IT'S TIME! We are going to be treated with another set of back to back fights and I love this trend. Plus this one is free, and it's fights are about the same caliber as UFC 133's. This card is a mix of some very close fights, and some that seem like mismatches. Without any more bullshit, here are the picks.
The question in this fight is not who will win. It's not even like a GSP fight where the question is " Will he finish him?" The question in this fight is how will Lytle finish Hardy. Lytle is a former professional boxer with a granite chin, and has never been finished in his 50 fight career. He went on a winning streak before losing a competitive decision to Brian Ebersole. A majority of his wins are by submission but he has a tendency to brawl. After his loss, I think he will abandon the brawling game plan and take the fight to the ground and try to submit Hardy. Hardy is currently getting the "Akiyama" treatment where he loses to really good guys so they give him someone better.
Lytle by 2nd Round RNC
Jim Miller currently has the best streak in the Lightweight division other than Gray Maynard. Jim recently knocked out Kamal Shalorus and before that submitted submitted mega-prospect Charles Oliveira. Ben Henderson has looked impressive since getting cage kicked beating Mark Bocek in his last outing. Ben Henderson will likely look to grind out a decision over Miller while Miller is well known for his aggressive attempts to finish the fight. The fight that makes me believe that Miller will win this was Henderson's first fight with Donald Cerrone. Cerrone's BJJ is not on the same level as Miller's and he almost submitted "Bendo" multiple times. If Ben does manage to take Miller down he will get submitted. However, I think Miller stuff his shot and beat him up or try to take Henderson down and win a dominate decision. Besides, who doesn't love the Miller brothers?
Miller via UD
Two young, well-rounded fighters will mix it up before the co-main event. Both have losses to the above fighters and both are prospects in the lightweight division. However, I have to give Oliveira the edge in striking and Jiu-Jitsu. I love how active Charles is from his guard and if more BJJ fighters looked for submissions as actively as he does they would win more. I see Charles rocking Cerrone on the feet until Cerrone takes it to the ground where he will be submitted.
Oliveira by Second Round RNC
Duane Ludwig has never impressed me. Hes a Muay Thai champion and he goes to a split decision against Nick Ospczak? That doesn't scream UFC caliber fighter to me. Amir is coming off a dominating victory over DeMarques Johnson and he looked very sharp. I expect Amir to use his crisp striking to set up a take down and batter Ludwig. This will likely be Ludwig's last fight in the UFC.
Amir via UD
CB Dollaway vs Jared Hamman
CB Dollaway is an excellent wrestler with good striking and some solid submissions. Hamman on the other hand is a powerful fighter who is dropping to middleweight after a loss to Kyle Kingsbury. I haven't seen anything spectacular from Hamman but most of his wins are knock out and CB has a suspect chin. I see CB using his powerful wrestling to take Hamman down and grind him out. Unless Hamman catches him early, he will gas and lose a decision.
CB via UD
I am pissed that this isn't on the main card. The UFC isn't doing jack shit to promote the most exciting division in the UFC. Benavidez is the highest ranked guy on this whole event and he is on the undercard? Fuck Dana. Anyway, this fight will be reminiscent of the Faber vs Wineland fight last March. I see Benavidez using his powerful wrestling to take this fight to the ground and smash Wineland's head in.
Benazivdez via UD
This was my most difficult decision. As I write this I am debating in my head about whether to change my pick. Herman is a wrestler who's only game plan is to take you down and punch you. Noke is a BJJ fighter with very good stand up, but he has shown he is susceptible to being ground and pounded for a decision. It is a very good clash of styles. The thing that has pushed me to choose Noke is he is on a good streak while Herman had a win over a sickly Tim Credeur after a year off because of knee surgeries.
Noke by Second Round Submission
This was another pretty difficult pick. Vemola has a majority of his wins by knock out while Markes is a submission fighter. The main thing that helped me decide is that Vemola has fought better competition and Markes is a late replacement, which is never a good thing. Vemola is a power house and I think he will blow throw Markes, so long as he avoids the submissions.
Vemola by First Round KO
Alex Caceres vs Jimmy Hettes
This is the easiest fight to pick. Caceres has all three of his losses by submission. Hettes has won all eight of his fights by submission. If you're in the UFC because your a TUF nobody but Dana likes you, expect to lose. A lot.
Hettes by First Round Submission
Cole Miller vs TJ O'Brien
Cole Miller is coming off a beat down at the hands of Matt Wiman while TJ got TKO'ed by Paul Kelly. TJ has a majority of his wins by Submission as does Cole Miller. O'Brien also has lost three fights by submission while Miller hasn't been submitted but has submitted better guys. The deciding factor in this fight will be striking. Cole Miller dropped Ross Pearson before choking him, which is pretty impressive. TJ, on the other hand, just lost by TKO to a lesser fighter. I see Miller out striking O'Brien then finishing him in the third.
Miller by Third Round Submission
This was a very difficult fight to choose a winner. Volkmann is 3-0 at lightweight and beat Antonio Mckee in his last fight. Castillo beat Joe Stevenson in his last fight and both are on winning streaks. I think Volkmann has beaten beater competition though. Stevenson is a shell of his former self while Mckee was on a big winning steak. I think Volkmann will try to grind out a decision but Castillo will give him a hell of a fight.
Volkmann via SD
I'm so happy this is the hot bout, it's an easy pick. Figueroa is coming off a competitive decision loss to bantamweight mega-prospect Michael McDonald. Before that fight, he was undefeated and had finished every one of his fights. Reinhardt has an impressive record of 20-2. The funny thing is the only two good fighters he has fought he has lost too. He is the ultimate can crusher. Here's his problem: Figueroa is no can. Edwin is an excellent fighter and if Reinhardt gets out of the first round I will be surprised. Hello, 22 points
Figueroa by First Round KO
Well, these are my picks. Tell me what you think, are we close or nowhere near? I always like to end on a high note so if you haven't seen this video yet enjoy!(Turn up the volume its quiet)
Tosh.0 Chick Choke: This is the best WMMA fight ever
Tosh.O (via Zbass2)