Thursday, June 1, 2017

Picks and Predictions: UFC 212 Aldo vs Holloway

I've had a rough run over the past two UFC's for which I've done picks.
Things like the derailment of the Cirkunov and Al Hassan respective hype trains, Marcin Held's ill-fated Imanari roll into a knee, Gustaffson looking as on point as ever rather than the one who showed up to be KO'd by Anthony Johnson....but here we go again, because why not?

I think Aldo does his best when prodded by opponents (other than McGregor who wore him out with 2 fight build-ups on media tours) and Holloway I think will face the kind of Aldo we saw against Frankie Edgar. Aldo looked beyond sharp in that fight showcasing some amazing boxing slipping and pivoting and the 3-4 punch-kick combos for which he is best known, rather than the pot shotting he had done in fights previous.
That being said, Holloway dispatched Pettis, strangled Swanson, and has a ton of wins in a row against all comers and styles. This really is a *(&^ing awesome main event for a title unification bout. Other than McGregor returning to featherweight, this is TRULY the fight to make at FW.

I think Holloway will last the distance as Aldo seems content even when punishing to take it 5 full rounds and I think the Aldo we saw in his last fight shows up and I just don't think Holloway beats that version of Aldo 9 times out of 10.

Gadelha vs Kowalkiewicz - I think the loss on Gadelha record to Joanna is the blueprint for how she loses this fight. I actually prefer Kowalkiewicz to Joanna as Joanna is a bet more stick and move and pepper and avoid and Kowalkiewicz is a bit more stick it to them and move forward. Gadelha's move to a new camp is interesting and her bulldog build with slams is enough to give me concern about her putting Kowalkiewicz on her back and keeping her there 2 out of 3 rounds.
Is Karolina enough of a 2nd rate Joanna to do the same here? I think so, but I wouldn't bet cash $ on this fight as the threat of 2 takedowns across 3 rounds and a decision is exceedingly high.

Borrachinha vs Bamgbose: Bamgbose gets the KO here by his resume of stiffer UFC competition leading up to this bout.

Belfort vs Marquardt - Marquardt is well past his prime and is 2-3 in his past 5 fights with stoppage losses to Gastelum, and Thiago Santos, as well as a Unan. Dec. loss to Sam Alvey. He stopped Tamdan McCrory and CB Dolloway in that stretch as well. Belfort.....well, he's Belfort. If he lands a punch it's curtains, especially at this stage in Marquardt's career. That being said, Marquardt is cagey enough to avoid much of Belfort's tricks. Belfort has struggled against guys with the wrestling acumen to keep him on the backfoot and/or put him on his butt. I don't think Marquardt does that here. I think Belfort gets a KO win to go on his veritable who's who list of unconscious opponents.

Medeiros vs Erick Silva - Silva. I hate betting on fights this guy is in. He is always willing to somehow lose a fight he's winning or pull a rabbit out the hat and get a KO in a firefight. Silva lost a close fight to Neil Magny (he got outwrestled.....?) and KO'd by Nordine Taleb then most recently won by RNC. I can't bet on a guy with that kind of fluctuation in wins and losses. I love watching him fight as frustrating as it it as times. Dude likes to find a way to go out on his shield. Medeiros. In his last far he's alternated wins and losses (see a theme here? He's lost a decision to the hulking Francisco Trinaldo, been KO'd by Dustin Poirier, submitted Sean Spencer and won a decision of John Makdessi. I think he can win this fight but not doing anything overly ridiculous and fighting smart most of the 3 rounds. I think Silva's power is a legitimate concern as the dude swings for the fences, but I don't think Medeiros has the chops to tap Silva or KO him, and so my pick is Silva buy TKO in the 2nd round after backing Medeiros up in the first round coming out the gate like a madman.

Assuncao vs Moraes - truly a fight to determine how much Assuncao has faded in his recent inactivity since losing to Dillashaw and barely edging out Sterling and how much or not at all Moraes was benefitting from being a big fish in a small pond over in the WSOF. We saw Brance who was a 2 division WSOF champion struggle to win against a guy who was top 10 in his UFC return/debut. Will that happen to Moraes? I think in no way have Moraes past several fights compared to Assuncao but the inactivity of Assuncao is a major concern. I think Moraes hand speed and youth pull him out the win here by Unanimous Decision.

Carlos Junior vs Eric Spicely - I think Carlos has the size and pressure forward striking to put Spicely against the cage, drag him down and get the finish inside of 3 rounds as carrying Junior's world class black belt frame and top pressure will fatigue any mortal man.

Iuri Alcantara vs some guy - Alcantara despite his foibles is also a blast to watch fight. I see him getting the win by headkick KO/punch/knee combination straight outta street fighter 2 turbo.

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