Friday, January 29, 2016

UFC on FOX 18: Johnson vs Bader - MMA Picks

Normally I'd get to see this one because it's on at 8pm, and I don't go into my weekend job downtown until 10pm, but I'll be driving back from reffing all day Saturday at the Newbreed Grappling Tournament in Charlotte (after working at another weekend/nighttime job the night before until 2am). I'll catch up on the results when I get to work at 10pm. Blase blase. It's a decent card for some free TV and honestly, about on par with the now Werdum-Cain-less UFC 196 card that follows not long after on PPV. It's still hard for me to digest how one can just throw money on that card without that main event. Dana White used to talk a colossal amount of smack about Boxing promoting one fight cards, but this is a total "contender" card which is okay for free TV but Rothwell and Barnett aren't former title holders (Barnett was stripped of his title-winning performance against Randy Couture  - if you're a true old school UFC fan you'll remember) and Ellenberger looked completely outclassed in his last outing against Wonderboy (who finds himself facing the also faded and shopworn Hendricks on that UFC 196 card which has done zilch to impress me without it's title fight main event).

It's not showing but I've got Ryan Bader over Johnson by a Unanimous Decision.

I think Bader's got enough ring/cage acumen to avoid the Rumble train's early power and last out til the 4th round. Anything past 2 rounds I think is Bader's fight, but I would NOT bet any $ against Johnson's power.

I think Rothwell ends up mounted by Barnett and Barnett finishes him TKO style from the mount. I don't like betting against Rothwell because every now and then he pulls a rabbit out of the hat like he did with that front headlock choke against Mitrione's lazy shot. I think Barnett is smart enough to not do anything dumb, but Rothwell is huge, even for this division and unless you're Werdum, I loathe betting on HW fights as a general personal betting rule.

Saffiedine wins because Ellenberger looked terrible his last time out.

Aubin-Mercier looked great in his last few fights and only lost in his UFC debut on a fight stemming from the TUF Nations show (who cares?). His opponent's record, however, is misleading. Ferreira's last two fights/losses are to Beneil Dariush and Dustin Poirier and a win over Ramsey Nijem. I think, however, Mercier takes this one. He's got more momentum, has looked more consistent, despite not quite having faced the same level of opposition. Time to tell if Mercier is the real deal or just looks good against flatter opposition. I want to pick Mercier by stoppage here, but I think Ferreira's tougher than his record suggests as his only two stoppages and losses total are against Poirier and Dariush (who I think may eventually challenge for the title - you heard it here first). 

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