It's a pretty entertaining Combat Sports weekend coming up folks. "Honda Housey" will batter a loud-mouthed challenger who beat some of her stablemates. Paulie Malignaggi will fight in boxing, Jake Shields will leg lock it up with Palhares in a fight I've been looking forward to since it was announced ,AND the Five Grappling Super League event takes place Sunday at 2pm PST.
I'm 11-3 overall for my picks across the last two UFC events.
I'll be working Friday and Saturday night but will have my picks in with Draft Kings and be surreptitiously following the fights between serving inebriated adults, then waking up to hit open mats during the day.
Having seen the holes in her game exposed by Shayne Baszler, I have a hard time seeing even betting the underdog and putting money on Correia against Rousey.
This is just a colossal mismatch.
Correia lacks the power to hurt Rousey, even a Rousey from early in her career, and having seen Rousey's improved stand-up, and every increasing polish....this will be a wash. It really will be like watching a shark pick apart a floating corpse on the surface until the feeding frenzy takes over.
Whether it's backing up into the cage, lack of punching power, how quickly Correia found herself in armbar-territory in Baszler's guard, I'm honestly not even going to bother watching the rest of her fights to cement my pick of Ronda by however quickly she decides to seize whatever hole Correia gives her first.
It's honestly that lopsided, folks.
As for Shogun vs Lil Nog and Minotauro vs Struve...this is all about picking who is less shopworn.
Shogun is 6-8 in the UFC. But, that bears keeping in mind he's fought: Gustaffson, Henderson (twice), Machida (twice), Chuck Liddell, Mark Coleman, Brandon Vera, St. Preux, Te Huna, Chael Sonnen, and Forrest Griffin. Some guys weren't top contenders, some guys were on the rise, some were legends on the way out, but he's fought only former champs or guys moving up and guys with wins in the UFC.
Lil Nog debuted in the UFC beating two guys who are no longer with the organization, then beating Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans, but losing to the likes of Anthony Johnson, Phil Davis, Ryan Bader.
On the strength or resume comparison, you have to give it to Shogun. But on the mileage-o-meter, Lil Nog has taken less devastating beatings than Shogun. That being said, Shogun, back with Cordeiro (long time trainer) I have little problem placing my money on Shogun.
Sidenote: Seeing Shogun crushed by Jon Jones will always be one of the darkest nights of my MMA viewing career. I was devastated.
Minotauro vs Struve:
Struve is coming off of two crushing losses to the likes of Overeem and Mark Hunt (not that he's alone on that list of guys) and has wins over the likes of Stipe Miocic, Herman, and Pat Barry,
Minotauro is coming off a KO loss to Roy Nelson and a submission loss to now current champion Werdum (that loss to Mir by submission I chalk up to being dazed but also arrogance).
He holds wins over the likes of Dave Herman, Schaub, Randy Couture, and Tim Sylvia from whom he won the belt. Strength of resume has me believing he'll finish the gangly and lengthy Struve when he drags him to the mat as Nog did against the lengthy Tim Sylvia.
I don't see how oddsmakers don't see this, but it's one of those fights I perceive them as picking all wrong and upon which I intend to make a fair amount of $$.
Maia vs Magny:
Maia's only lost to guys with last names like Shields, MacDonald, Munoz, and Weidman.
I'll just leave it at that. It's not always exciting or devastating or pretty, but Maia will control and positonally dominate Magny unless he gets caught early. Not a hard fight to pick at this point. That being said, seeing Maia no longer finish lesser opponents further down the totem pole, I am worried one of these fights will be the tipping point and he'll start the deeper slide into irrelevance.
Cummins vs Cavalcante:
Cummins talked his way into the UFC with a wrestling story about Daniel Cormier, but hey, whatever works man, y'know? At any rate, he looked nervous and over his head in that bout, but since then hasn't looked bad with good power in his punches and wrestling to back it up but that he hasn't used in the fights I've bothered to watch on various undercards. At any rate, Cavalcante despite his success in other promotions (and a KO win over Yoel Romero years back) has had mixed results in the UFC and so I have to side with Cummins in this fight by decision or a blowout in the first or second round with a barrage of punches. Despite his gorilla-like build, I've always felt Cavalcante looked undersized for this division and Cummins looks positively huge at this weight class.