Friday, April 24, 2015

Quasi-Expert Opinion for UFC 186: Johnson vs Horiguchi

This weekend's car is one that I'll be among many to say doesn't feel like a PPV card.

I mean, Horiguchi is on a UFC 4 fight win streak, with some stoppages, yet, he's fought largely on cards the casual fan hasn't seen. 
Demetrious Johnson who hasn't moved the needle much when on free TV is now headlining something people are being asked to pay for when Bellator and WSOF offer shows on free TV or cable TV.

I took some bad beats on the last UFC on FOX card with guys like Machida and Swanson losing by submission, Hettes getting cut for a TKO loss in a fight that was his to win, and Paige Van Zant living up to the hype train.
That puts me at 21-16 for picks across the past 4 UFC events.

I'll be competing in a superfight (will always hate that term) Friday night at the Epicenter rooftop venue in Charlotte, sleeping, then competing at the Copa America tournament there in Charlotte.
Hopefully, I'll find time Saturday night to take in the fights on this admittedly lackluster card.

Horiguchi hasn't lost since 2012 when he lost a 3 round decision and it is his only loss.
That being said, Demetrious has been pouring it on as of late and finished 3 of his last 4 opponents, including a KO of Benavidez a man who came close to beating him previously.

It's hard to think Horiguchi is the guy to dethrone Demetrious Johnson. I like Horiguchi's awkward style and looping punches and distance but Johnson's speed, crisp punching, and takedowns/scrambles are simply hard to ignore. That being said, Demetrious has been hurt in previous fights and I think Horiguchi has better goods to stop him stylistically than say, Benavidez, who is harshly put, a lesser version of Johnson.

Bisping vs Dolloway:
This is a classic match-up where Bisping has really only lost in recent years to the very best of the division and Dolloway has faltered when moving up against top tier competition. Expect Dolloway to favor the Tim Kennedy gameplan and attempt to drag Bisping down over 3 rounds. I think Bisping is sharp enough to expect this and I think unless Bisping has lost a step more than I think against all but the best guys, I think Bisping picks Dolloway apart over 3 rounds in a semi-competitive fight.

Rampage vs Maldonado:
Frankly, I don't care. Maldonado while crowd pleasing is just that: crowd pleasing and a perfect foil for the stand-up preferring Rampage who has lost some of his shine over the past few years. I don't see Maldonado winning this fight in any way shape or form as he is simply too hittable.

Makdessi KO's whoever he's fighting. Makdessi's resume has some recognizable names and has looked pretty good with his unorthodox striking when last I saw him fight.

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