UFC 173 is here if you're anything like me you can hardly wait to
illegally stream order this PPV from your local cable provider. I mean, why wouldn't you buy this card with the most marketable fighter in the UFC (Renan Barao) fighting a TUF scrub who was KOed by a guy who fights at 125 pounds now? And if that doesn't do it for you, why not a 43-year-old who's 1-3 in his last four fights against a guy who beats up Starbucks baristas for fun?
I mean, James Krause on dis bitch! Krause in da haus! This card is STACKED baby. It's stacked. So quit yer whining, tell Bjorn Rebney to shut his fucking mouth, and slap that credit card down on Saturday. The power of Robbie Lawler compels you.
David Michaud (7-0) vs. Li JingLiang (8-2, W2)
Nobody knows who either of these motherfuckers are but if I'm a betting man I'm guessing most people are going to pick the guy whose fucking name can actually be pronounced. David Michaud is 7-0 by pounding corn-fed farm-boys behind a barn in North Dakota and this is a big jump to the major leagues. Fortunately he's fighting some guy who's been squeezing sandal-wearing fish-eaters in Koala Lompar or summat like that. I know it's ignant to assume JinglebellsLiang is going to bedshit his way to an unanimous decision loss but... I actually watched the TUF China Finale so this isn't completely like playing HIV-needle roulette after dropping your wallet accidentally into a downtown dumpster.
Michaud via UD
* * *
I'll be the first to admit that Sam Sicilia has been on the browneye train to poundtown lately, but he's faced some pretty experienced competitors. And he's also 10-1 when facing guys without Wikipedia entries, which bodes well for his match against good ole Louisiana boy Aaron Phillips. The kid is young and he's got knockouts under his belt, but also been winning split decisions on the scrub circuit. Not a good sign. Sicilia may suck at a lot of things in MMA, but what he's pretty good at doing is trying to decapitate kids in the first round. I say this on the authority of having seen zero footage of Phillips and allow that he may be the next Jose Aldo. I seriously fucking doubt it though.
Sicilia via KO1
* * *
Vinnie will always be known as the hapless raggedy andy doll who got faceplanted into the mat four times by Rustam Khabilov, forever becoming a human highlight reel for the Russian in his UFC preview footage. Other than that he's not done much to warrant much excitement. Tony, meanwhile, hasn't exactly dazzled anybody during his UFC career, following every jewel of a performance by dropping a deuce in the octagon. Still, it's hard to deny he's got some of the best standup around. And when he loses it's usually because he can't stay off his back. Not going to be a problem with Pichel, who styles himself as something of a boxer. Not going to be a good night for him.
Njokuani via TKO2
* * *
Iaquinta is kind of a hard fighter to predict. There are times he looks like a mini-The Fluke(tm) but other times he looks like a TUF scrub noob. His wins over Piotr Hallman and Ryan Couture were impressive, but in his last outing he had his back taken by relative unknown Kevin Lee. He's fighting Mitch Clarke, who was last seen a year ago beating John Maguire, which might have been impressive in 2012 when Maguire was on a seven fight win streak. Today, Maguire has taken his "gypsy-jujitsu" that Joe Rogan never shut the unholy fuck up about to a breathtaking 1-5 record in his last six fights and was last seen getting his skull caved in by a nobody in a nowhere town in Denmark. Iaquinta should handle this challenge fairly effortlessly.
Iaquinta via UD
* * *
I don't actually see any way Chico Camus is going to win this one. His bread and butter is a strong wrestling game, but Chris Holdsworth trains at Alpha Male where wrestling and guillotine chokes are worshipped more than Jesus Christ in Brazil. Camus has proven himself a very durable guy who is hard to submit but Holdsworth has all five wins by way of ragechoke, and even though none of those kids have Wikipedia entries and with all respect to Duke Roufus there's no way I can see Camus knocking him out. Camus gets caught and Alpha Mauled in the second.
Holdsworth via SUB2
* * *
As many as 43 percent of people on Tapology think Tony Ferguson is going to knock out his fighter one-two-three-Japaneasy. But fuckyerdumb. Kikuno has 22 wins in nearly 30 fights, with 12 by knockout. He was the former DEEP lightweight champion, and although Japanese belts don't mean very fucking much in 'Murica, he's lost a total of zero times by way of knockout. So, I sincerely doubt skinny little shitbird Tony Ferguson is going to show him something he hasn't already seen before. Ferguson is a decent striker himself, and we saw that against Yves Edwards and Ramsey Nijem. I could see him out-pointing Kikuno, sure. But fuck it. I'm calling upset.
