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Unambig UFC 149 predictions and prognostications

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I know I said I wouldn't do these anymore, but I just need to go on the record with the Tim Boetsch fight. If all goes as planned I'll be heralded as a God and the masses will grovel at my sandals and ask me to turn water into wine. And I'll say, "begone ye beggars, have ye no self-respect?" But secretly I'll chuckle softly and go stick it into Mary Magdelene.

Now, where was I? Ah yes, UFC 149. The card I wouldn't pay a dime for if I was handed a dollar by Uncle Dana. On paper this looks like a shitty card. On paper this looks boring. On paper this looks like a bad time for predictions. But then again, the future was never written on paper. Who knows, maybe Brian Caraway will get hit so hard he shits his shorts and Miesha Tate will come to her senses and find a handsomer midget to date. Anything can happen.

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Mitch Clarke (9-1) vs Anton Kuivanen (16-5)

Favourite: Kuivanen 50% (hot bout)

Oh goody. Let's get the deepthroating over with right away. If you're wondering which of these two fighters sucks less, join the club. Both failed in their UFC debuts. One, however, failed more than the other. That would be Canadian Mitch Clarke, who dropped the ball to John Cholish in the second round. Vegetable Lasagna, meanwhile, did decently against Justin Salas, who mainly outwrestled the better striker over the course of three rounds.

I won't lie to you. There's a good chance Clarke is going to do the same thing to Simo Hayha. The real question is whether Team Finland can land enough bombs on Clarke as he reaches for the legs to make a difference. I'm going to say he will. The European has more experience at his disposal, while Captain Canuck has been mainly doing the steak sauce circuit in Alberta.

Kuivanen by TKO in round 2

Antonio Carvalho (13-5) vs Daniel Pineda (17-8)

Favourite: Pineda (80%)

Despite a disappointing setback to featherweight senior citizen Mike Brown, I thought Pineda was the far better fighter in that match. The only problem was that Brown put him on his back, and your back is a horrible place to spend a UFC fight, especially with judges who have an average intelligence quotient of Calgary's metric temperature (that's about 77 Fahrenheit for the last people on the planet to switch to Celsius).

Pineda will certainly be the favourite going into this fight. With just one loss in his past seven fights, Pineda is a finisher. He got two first round submissions recently, one in his UFC debut and one in his second fight, and all 17 of his wins have come inside of the 15 minute mark. He's never had to rely on the aforementioned Simple Jacks cageside who often try, and fail, to add up 10s and 9s properly.

Tony the Horse, meanwhile, lost his UFC debut to Felipe Arantes, who would be hard pressed to claim a top 40 rank in the division. He does, however, own a win over Japanese grappling master Hatsu Hioki from 2007, which makes me believe he's hard to finish on the ground. That's why he doesn't lose by submission.

Pineda by TKO in round 3

FX

Bryan Caraway (16-5) vs Mitch Gagnon (8-1)

Favourite: Caraway (62%)

I hate to say it, but Brian "can't beat a girl" Caraway will probably strip the Canadian bacon off of Mitch. Caraway will use his notorious wrestling prowess to put Mitch on his back over and over again, riding out the win. Although Tate's boy toy does have some good submission skills, you've got to imagine that the owner of eight submissions in eight wins is going to be able to survive.

Gagnon is pretty much like the Alaskan crab farmer. He's got a one trick pony guillotine that, if Caraway can stay out of it, he won't be able to win with. Given that Butt Chin probably puts Caraway in more guillotines than Marie Antoinette's extended family on a daily basis, it's safe to say that Bryan won't be troubled by a little man on chin love.

Caraway by lay and pray unanimous decision

Ryan Jimmo (16-1) vs Anthony Perosh (13-6)

Favourite: Jimmo (61%)

Jimmo or the Hippo? I think the answer is obvious, mate. Jimmo, like the star of the co-main event, has been crushing cans in the minor leagues, padding a 16-1 record with wins over folks like Chris Fontaine, Dwayne Lewis, and Rick Roufus. Sure, he's also beaten some decent ex-UFC talent like Wilson Gouveia and Sokudjou, but nobody of recent relevance.

