There's nothing quicker and dirtier than a 21-year-old starlets music career once she starts selling her body to the music industry. Unless we're talking about the career of Junie Browning. That was pretty quick and dirty, too.
So, we've got another Wednesday card up for grabs tomorrow night which means all of one thing. I can't watch it. Thanks, you fuckers at Fox. Since the prelims start at 2 in the afternoon and the main card starts at 4, the working world that gets home at 6 can basically go fuck itself.
Still, there's some shit-picking to be done in the money pool, so without further ado here are the only sane and reasonable choices for tomorrow:
So, this dude from Brazil with a name you'd expect from a worker on Wall Street is a decisionater with a perfect record going up against a guy who also has a perfect record. Since I don't catch Bitetti Combat or Midwest Fight Series on my local cable station, I'm going to flip a coin. My coin says the underdog is worth an underdog bonus. With seven finishes in eight wins, at least dude knows how to put somebody away.
Whiteley TKO R1
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Chris Cariaso (14-5) versus Iliarde Santos (28-8-1)
Tapology: 64% Cariaso
Playground: 55% Cariaso HOT BOUT
I gotta go with the mainstream here. Cariaso got starched by John Moraga and ran into a better grappler in Jussier Formiga, but he's a better fighter than he's showed recently. The thing is, Santos showed he can hang with the division's elite, giving Ian McCall a stiff test. When it comes right down to it, the two are most likely to trade and when that happens Cariaso is more likely to land the higher volume. Santos has a striking percentage of 25, absorbs 6.34 strikes per minute, and has a takedown accuracy of 11%. It could come down a split decision, but I think Cariaso can edge it out.
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Anybody who saw Paulo Thiago and TJ Waldburger manhandle David Mitchell knows what's going to happen here. He's going up against undefeated submission specialist Yan Cabral, who has all 10 wins within the first two rounds, including one over legendary Kazushi Sakuraba. Am I impressed much? Maybe, maybe not. That last win was over 24 months ago. But he did compete in The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, Season 2, and scored two more submission victories inside the distance. Mitchell has never been submitted, but he's never really faced somebody of this calibre. I think he survives until at least the second round.
Cabral SUB R2
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This is pretty open and shut. We'll have to listen to Jon Anik butcher his way through the pronunciation of "Al Contra" for about 15 minutes, but I don't see him getting submitted. Alcantara's 78-inch reach should easily keep Igor at bay the entire fight. His 100% TDD will also help.
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Raphael Assuncao (20-4) versus TJ Dillashaw (8-1)
Tapology: Dillashaw 76%
Playground: Dillashaw 73%
It's cool that Raphael Assuncao has been given a string of untested and unproven bantamweights, inflating his 135-pound record to 4-0. But Dillashaw is a different kind of fighter. He's much better on the feet, proving it with back to back knockouts and quicker finishes over basically the same guys. Dillashaw is also busier on the feet (4.82 strikes per minutes), with a higher landing percentage (56%), and a lower percent of strikes absorbed per minute (1.64). He also owns a 100% takedown defense, but lands 4.1 takedowns per fight, where he works 3.08 submissions during that time. Since Assuncao is a submission specialist, this will stay on the feet until Assuncao either loses by decision or gets stopped.
Dillashaw TKO R2
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This is a fucking hard pick to make. Pierce has never been submitted in his MMA career, but Palhares is no ordinary fighter. He's an Abu Dhabi submission champion and a leg lock specialist. Even though Pierce has elite wrestling and takedown defense "Toquino" tries for almost four leg lock submissions per fight, on average. This is also Palhares first fight at 170 pounds, and was already ridiculously strong at 185 pounds. When Palhares fails to score a leglock, he usually fades quickly and is finished. This all boils down to whether you think he can rip Pierce's knee apart before he gets knocked out.
Palhares SUB R1
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This is the kind of fight that looks obvious at first blush, but it's not as easy as it seems. Yeah, Fabio is a pro boxer with an uncrackable chin. He lands punches in bunches and has brutal body shots. But Joey Beltran is no pushover. He also has a brick chin and lands a surprising number of punches. He's also likely to go for the takedown if things aren't working for him on the feet. In the end it's Fabio's strikes per minute (5.7) and accuracy (63%) that will win him yet ANOTHER decision.
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Thiago Silva is a lot of pissed off Brazilian to deal with. Unfortunately, he's missed weight, so it's not going to help if he drops this fight. Luckily, Silva is better everywhere. Hamill is too slow to land a Rashad Evans takedown needed to bring this to the mat, and while Silva lands about the same number of strikes per minute as his opponent, he's more accurate (51%) and his punches hurt more. Hamill is hard to stop on the feet. Just ask Rampage or even Gustafsson. I see Silva winning the first two rounds before gassing out and losing the third.
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Erick Silva (15-3) versus Dong-Hyun Kim (17-2-1)
Tapology: Silva 62%
Playground: Silva 63%
It's tempting to think Silva is going to get Fitched by Kim since they have similar styles. It's also tempting to think Kim will do it because he handled Siyar Bahadurzada and Paulo Thiago so effortlessly on the ground it was ridiculous. But Erick Silva isn't exactly weak on the ground. If you'll remember, he battled Fitch for about two rounds until gassing out and getting stomped in the third. Silva has an extremely hard pace in the first 10 minutes and Kim will be hard pressed to hold that back. If he can, he'll win a Fitch fight. But if he can't he's going to sleep.
Silva TKO R1
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I'm kind of flummoxed why people think Maia is going to take Shields down and lay on his back for five rounds. It's just... weird. At least 30% of people think he's getting submitted! That seems crazy to me. Look, Jake Shields is a weak punching ungraceful and one-dimensional fighter. But everybody is overlooking something. Shields has never been submitted. He's gone to the ground with many fighters in his 35-fight career and never been held down. So the fact is, this isn't going to the ground. Like Maia, he's a middleweight who dropped down to welterweight when he came to the UFC, so he won't get manhandled. This is staying on the feet. And that's bad news because as weak armed as Shields is, he wins standup fights. Anyone who watched the Woodley or Akiyama fights knows what happens when he fights "better strikers." In short, he's worth the extra 2-point gamble on playground.