Kikuno via UD
* * *
Ugh, this is a tough one. On the one hand I have my lips squarely planted on the nutsack of my favourite TUF Brazil 1 fighter. On the other hand I've seen Franny Tranny gas the fuck out and get subbed. Chiesa isn't amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but the man does have a ruthless rearnaked. And I find it hard to believe he won't find himself behind Trinaldo sometime in the second round, sinking his arm underneath the Brazilian's neck. If he survives the first round thrashing that is. Trinaldo is likely to put a thorough beating on Chiesa early on. But as he tires and the scrambles emerge, the bearded homeless man should get the finish.
Chiesa via SUB2
* * *
Jamie Varner (21-9-1, L2) vs. James Krause (20-5, L1)
Ser Jamie is on a kind of a slide in the UFC but the man is still capable of some serious ultraviolence. And he's not the sort of guy to fuck around waiting for an opportunity. Krause has done well for himself, outpointing Sam Stout at UFC 161 and even beating Michael Johnson a million fucking years ago. But otherwise he owns wins over a bunch of hasbeens and neverwases. Varner is likely to slip and rip, catch Krause on the chin, and jump on his back before you can scream stranger danger.
Varner via SUB1
* * *
This is the slippery slut bout, which means I'm pretty much fucked whatever I pick here. But if I had to pick (and I do) I'm going with the Japanese guy. Why? Well, Rivera has hella heavy hands, it's true, but his game is incomplete. Takeya Mizugaki has the most impressive list of losses to bantamweight fighters in the UFC and just has more experience everywhere. He's got serviceable standup, impressive wrestling for a non-American, and his ground game is far superior to Rivera. I've seen Rivera's style lately and it's very much a sprawl and brawl Chuckie style. And that might work against gangly goof George Roop but Mizugaki's chin is far too hard a nut to bust. Unless you get out the tentacle porn.
Mizugaki via UD
* * *
Robbie Lawler (22-10, L1) vs. Jake Ellenberger (29-7, L1)
Here's the thing about this fight. I know Jake Ellenberger has only been knocked out once in 36 fights and that he has a great chin and is a ridonkulous power puncher in his own right. but I also know that Robbie Lawler is the hardest hitter at 170 pounds and when he wins he does it in ruthless fashion. Hey look, I made a lame joke. In his 11 wins at 170 pounds, eight are by brutal knockout. The only guys he hasn't knocked out since returning to welterweight after a nine year absence from the weight class are Rory MacDonald and Johny Hendricks, two guys he put on queer street with his power. Ellenberger has that Hendricks power as well, but if he faded against Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann he's going to get absofuckinglutely facebashed against a guy like Lawler who never stops coming forward. But I don't think it'll come to the point where Cheesburger gets a chance to gas out.
Lawler via KO1
* * *
Sorry, Hendo fans. Maybe Hendo > Machida, and maybe Hendo > Shogun, but he's not going to knockout Cormier. He's too old, too slow, and too predictable. He's got one right hand and a fairly dilapidated ground game. Cormier is extremely likely to land a few punches, pick the 43-year-old up, and slam him on the mat. I'm not saying it'll be a lay and pray. Cormier will probably hurt him pretty good, too. But I doubt it'll be too exciting. I'm not sold on Cormier being the best fighter at 205 pounds after beating a fucking nobody sold in a wolf tickets match by Uncle Dana, but I doubt Hendo is going to land his one trick pony on this jaw.
Cormier via UD
* * *
Renan Barao (32-1, W32) vs TJ Dillashaw (9-2, W1)
Speaking of wolf tickets, how the fuck do you sell this fight? Renan Barao has destroyed all comers since his UFC debut, running a fucking train on the division's elite and even smashing butt chin in the first round (early stoppage or not). TJ Dillashaw was knocked out by a guy who now fights at 125 pounds, won four fights against guys who aren't even remotely close to being remotely close to being ranked, dropped a decision to Raphael Assuncao, and then beat up Mike Easton. And people say Matt fucking Brown doesn't deserve a shot. Look at this horseshit Zuffa is trying to shovel into your porridge and calling it brown sugar. Barao is very likely going to take Dillashaw's soul on Saturday.
Barao via SUB1
That's all she wrote. Free Joben.