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Pain Poll: The 5 Oz. Staff Predicts and Previews UFC 94

The staff of is back with another series of predictions, this time for Saturday’s UFC 94 event featuring UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre taking on reigning UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.

Televised Main Card –

Welterweight (170 lbs.): Georges St. Pierre (17-2) vs. B.J. Penn (13-4-1):

Sam Caplan: This fight is a tie on so many angles that my preference would be not to offer a prediction and just sit back and enjoy it for what it truly is: one of the greatest pure fighting matchups in MMA’s brief history. St. Pierre vs. Penn II is truly an epic encounter that will serve as a huge part of the sport’s legacy for years to come. Both fighters are tremendous athletes that are at the top of their game. I don’t see one finishing the other as I believe this fight is destined to go to the judges. Out of hope that we get to see these two fight for a third time, I am giving the nod to Penn via split decision.

Michael Huckaby: While I can see Penn winning this fight I can’t give him too much of a chance.  We’re less than two years removed from their first bout and while Penn has improved since the first outing so has St. Pierre.  St. Pierre will still win the standup battle and if it goes to the ground I expect GSP to control with his wrestling and stay in a dominant position while avoiding submissions.  In fact the only difference from the first fight is that this could go even longer, another reason not to pick B.J. Penn.  I love that Penn wants to fight bigger and better guys in a world where everyone wants to cut 40 pounds and fight the smallest and weakest…. but he’s just not a great matchup for St. Pierre right now.  Winner: Georges St. Pierre, TKO, Rd4.

Nick Travaglini – As with most MMA fans on the planet, I have gone back and forth on this for 5 months. My head says GSP will win this fight with size and superior conditioning, but my gut says BJ Penn brings a better skill set and a determination he has rarely had in his career. I am going to go with my gut here and pick Penn. I even think there is a shot he may stop GSP, so I am picking Penn via TKO knockout in round 3.

Cory Brady: St. Pierre is simply too large, powerful, athletic, and downright beastly for Penn. He proved it the first time the two faced and he will prove it again at UFC 94 en route to a dream match up with Anderson Silva. The longer this fight goes, the more the fight favors St. Pierre. Penn could always catch St. Pierre with a hard shot and pounce on him for a submission win but I don’t see it happening. It’s going to be an amazing fight and I feel it will be much more closely contested than the first but the outcome will be the same. St. Pierre could stop Penn in the late rounds by TKO but I feel it’s a lot more likely that he will grind out the decision in a war. St. Pierre by unanimous decision

Jonathan Snowden: I’ve wavered several times making this pick, unsure of what this fight will be like. Maybe that’s what has fans so excited for this one? Both fighters are in their prime. Their respective skill levels are beyond reproach. I was ready to pick B.J. Penn, impressed as always with his attitude, with that something inside of him that makes him a born fighter. Then a UFC Champion reminded me that GSP will be 190 pounds the night of the fight. B.J. will be 175 at most. And those 15 pounds will be all the advantage Georges needs in this battle of equals. Georges St. Pierre, TKO, Round 4.

Christopher Dolan: This one is really tough to call. Both men are clearly at the top of their game, but I don’t think I can go against GSP. He has been on another planet since his loss to Matt Serra. The one thing I don’t see if GSP stopping Penn, he’s just too talented to fall victim in this fight. GSP by majority decision.

Lee Gerowitz: This is the kind of fight that every wanna-be, MMA analyst dreams of. I’ve read several takes on how this fight will go down and why. Well, there will be no in-depth breakdown or analysis from me here. This is the quintessential toss-up, so I’m going with my rather large gut, which tells me that B.J. Penn is going to come into this superfight as focused as ever and steamroll over St. Pierre. A superfight doesn’t always equate to a super fight. GSP will have no answers; B.J. Penn will not only dominate, but toy with GSP until he puts him away.Penn by TKO, round two

Caleb Newby: B.J. Penn – Sub, Rd2

David Andrest: I believe B.J. Penn to be the best p4p fighter in the world.  Very few guys can give him trouble if he is motivated and in shape.  GSP is one of those guys.  Regardless of the outcome this fight will be a close one decided by mistakes.  I think Penn will make fewer mistakes and win this fight.  Penn TKO Round 2

Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.): Lyoto Machida (13-0) vs. Thiago Silva (13-0):

Sam Caplan: As if Penn vs. St. Pierre II wasn’t enough, we will also be treated to this tremendous matchup of unbeaten Brazilian light heavyweight prospects. I consider both to be top ten light heavyweights and I am anxious to see whether the winner of this fight will be guaranteed a future title shot. As for the matchup itself, Silva is extremely aggressive while Machida is extremely elusive. I believe Machida’s defensive posture and strong counter-strike ability makes him a bad matchup for virtually every fighter he faces. I expect this one to be no exception with Machida earning a unanimous decision victory.

