As UFC 140 approaches this Saturday, I’m asked by MMA Gospel as well as the millions of Icemigos around the world (give or take millions) to give my picks on the main card. Now, sometimes I have a clear and definite opinion on how I think a fight will go. This is usually a pleasure because all I have to do is explain what I think and why and hope that I will be able to gloat and say “I told you so” rather than shrug and say “the fuck do I know?”.
However, many times I have no real concrete opinion on the potential outcome. In these instances, I’m forced to look carefully at the fighters’ strengths and weaknesses and how they match up against each other. I also look at past fights and allow for momentum and progression by giving more weight to more recent fights. Then I consider various X factors like heart and toughness, how long since their last fight, whether they’ve trained with a new gym with new coaches, if they’re moving to a new weight for the fight, any possible injuries that may be hindering them, and so on.
I consider all of this very carefully for about ten minutes and then I forget all that shit and pretty much fucking guess. My success rate in such instances is about 60%. Here’s my main problem with these damn picks: the odds aren’t factored in. They are when you bet money, why not in accessing the accuracy of picks? For example, if in Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader you picked Ortiz via first-round submission that should be worth at least 25x more on the accuracy points as say, picking Couture via first-round TKO against James Toney. But if we’re going to indulge in prognostication why not go balls out? So, here’s how the main card of UFC 140 will go down. Exactly. If you don’t want spoilers, I suggest not reading any further but instead waiting until after UFC 140 and coming back and being completely amazed by my psychic powers.
Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung: First of all, the Canadians go wild for their hometown boy, Hominick. There are some closet “Zombie” fans but they keep it under their toques for fear of being torn to shreds by their fellow Canucks. Hominick presses the action, closing the distance and lands some jabs while dodging Jung’s wild hooks. The Zombie lands a few good knees in the clinch but Hominick breaks away. Jung throws a spinning back fist that lands but not that cleanly. Hominick shoots but Jung stuffs it. Solid 10-9 for Hominick for landing more strikes. In the second round, the Canadian lands some good legs kicks, slowing Jung down. In the second half of the round Hominck begins putting combinations together and picking Jung apart. Joe Rogan mentions that Jung should try to get it to the ground and mentions Eddie Bravo and Jung’s twister submission victory over Leonard Garcia. Eddie Bravo, stoned, yells “yeeeah!!!”. “The Zombie” throws a flying knee and catches Hominick. He follows it up with a big overhand right that drops Hominick. Jung follows him to the ground and works for a Rear Naked Choke but Hominick recovers enough to defend it and the round ends. Clear 10-9 round for “Zombie”. In the third round, it’s clear that Hominick is the fresher fighter and he’s outpointing Jung on the feet. Zombie is throwing wild punches and shooting for take downs that the Canadian is able to stuff. Hominick gets a Unanimous Decision win.
Claude Patrick vs. Brian Ebersole: Everyone thinks that Brian Ebersole’s arrow-shaped chest hair is just an amusing byproduct of his eccentricity but no! It is a tactic and an asset. You’re trying to focus on fighting this guy and all your brain can really focus on is “what the hell is with that kooky chest hair?!” Once you can overcome that there is still the uncontrollable, unconscious desire to look where the arrow is pointing. Watch as Patrick falls victim to the “hairrow”, losing focus and getting tagged by punches that set up Ebersole’s takedown and impressive first-round TKO via ground-and-pound. The “hairrow” claims another victim.
Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Tito gets the takedown and avoids submissions, landing some ground-and-pound but nothing fight-finishing. Tito gets the Unanimous Decision and in his post-fight interview mentions that a lot of people doubted him but he’s not going anywhere as long as the fans still want to see him fight and how he’s healthy and he’s coming for the belt again. Fans cheer but then think of him beating Jon Jones and roll their eyes. Also Tito’s head is big…. But that’s not psychic, I just wanted to mention it.
Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: Mir comes out strong and pressures “Big Nog” into the cage, landing some knees and dropping him with an uppercut and landing a few more shots before getting rescued by Herb Dean in the very first round.
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida: For the first minute or so the fighters feel each other out. Jones takes a page out of “Shogun’s” book and lands some good kicks to the body. Near the end of the round Lyoto closes the distance and lands a few jabs. Machida then attempts the Karate Kid/Seagal front kick but it misses by a mile and Jones just shakes his head. Round two, Jones throws his own Karate Kid kick but it catches Machida on the chest, pushing him back. Jones follows up with a spinning back elbow. Machida ducks it and takes Jones’ back, grabbing him around the waist. Machida tries to drag him to the ground but Jones, still standing, bends down and flips Machida over his head and onto the canvas. Jones quickly follows this up with punches and elbows, KOing Machida. Dana White tweets: “HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!”
There you go. Can you believe that Jones Machida fight?! Crazy, right?
Now, for fun, let’s try a little experiment. I’m going to pick the fights using a random number generator. I’ll assign a number to each fighter, each method and each round and see how completely random numbers do compared to me and the other MMA Gospel staff picks.
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida: Jones via KO/TKO, Round 1
Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (“Big Nog”): Mir via Decision
Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (“Lil Nog”): Little Nog via KO/TKO, Round 3
Claude Patrick vs. Brian Ebersole: Patrick via Decision
Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung: Jung via Submission, Round 1
What about you, what do your psychic powers tell you will happen at UFC 140?