Friday, April 17, 2015

UFC on FOX: Machida vs Rockhold - Full Countdown Episode and Fight Predictions

I went 4-2 for the UFC in Poland event. There were some unknown fights on that card that I just would not recommend betting on in any circumstance. Too many variables: not knowing the level of opposition and the likelihood of fighting cans on local level cards abroad.

That brings me to 17-11 in the past 3 events.

This weekend we have a pretty good event for free TV in the form of Machida vs Rockhold for a "maybe it is, maybe it isn't, depends on how they both do against one another and if/when Belfort fights Weidman and if/how that goes" as is the case with the insanely unclear title contention road in the UFC (a huge foible on their part as a business model. People love Bellator because at least the tournament portion is linear and straight forward barring injury by a fighter who advances through the bracket.

Rockhold has looked great in his UFC run, but Machida is great at winning decisions. That being said, Rockhold has only lost by TKO. So we have an interesting set of variables to consider. Machida looked exceedingly flat against Weidman, but other than that, who has dominated or even really put it to Machida (minus that atrocious Rampage fight)? 

 I think Machida hands the less experienced Rockhold (who normally towers over his opponents) a decision loss because Machida has fought as high as HW and LHW and Rockhold faltered against the TRT-monster in the form of former belt holder in two divisions Belfort.

I think you can accurately pick winners based on the narrative the UFC is trying to build: ala who makes for a better storyline and build-up in subsequent fights (not always the case, but a good bet a good % of the time. At any rate, obviously Paige van Zant is the pick in her fight but women fighters are notoriously unreliable in betting as has been my personal experience. Just ask Carla Esparza or Rose Namajunas about that topic. Their level of opposition is also so erratic early on in their careers pre-UFC or they simply lack the depth of fights pre-UFC to accurately handicap their fights when I'm betting actual money.

Jacare submits Camozzi in two rounds because I think Camozii will look to fend off the takedown at all costs and survive a bit longer this time around. 

I like Max Holloway but his resume lacks the star power (minus a certain Notorious Conor McGregor) whereas the only guys Cub has lost to have names like Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo among others).  Holloway showed his durability in being the only guy to not be stopped by McGregor so I think Cub shucks and jives enough while picking him apart to pick up the decision win.

I'm officially on the Beneil Dariush hype train. I correctly had him upsetting Cruickshank last time around but the real bet here is whether Jim Miller is on the downturn of a career that at one point had him with the longest win streak in the UFC's log jammed for years because of 2-3 fight title series Lightweight division.

Cerrone hurt him then finished him but I don't know that I see Dariush being able to do the same, and Dariush's previous loss to Ramsey Nijem is troubling not because he is young but because I don't see Jim Miller losing to Ramsey Nijem on almost any given night. That being said, I'm picking Miller to win a decision here based on top control and pressure because other than Cerrone, Healy has been one of the few guys to out-Miller Jim Miller with a grinding attack and I just don't know that Dariush can enforce that type of gameplan.
 Win or lose, I see Dariush challenging for the title eventually because of just how much room he has to grow this early in his career.

Ovince's wins over guys like Nikita, Shogun, and Ryan Jimmo plus his frightening power have me thinking Cummins will get tagged and remain too gun shy to impose the takedown on Ovince. Ovince even when he's lost has normally impressed me with his size, speed, and athleticism.
I just don't see Cummins winning this fight because he lacks the pop in his hands to make Ovince respect him on the feet. 

With 14 decision wins on his resume, it's hard to bet against Mizugaki especially when he tends to win unless your name is Dominic Cruz or Brian Bowles, Urijah Faber, and Chris Cariaso: all former belt holders in various organizations or title challengers. 

I don't like betting on guys coming off of such long layoffs like Jim Hettes, but I think his grappling acumen and transitions are not only highly entertaining to watch but keep guys in danger quite a bit. I see Brandao flaking out like he normally does and giving up his back and getting finished pretty quickly by the onslaught of submission attempts Hettes will impose following his versatile takedown game. I think/hope the time away due to injury brings back the Hettes we saw early in his UFC career who was a blast to watch just due to the sheer versatility of his fighting style.

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