Perosh, meanwhile, has been on a decent stoppage streak of quality UFC fighters. Subbing Tom Blackledge and Cyrille Diabete, followed up by a TKO of Nick Penner, the Australian aint exactly ready to take on Jon Jones, but he's on a higher level than the Big Fucken Deal, eh? Let's face it, Perosh isn't great on the feet, but when he takes Jimmo down it's pretty much good night. That inevitability is a matter of when, not if.

Perosh by submission in round 2

Roland Delorme (8-1) vs Francisco Rivera (8-2)

Favourite: Delorme (62%)

I agree that Roland's comeback against Nick Denis was nothing short of "stunning." In fact I don't think I've ever seen a fighter like Denis snatch defeat from the bowels of victory, but snatch it he did. After devastating Delorme on the feet, Denis inexplicably allowed the Canadian to catch a rest on his back before getting rocked with 30 seconds left and finished in the first round.

Note to Rivera: don't get rocked after beating the ever-loving tar sands out of Delorme. His standup should be superior. After all, Rivera is pretty much a carbon copy of Denis, but perhaps without the savage elbows. So long as Rivera stays on his feet, he should end this pretty early. Delorme has a chin, but his standup leaves a lot to be desired.

Rivera is a bit of a plodder, a walking zomie who throws leather and sprawls and brawls. Delorme will either need to duplicate his miracle striking from the Denis fight, or find some way to take "Cisco" (real original nickname) down. I don't think Team Calgary can do it.

Rivera by TKO in round 1

Court McGee (14-2) vs Nick Ring (12-1)

Favourite: McGee (64%)

Court is the favourite? Really? Gee, I guess people really don't watch the Ultimate Fighter. Here's a news flash. Ring beat McGee on the show. And I don't see any reason why he won't win again on Saturday night.

Look, Court is a scrapper. He's a blue collar fighter, and tough as nails. He also makes up a lack of talent with a ton of grit. Ring, on the other hand, is a proven fighter, whose only loss came against top Middleweight contender Tim Boetsch (which will make it even more impressive if Tim beats Lombard) and a loss he should have had against Riki Fukuda.

McGee has beaten a handful of scrappy fringe UFC fighters like Dongi Yang, Ryan Jensen and fellow TUF scrub Kris McKray. And that's great. But Ring just has a more convincing resume. This will probably be a grinder, but Ring beats McGee two out of every three rounds.

Ring by unanimous decision

Pay-per-view

Chris Clements (11-4) vs Matt Riddle (6-3)

Favourite: Clements (53%)

On paper this isn't really going to be close. Clements is better everywhere, and should outstrike Riddle in every round. It's true that Riddle has retard strength, a retard grin, and a retard chin, but will it be enough to beat Clements? No. Not unless he somehow humps his way to victory. And that's unlikely.

Riddle's most impressive wins have come in a split decision victory to a midget fighting two classes above his weight and a TKO of the UFC's resident shit welterweight, DaMarques Johnson. When faced off against a superior striker like Sean Pierson, we saw how skilled Riddle truly was. Don't go chasing waterfalls, Matt. Stick to them dick and balls you used to.

Clements by dominant unanimous decision

Brian Ebersole (50-14-1) vs James Head (8-2)

Favourite: Ebersole (95%)

This looks to be a one-sided beatdown and I wouldn't expect anything less. Ebersole has been a terror since he dropped in from the town of Buttfuck, in the state of Nowhere, and proceeded to demolish Chris Lytle, stop Claude Patrick's 13-fight winning streak, and toss extremely tough grappler TJ Waldburger around the cage. Ebersole has picked up 11 wins since falling to this card's feature attraction back in 2008 (and don't fucking tell me Butt Chin against Barao is the feature attraction here), with six stoppages during that time.

