Busy Future Friday to kick this whole blog thing off, with a UFC on Saturday and Week 17 of the NFL Sunday. For those of you who don’t dig the whole sports thing, I promise not everything will go on to be sports related. Just the first real post today. And the next real post Monday. And a lot of posts on Fridays or Mondays after that.
UFC 108 Predictions
Rafaello Oliveira vs. John Gunderson – Gunderson is a former IFL fighter who is probably better suited for a drop in weight. Oliveira is a lightweight who was recently featured deadlifting the hell out of 425 lbs. alongside Jim Miller.
Not being big on lifting myself, I’ve had to rely on chatter on MMA boards to determine what the hell that even means, and can now say with absolute certainty that Miller and Oliveira are either the strongest men to ever consider walking the face of this earth, or would probably lose an arm wrestling match to a six year old girl. Oliveira by Submission, Round 1
Mike Pyle vs. Jake Ellenberger – Pyle made his debut in a loss against Brock Larson, back when everyone still thought Larson was going to tear shit up in the welterweight division, then got a win over another fighter that seemed to keep missing the memo on how dominant they were supposed to be in Chris Wilson. Jake Ellenberger came in against a WEC convert of his own in Carlos Condit, and handed three rounds of beating down in about three minutes, but didn’t earn the finish, leading to a close decision loss as Condit squeaked out a decision against a gassed Ellenberger. None of this says a whole lot about how I think this fight will shake out. Ellenberger by TKO, Round 2
Mark Munoz vs. Ryan Jensen – I have absolutely nothing funny to say about this fight. Nothing at all, and every second spent thinking about what to write, before eventually settling on something that isn’t funny anyways, could be much better spent playing Call of Duty. Munoz by Decision, Unanimous
Cole Miller vs. Dan Lauzon – It’s a battle of fighting brothers as Dan Lauzon, the brother of Joe, takes on Cole Miller, not the brother of Jim even though they’ve fought on the same card their last two fights, yet still also the brother of another fighter, Micah, who has been under the Zuffa banner as a WEC fighter, though no longer is. Got it? Good. Now, Cole is the one UFC Miller not subject to my default “first round sub” pick, however he is still better than Lauzon in every facet of the game. Miller by Decision, Unanimous
Martin Kampmann vs. Jacob Volkmann – Time to see who’s the bigger mann. Get it? Because they both have names with a two-n man in them. That’s called wordplay, and it’s what gets you the big bucks in this here writing business. Sometimes a fighter seems to always get matched against studs, and it’s clear they’re being fed to the wolves. Sometimes a fighter always gets softballs, and it’s clear they’re being groomed. Volkmann seems to be on the track of repeatedly getting match-ups with guys that, seriously, dude, are you a contender or not, because we really can’t tell. I think the answer for Kampmann is a no, but I also think that he won’t need to be to have a shot at TKO’ing Volkmann. Kampmann by TKO, Round 1
Junior Dos Santos vs. Gilbert Yvel – Gilbert Yvel is crazy. Not Mayhem Miller I-have-funny-colored-hair-and-dance-with-Asian-school-girls-while-talking-with-a-lisp crazy, mind you. No, Gilbert Yvel is biting and eye gouging opponents, and knocking refs unconscious crazy. He also used to be a pretty terrifying striker. Dos Santos currently is a pretty terrifying striker. Dos Santos by KO, Round 1
Jim Miller vs. Bang Ludwig – Heh, Bang. That’s a funny name. Ludwig’s real name is Duane, but that’s not nearly as fun, so “Bang” it is. Bang, it may surprise you to learn, isn’t too keen on the ground game, relying instead on some of the best hands in the division. Jim Miller, on the other hand, is a Miller brother, so I’ll be picking him to get the sub in the first round. Miller by Submission, Round 1
Joe Lauzon vs. Sam Stout – It would be taking the easy way out here to make a joke about how ludicrously large Joe Lauzon’s ears are. To point out that, if we’re being honest, they are of comically irregular proportions which make him much akin to a certain Disney elephant in appearance. Instead, I think it’s only prudent to focus on the striker/grappler dynamic that his bout against Sam Stout brings, with Lauzon providing the latter half of the equation. In simple terms, Lauzon will find a way to get it to the mat, and eventually tie Stout into a pretzel. And I promise I’m not just making that pick because I’m currently saying everything I type aloud, and I’m afraid he can hear me. Lauzon by Submission, Round 2
