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The Picks Are In: UFC 100

In honor of UFC 100, I have decided to completely ignore the possibility of a decision outcome for my predictions, even when one would seem inexplicably logical. That’s right, I’m only picking finishes and that’s just the way it’s going to be. Here’s to you, UFC 100.

Heavyweight unification title bout: Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar

Prediction: Lesnar via TKO, round 2.

I believe the 500 pound-plus main event will showcase yet again that while technique can often overcome size and strength, it will inevitably fail you if your name is Frank Mir and the particular mammoth hammer fisting your dome is Brock Lesnar.

Let’s face it, good old Ken Shamrock figured out a long time ago that even if you can’t submit the submission artist you can hold off subs all night long with a strong base and a willingness to stall like it ain’t no thang. Albeit both fighters have naturally progressed since UFC 81, I’m still largely basing my prediction off of their first meeting, where an imposing Lesnar was but a few punches away from ending Mir’s evening had a fateful mustache not stepped in and changed history forever…

Of course, it’s naïve to presume that Lesnar is now unbeatable without any exploitable weaknesses, quite the contrary in fact. However it will not be Frank Mir who exploits the gaps in Lesnar’s game. Not this time, at least. That honor will likely go to one of the newer, stronger breeds of UFC heavyweight on the horizon.

Call me a Mir hater, but I’m still haunted by the Frank Mir who came in fat, tired, and battered senseless against opposition far less dangerous than the likes of Brock Lesnar. Mir might not be a pudgy bastard anymore thanks to a new found dedication to cardio and proper diet, but I still can’t put much stock in his gas tank or striking prowess (yes, I say this having seen his Nogueira KO many times).

I say Brock catches Mir with a shot that buckles him, then jumps on for the ground n’ pound, then walks out with a smile and some sort of condescending remark followed by a moonsault from the top of the cage. It could happen.

Welterweight title bout: Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves

Prediction: St. Pierre via submission, round 4.

As I write this I’m interrupted upon hearing of GSP’s goofy elbow which many are saying is telltale Bursitis, how this will affect the fight I have no idea. I’ll proceed to ignore it for now.

American Top Team product Thiago Alves has the muay thai game on lock, we get that. But GSP isn’t some Tito Ortiz re-incarnate who can only take you down fearing a stand-up battle like it was the black plague. I’m not saying GSP won’t take this one to the canvas because he probably will inside the first round, but St. Pierre’s striking isn’t too shabby either and the man can indeed hang with the Pitbull until the time is right for a takedown, then another take down…and then another one, and so on.

This pattern will likely repeat itself for a while until the fourth or fifth round, when Alves’ gas tank inevitably starts to fume (his past weight cutting issues are still relevant in terms of endurance, IMO) and his takedown defense becomes less and less bankable. From here it is only a matter of time before Alves finds himself unable to escape a mounted St. Pierre raining down blows, picking him apart like a smoked pig at a backyard bbq. GSP via armbar, round 4.

Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping

Prediction: Henderson via TKO, round 3.

Bisping’s kickboxing is generally crisp, but not terribly powerful, and like many, I share the opinion that he’s been overly protected by the UFC…until now. Dan Henderson may be over the hill in the eyes of some but he’s still got a granite chin and extremely frustrating wrestling prowess. Henderson doesn’t usually look for the submission when he’s on top of you but he will keep you down, smother your airways, and make your face pay dearly for letting him close the distance and execute any number of takedowns (see Matt Lindland or Randy Couture for similar styles).

The question is, will Hendo be able to stay close to Bisping for three rounds or will “The Count” effectively use Liddell-esque sprawl n’ brawl tactics to keep Henderson at bay en route to decision victory? The latter is a more likely scenario, especially since this is a middleweight contest and I always liked Hendo’s wind much better at LHW, but what the hell. I’ll say Hendo pounds Bisping out in the third. That’ll teach him to squirt water on someone’s face for no good reason.

Jon Fitch vs. Paulo Thiago

Prediction: Fitch via submission, round 3.

Expect another Jon Fitch wrestling clinic. Thiago might be able to keep Fitch on the defensive with submission attempts here and there, but Fitch’s base is uber-strong and leaves little room for opponents to work and create space. Furthermore I highly doubt that Thiago will be able to stuff enough takedowns to keep Fitch at a safe distance for very long. So, Fitch should ride out a decision doing what he does best, but this is UFC 100 so that just can’t happen. Fitch via rear naked choke, round 3.

Yoshiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher

Prediction: Sexyama via submission, round 2.

Alan Belcher is so hot and cold he might as well change his nickname to “The Faucet” zing! Seriously though, I’m taking “Sexyama” all the way in his UFC debut. I expect throws, takedowns, and all kinds sneaky submission attempts because that’s what those sneaky Japanese do, right Dana? Sexyama via heel hook, round 2.

Mark Coleman vs. Stephan Bonnar

Prediction: Bonnar via TKO, round 3.

Here’s how I see this one playing out: Coleman shoots for a double several times, finally lands one, attempts to finish via ground n’ pound, realizes he can no longer finish that way because he is older, lighter, tired, and fighters have sadly developed a way to protect themselves from ground n’ pound as this is not UFC 10 and Stephan Bonnar isn’t Moti Horenstein. Bonnar’s scores an inevitable TKO in the third.

As for the rest, I’ve got:

Miller over Danzing via submission, round 2
Jones over O’Brien via TKO, round 3
Grant over Kim via submission, round 3
Dollaway over Lawlor via submission, round 3
Grice over Gugerty via TKO, round 2

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