyk (c) vs. Jéssica Andrade
Joanna’s bout that action, boss. She’s undefeated in her MMA career with 13 wins. A little over half of those wins have come inside the Octagon. She’s an active fighter in terms of aggression, output, and title defenses and has the track record to prove that. Jessica Andrade, since moving from 135 to 115, has looked like a tiny, terrifying, ball of muscle. She fights very aggressively and has netted two stoppage victories since her move to strawweight. However, I think this fight will play out very similarly to the Joanna’s title defense against Claudia Gadelha where the more aggressive challenger has flashes of brilliance early but eventually tapers off and loses a decision. Jedrzejczyk, Decision.
Welterweight: Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal
Yo, Demian Maia has been strangling people like Agent 47 since moving to 170. Jorge Masvidal has had his share of ups and downs in the UFC. One fight he’ll look brilliant and the next fight he’ll look like he fell asleep at the wheel. This is a tough fight to call. Masvidal has great takedown defense (Maia’s wrestling is outstanding) and great boxing, however, Maia has beaten guys with great striking and takedown defense. I think Maia will find a way to back pack Masvidal and FINALLY get his welterweight title shot. Maia, SUB, RD. 3.
Featherweight: Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodríguez
This fight is gonna be off the chain. You have to imagine Yair will be in the mix for a title shot if he can beat Frankie Edgar. I love Frankie Edgar, he’s one of my favorite fighters ever. The dude just never quits and has shown the ability to take an inhuman beating. However, everyone gets old especially a 35-year-old fighting at 145. Rodriguez, Decision.
Middleweight: Krzysztof Jotko vs. Dave Branch
First off, shout out to Krzysztof for sharing a post from the Gogopoda MMA page. This is Dave Branch’s first fight in the UFC since being knebarred by Rousimar Palhares. I’m a huge fan of both fighters. They’re good in all areas of the game. Jotko tends to favor ground and pound, but he’s got a heavy left hand on the feet. Branch likes to go for submissions, but also has the ability to finish it standing. Branch has also fought at 205 so you should imagine he’ll have a bit of a size advantage in this fight, but I think Jotko is going to outwork him for a tough decision. Jotko, Decision.
Preliminary Card (FX)
Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier
Well, if you wanted a fight to try to secure last minute PPV buys, this is the one for you! Alvarez and Poirier are not shy about mentioning their defensive shortcomings. Alvarez gets rocked in almost every fight he’s in. I think the key to this fight is who is more willing to fight from underneath should they get hurt in an inevitable wild exchange. If time and damage hasn’t caught up to him, I think Alvarez is that guy. This fight is going to be a barnburner. Alvarez, TKO, RD1.
Featherweight: Chas Skelly vs. Jason Knight
They some southern boys, with the farmer strength. This fight features two of the toughest featherweights in the UFC. Both guys are aggressive grapplers and have excellent gas tanks. The difference in this fight will be the physical strength of Jason Knight. Knight, Decision.
Featherweight: Jared Gordon vs. Michel Quinones
Both men are making their UFC debut in this fight. Both men are nearly perfect in their MMA records with 1 loss apiece. The fighter who takes this fight will be the one who is least affected by the nerves of making their debut on a big card. Both men also like to finish with strikes and I think Gordon will be the one to get the finish. Gordon, TKO, RD. 1.
Lightweight: Marco Polo Reyes vs. James Vick
This fight has potential to be a show stealer. Polo Reyes’ fight at UFC 199 with Dong Hyun Kim (The Maestro, not the Stun Gun) was insane. Vick is coming off destroying Abel Trujillo. I think Reyes is going to have a hard time overcoming the reach of Vick who stands at 6’3. Yes, that’s right. He’s a 6’3 lightweight. He’s also got great boxing and chokes. Vick, SUB, RD.2.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Women’s Strawweight: Jessica Aguilar vs. Cortney Casey
Aguilar hasn’t fought since UFC 190 where she lost to Claudia Gadelha. Cortney Casey is also coming off a loss to Gadelha. I suspect this fight to have a lot of grappling exchanges and I suspected Aguilar will win the majority of those exchanges. Aguilar, Decision.
Heavyweight: Chase Sherman vs. Rashad Coulter
Chase Shermans has been stopped with strikes in his last two fights. Rashad Coulter is a heavy-handed striker and they’re heavyweights. You do the math. Coulter, KO, RD1.
Featherweight: Gabriel Benítez vs. Enrique Barzola
It’s hard to get a good gauge on how good these TUF Latin America guys are. It’s tough to compare them as well because the measuring stick is freaking Yair Rodriguez. This should be a fun scrap, but I’m going to go with Benitez because he has a cool nickname (Moggly). I know that’s shitty criteria for picking a fight, but I’m trying to finish this so I can leave work early and beat the traffic. Benitez, Decision.
Light Heavyweight: Joachim Christensen vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov
Antigulov really impressed me with his quick submission win over Marcos Rogerio De Lima. In fact, he’s got a knack for getting quick first round finishes throughout his career and I see this being no different. Antigulov, TKO, RD. 1.