Paul Daley vs. Dustin Hazelett – Another classic striker/grappler match-up on a card rife with them, Daley-Hazelett is one I prefer to look at from a different dichotomy – Brit vs. American. Round one of this war came in Hendo knocking Bisping’s powdered wig into the fourth row, and round three will see Dan Hardy challenge GSP (come on, now, Canada is just America only friendlier.) In the spirit of the upcoming clash between the US Men’s National Team and the English prancing ninnies and their box-headed striker at the World Cup, I pick Fuck You, Britain, in one round. Hazelett by Submission, Round 1
Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva – Finally, the grudge match we’ve all been waiting for, from that one time Thiago Silva may or may not have looked in the general direction of Rashad Evans after knocking out Keith Jardine. This is far more enticing than Rashad vs. Rampage. Thank you, A-Team movie, I didn’t even want to watch TUF 10 without simply getting angry and annoyed every time I watched the two coaches jaw, knowing full well the fight wouldn’t be happening. All complaining aside, this should actually be a pretty good fight, which Silva controls all the way up to its final seconds, when Rashad lands one of his loopy hooks right on the Brazilian’s grill for the win. Rashad Evans by TKO, Round 2
MMA Playground Betting: $100 on Volkmann (+620), $200 Oliveira (-105), $200 on J. Miller (-330) and $500 on Hazelett, Dos Santos, C. Miller parlay (+2162)
NFL Week 17
New England at Houston – One of what seems like every single important game this week which has seen Vegas very scared to put a line on the game, because nobody has any clue who’s actually playing for the Patriots. The #3 seed is theirs with a win or a Bengals loss, though whether or not the three seed even matters is debatable. On the other hand, the Hooded Sweatshirt has never been one to have a small ego, so I’m banking on starters for the Pats, though Brady coming forward and saying they’ll be playing the whole game is disconcerting given, you know, it’s the Patriots. New England 31, Houston 17
Pittsburgh at Miami – I know it’s hard to make a case for the defending Super Bowl champs as a Cinderella story, but allow me to try. In a span of 15 days, the Steelers lost to the Chiefs (2-7), the Raiders (3-8) and Browns (1-11) to fall to 6-7. They are still alive for the playoffs in Week 17, and if not for teams potentially sitting starters, would be a favorite for the playoffs despite it. That’s kind of fun, right? Well, either way, I’m picking them to win because my happiness depends on it. Pittsburgh 31, Miami 14
Kansas City at Denver – Denver is a mediocre football team. Kansas City is fucking atrocious. Denver a lot, Kansas City not very much
Baltimore at Oakland – The Raiders have this really weird tendency to beat teams who are playoff contenders, and yet lose to the Chiefs and Browns. In addition to wins over two teams chasing Baltimore, in Pittsburgh and Denver, the Raiders also beat two division champs with shrinkable names in Philly and Cincy. Also, fuck the Ravens. Oakland 19, Baltimore 17
Philadelphia at Dallas – You can bet your life that Dallas hasn’t forgotten the drubbing Philly gave them in a must-win Week 17 game last season, and they will no doubt be looking for revenge, particularly with the division on the line. Expect the Cowboys to be up for this game and ready to play their best. Then expect them to shit the bed anyways. Philadelphia 41, Dallas 10
Cincinnati at New York Jets – In theory, the Bengals would have nothing to play for in this game if I’m right with my earlier picks. On the other hand, they’re a division champ who had a total of 0 players selected to the Pro Bowl, so I’m predicting their starters get at least a quarter to show people they were snubbed, and they take advantage of it with an early lead large enough for scrubs to hold against Mark Sanchez because, honestly, Mark Sanchez has been really, really bad lately. Cincy 17, Jets 13
So, there you have my picks which, entirely coincidentally, would involve the Steelers making the playoffs and the Ravens going home. Pure coincidence.