Ebersole isn't necessarily a finisher but he's almost impossible to get finished. The man simply doesn't give a rat fuck if you're choking him, and will continue to cave your skull in as you flail at his chest hairow. The man's unpredictability in striking, weird fighting stances, and brute strength, should be more than enough to give James Head a bad time.

As for Head, he holds an impressive win over Papy Abedi. But that's about it. A general lack of experience, and a shit-kicking at the hands of Nick Ring have convinced me he has little for Ebersole, who should really be facing much tougher calibre talent at this stage of his career. I mean, 50 fucking wins is more than the combined records of everybody else on the card.

Ebersole by unanimous decision

Cheick Kongo (17-7-2) vs Shawn Jordan (13-3)

Favourite: Kongo (73%)

This fight is harder to pick than one would think. I mean, we know Kongo is a gatekeeper, but he's wild and unpredictable. One day he's knocking out Pat Barry, the next he's getting dropped by a Super Samoan. In truth, I think the groin-kneeing, shorts-grabbing, wall-and-stalling, baby-leg-kicking Kongo will prevail, just as he did against Meathead, just as he did against Travis Browne. Well, he didn't beat Browne, since he got a point deducted for using Anderson Silva's favourite technique against all-American wrestlers. But he would have without the point deduction, and Browne is arguably one of the toughest 265ers in the UFC.

Kongo's not terrible either. Losing to former champion Cain Velasquez, K-1 champion Mark Hunt, and former champion Frank Mir isn't exactly shitting the bed. As for Shawn Jordan, who the fuck is this guy? He hits hard, that's for sure. He puts the juice into the word juice monkey. He subbed Lavar Johnson, which is sort of impressive and sort of unimpressive if you watched Johnson's last fight.

But nah, I'm not buying it.

Kongo by groin-kneeing, shorts-pulling decision

Hector Lombard (31-2-1) vs Tim Boetsch (15-4)

Favourite: Lombard (81%)

Yeah, yeah, we've heard it all. Lombard is an animal. He's got KO power. He's a freak of nature. He's a judo beast. He'll come out gangbusters and destroy Boetsch before he knows what's up. He's beaten every tomato can from Campbell's Soup kitchen. Whatever.

Look, Lombard is the Fedor of the Middleweight division. Untested, unproven, with some impressive wins over guys who haven't really done anything with their careers. Trevor Prangley? Yeah, back in 2002 maybe. Jesse Taylor? A TUF scrub of no consequence. Brian Ebersole? Sure, in 2008, and fighting outside his natural weight class. Does his 25 fight unbeaten streak impress me? I guess so. He fought Kyle Noke to a fucking draw. Kyle. Noke.

What's Timmeh done? Well, he beat the shitfuck out of recently number two ranked Yushin Okami. He judo tossed Nick Ring. He retired Kendall Grove from the UFC. The man's doing ok. I think he deserves more of a chance than people are giving him. And not just more than a chance. A good chance. If he can weather the storm in the first, I see things evening out in the second, and then the Barbarian coming out to play in the third as Lombard, winded from the struggle, gets knocked the fuck out.

Boetsch by KO in round 3

Urijah Faber (26-5) vs Renan Barao (28-1)

Favourite: Barao (53%)

Faber is as tough as they come at 135. He's durable, strong at wrestling, has great guillotines, and decent power. He's also got nothing on Barao.

The Brazilian might have been crushing cans like Hector Lombard for years, but unlike Hector the man has proven himself in the UFC. Nobody has so much as rocked Barao, won a round against him, or been able to outgrapple or outstrike him. Renan wins everywhere in this fight. On the feet, on the ground, in the submission game.

Faber's too tough to get finished. But this should be a beating. 50-45.

Barao by dominant unanimous decision

That's it. Now get out there and pick Hector Lombard. I know his nutsack is on your chin anyway.

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