Michael Huckaby: Silva has a great deal of talent but he’s out of his league in this one.  Machida has been much more impressive in his UFC performances against better competition.  He may not be flashy and he may be fighting a powerful striker, but Machida should pick him apart and if he needs to take it down and be methodical.  Thiago Silva is only 26 years old and he’s probably at his ceiling for the next couple of years.  With a loss he will hopefully learn a couple of things and be a beast in the future.  Winner: Lyoto Machida, decision.

Nick Travaglini – This will be an entertaining battle of two undefeated Brazilians. As good as both fighters are, Machida is on another level in skill set and previous competition. Silva will give a good first round but I see Machida running away with this as the fight moves forward. Machida via unanimous decision.

Cory Brady: I am definitely NOT on the Machida bandwagon. I feel and have felt that he is overrated and I can safely say that watching Machida fight gives me the same feeling in my stomach that I get from sitting in backed up rush hour traffic. Extremely frustrating. That’s how the man wins his fights though. He frustrates his opponents and implements his game plan, time and time again. I want to see how he will react to an aggressive striker like Silva. The type of guy that will be in his face at all times. Machida will be forced to really fight and I can’t wait to see how he does. Either Machida finishes Silva or he will be finished. I feel certain about that. I’m going to go against my best judgement in this fight and go with Silva by highlight reel knockout sometime late in the first or early in the second round. Silva by brutal knockout

Christopher Dolan: Sometimes I’m in the minority in this but I really think Machida is one of the top five fighters on the planet.  No one has been able to figure out his unique style, as he often frustrates his opponents.  Silva is a huge talent but I don’t think he has what it takes to stop Machida.  Machida will win this fight via decision.

Lee Gerowitz: Machida is to MMA what Chris Byrd (in his prime) was to boxing: boring and tough as hell to figure out. I expect an aggressive Silva to bring it; and I expect Machida to have answers in the form of a solid, if not brilliant counter attack. This fight will provide fans with a few exciting exchanges, but in the end, Machida will be too much for Silva to handle. Machida by decision

Jonathan Snowden: Make no mistake about it:  Zuffa wants Silva to win. Look to see if Dana cries when Lyoto takes another decision. Lyoto Machida, Decision

Caleb Newby: Lyoto Machida – Decision

David Andrest: Honestly I think Silva smothers Machida with pressure and smashes his face in.  Silva KO Round 1

Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.): Stephan Bonnar (11-4) vs. Jon Jones (6-0):

Sam Caplan: Injuries have sidelined Bonnar for a year and half. Prior to his UFC 73 return, the TUF season one light heavyweight runner-up had been sidelined for nearly a year while he served out a suspension for testing positive for steroids. In the last three and a half years, Bonnar has fought a grand total of twice. Meanwhile, Jones has been very active, fighting seven times since making his pro debut in April of 2008. Many will pick Bonnar but I expect Jones to pull the upset much like he did in his UFC debut this past August against Andre Gusmao. I don’t think people realize how talented Gusmao is and just how big of a win it was for Jones. I expect Jones’ dynamic striking ability to get the crowd going and allow him to walk away the unanimous decision victor.

Michael Huckaby: Perhaps it’s too early and rude to call Bonnar a gatekeeper but this is the type of fight he should win and the type of fight UFC wants him to win to keep him around as a name.  I don’t think they’d throw Bonnar a fight they thought he’d lose with this being a comeback fight.  Bonnar will get picked a bit on the standup but he should close the distance and get this to the ground where he might be able to finish with a choke or armbar.  Winner: Stephan Bonnar, submission, Rd2.

