Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is trying to ruin your Saturday with a double-dose of mixed martial arts (MMA) action on May 31, 2014, spread across the UFC Fight Pass network and FOX Sports 1.
It starts around noon ET with UFC Fight Night 41 in Berlin (Fight Pass) and ends well after midnight with The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3" Finale in Sao Paulo, Brazil (FS1).
Are you not entertained?
If you're looking for a complete, in-depth examination of each fight card, then you must have me confused with some other writer, because when UFC mails it in, so do I. Therefore, I'll be breaking down a handful of select matches from both cards and letting you know what to expect when the cage door closes.
Let's start with UFC Fight Night 41 (full fight card here), which takes place at 12 p.m. ET inside O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany, on Fight Pass.
185 lbs.: Mark "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" Munoz (13-4) vs. Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi (34-4-2)
Nostradumbass predicts: What these two have in common, aside from the fact that they both got schooled by Lyoto Machida in their last fights, is that this bout represents the last time either man will have a legitimate shot at getting into title contention.
Maybe not for Mousasi, who is just 28, but definitely for Munoz, who is now 36.
The problem with "The Dreamcatcher" is that he has no answer for wrestling. While it's not a unique situation in mixed martial arts (MMA), it's frustrating to watch a superstar of yesteryear fail to evolve with the times. Wrestling is a part of the sport, like it or not, and Munoz can grind with the best of them.
Remember the Tim Boetsch fight?
I have a sinking feeling that this contest is going to unfold in much the same way as Mousasi's title fight against Muhammed Lawal back in Strikeforce That's really the only gameplan for "The Filipino Wrecking Machine," who just doesn't have the hands -- or at this point the chin -- to dick around on the feet.
Mousasi is too tough to finish on the ground so I expect him to survive until the bell, but Munoz is too strong to get trapped by a submission or find himself getting swept. That said, you might want to strap in for the long haul, this is going to be 25 minutes of WrestleMania.
Prediction: Munoz def. Mousasi via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Francis "Limitless" Carmont (22-8) vs. C.B. "The Doberman" Dollaway (14-5)
Nostradumbass predicts: The question for me heading into this fight is whether or not CB Dollaway -- an accomplished collegiate wrestler -- can get Francis Carmont to the ground. The hulking Parisian suffered the first loss of his Octagon career when Ronaldo Souza mugged him back in February.
"The Doberman" is certainly no "Jacare."
But he doesn't necessarily have to be, if he can outsmart "Limitless." He certainly won't outmuscle him. Dollaway is a pretty big middleweight himself, but Carmont is even bigger, and has pushed around his fair share of strikers, including Costas Philippou.
It may come down to cardio.
I don't want to discount Dollaway's recent run inside the cage, because he's been on a pretty good roll, but his level of opposition -- at least in terms of wins -- has been middle of the road. I'm not suggesting that Carmont hasn't crushed his share of cans, but the consistency from the Tristar product is what has me swinging this bout in his favor.
Barring a one-hitter quitter, I think Dollaway gets bullied en route to a loss on the judges' scorecards.
Prediction: Carmont def. Dollaway via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Luke "Bigslow" Barnatt (8-0) vs. Sean "Tarzan" Strickland (14-0)
Nostradumbass predicts: I wasn't overly-impressed with Luke Barnatt when he was cutting his teeth on TUF 17, but he's proven to be a good student, improving with each performance. In addition, he hasn't just been winning fights, he's been finishing them.
Kinda helps when you're eight-feet tall.
While Barnatt's ground game is still unproven, he's formidable -- albeit reckless -- on the feet. If he can use his reach, it could be a tough night for Sean Strickland, who will no doubt look to drag this thing to the floor where he does his best work.
How good is "Tarzan?"
While 14-0 on the regional circuit carries an asterisk, it's important to note that "Bigslow" hasn't exactly been fighting the cream of the crop, so I would call it even, especially considering Strickland has nearly twice as much experience. I like Barnatt's go-for-broke style, but I'm picking the upset by way of upright overconfidence.
Expect the King of the Cage (KOTC) veteran to get the early takedown and finish it in one.
Prediction: Strickland def. Barnatt via submission
That about does it for this card.
Now let's kick it on over to The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3" event (full fight card here), which takes place inside Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at 8 p.m. ET (Prelims) on FOX Sports 1.
265 lbs.: Stipe Miocic (11-1) vs. Fabio "Caipira de Aco" Maldonado (21-6)
Nostradumbass predicts: This is a really cool match up. Oh wait, it's not 1993? Never mind then. What we have here is a big, athletic heavyweight fighting a fat middleweight masquerading as a light heavyweight. I understand that the promotion was hog tied when Junior dos Santos mucked up his mitt, but where were all the heavyweights?
No one was hanging around? Not even the TUF leftovers?
My big issue here is that Maldonado isn't that great at 205 pounds to begin with. He hasn't finished a fight in nearly four years and using your face to block punches only impresses the JUST BLEED kids. I'm also not the kind of guy who breaks out the party hats every time a "former boxer" lands a couple of rib roasters. Probably because they don't do much good when you're on the canvas getting turned inside out.
Like the Glover Teixeira fight.
G-Tex took "The Iron Hillbilly" down and beat the snot out of him. Not only was Teixeira 3-3 on takedowns, he also outstruck Maldonado 117-14. I don't see any reason this contest doesn't play out the same way. Sure, I've heard the argument, "Well, if Miocic gasses out..." which isn't happening, because this fight ends in two.
There's a reason we have weight classes.
Prediction: Miocic def. Maldonado via technical knockout
170 lbs.: Demian Maia (18-6) vs. Alexander "Bad Boy" Yakovlev (24-4-1)
Nostradumbass predicts: They say you're only as good as your last fight and well, that puts Demian Maia in the doghouse. That's a shame, too, but I'm not sure we should be writing him off just yet. At the same time, I have serious concerns about his Rory MacDonald performance.
Not only was he slow and lethargic, his shots were coming from a mile away.
This is the same guy who made Jon Fitch and Rick Story look silly on the ground and a former middleweight who was able to work his way into a title fight with Anderson Silva.
How hard is the cut to 170?
That may have a lot to do with his output and I'm sure Alexander Yakovlev is hoping it was difficult. The Russian "Bad Boy" has a well rounded offense that splits his knockouts and submissions, but the fact that he's lost three fights by way of arm submission is a red flag.
He may not show it that often, but Maia's jiu-jitsu is otherworldly.
I'm just not sure how much gas he has left in the tank at age 36. This has upset written all over it, but I just can't in good conscience pick a guy making his Octagon debut -- whose wins have come over regional talent you either can't pronounce or never heard of -- opposite a fighter with experience against three world champions and three former number one contenders.
Prediction: Maia def. Yakovlev via submission
That's a wrap.
Agree? Disagree? Don't care? Not watching? Let's hear your approach to this weekend's MMA double-feature in the comments section below.