Nick Travaglini – I like this fight much more than most people do. Bonnar is coming back from a devastating knee injury against an up and comer with tremendous upside. Jones should have his way with Bonnar in the takedown department as Bonnar has never shown above average wrestling. Where this fight gets interesting is on the ground, where Bonnar has an excellent submission game. For all of Jones’ hype, he has only been training MMA a little over a year. An extended ground and pound effort may lead to a submission loss. At the end of the day(for all you Dana White fans), I am picking experience over athleticism and taking Bonnar via unanimous decision.

Cory Brady: The American Psycho will utilize his most distinct advantage, experience,  to overwhelm Jones in the octagon. Bonnar’s iron jaw and superior submission game will be too much for the up and coming Jones. The loss will be a positive for Jones, who is poised to make a serious impact in the future of the UFC. Bonnar by submission

Lee Gerowitz: Assuming Bonnar’s reconstructed knee is 100%, Bonnar will win this fight and hand Jones his first defeat. Having said that, it won’t be easy. Jones has a collegiate wrestling background but is also an impressive striker. Regardless of the outcome, I expect fireworks. This fight has Fight of the Night written all over it.Bonnar by TKO, round three

Jonathan Snowden: Remember when Bonnar and Griffin had the fight of the decade, a fight many thought Stephan won? It’s amazing how far Griffin has come, while Bonnar has been content to live off a reputation that is now fading fast. This is a much win fight for Bonnar if he intends to make a run at significance. I think he still has it in him. Bonnar, Decision.

Christopher Dolan: It’s nice to see Bonnar back in the octagon.  Ring rust could play a factor in this fight, but I’m sure Bonnar’s camp has taken care of that.  In the end I like Bonnar to win this fight via TKO in the second round.

Caleb Newby: Stephan Bonnar – Sub, Rd2

David Andrest: I hate this fight. This fight is a trap.  Look at the main card. One of the fights is not like the others.  IT’S THIS ONE!  Why is this on the main card?  Does Bonner have the cache that would motivate Joe Silva to set him up with a showcase fight?   Or do they expect to create a contender with Jones?  Despite my better judgment I’ll pick.  Bonner Decision

Lightweight (155 lbs.): Nate Diaz (10-2) vs. Clay Guida (24-9):

Sam Caplan: I still have questions about Diaz’s all-around ability but in five UFC fights, his striking has yet to be exploited. I hate to pick against Diaz again, but I believe that Guida’s wrestling base will allow him to keep the fight standing. While not the most technical, Guida’s standup is aggressive and non-stop. I expect him to put a lot of pressure on Diaz, allowing him to earn a unanimous decision victory by being the more active of the two.

Michael Huckaby: It what is the most interesting fight outside of the main event, you have a game Clay Guida against a vastly improving Nate Diaz.  Diaz has went from the man getting pummeled by Manny Gamburyan to a guy winning wars against Pellegrino and Neer.  While he has more ways to win this fight, Guida isn’t exactly an easy win.  Mix in the fact Guida will be controlling the ground action and you have the age old battle of submission fighter on his back trying to submit the superior wrestler.  Will Diaz be able to clasp something on or keep it on the feet and hit some shots?  This will not be an easy fight for Diaz but it’s one he should probably win 50% of the time.  Don’t let me down.  Winner: Nathan Diaz, decision.

Nick Travaglini – Another match up with fight of the night potential. This will be two absolute fireplugs going at it for 3 rounds. Guida sets a pace in fights that very few can keep up with, even when he loses. Diaz has the BJJ and the length to make this an interesting fight for Guida on the mat. But I see Guida winning the stand up battle and using takedowns and ground control to win a unanimous decision.

Cory Brady: A win over Guida would convince me that Diaz is the real deal but I’m not convinced that Diaz is ready for that type of challenge. Guida is a beast at 155 and nobody can tell me otherwise. There are only about six or seven guys in the world that I can see beating Guida and Diaz isn’t one of them. Guida by Decision

Lee Gerowitz: Clay Guida has exciting hair, which, along with his exciting, aggressive style of fighting, makes him a pleasure to watch. Guida will come out firing like a furious Fabio, but it will only be a matter of time before Diaz takes care of business. I see Guida giving Diaz a fit or two in the first round, but that’s about it. Diaz will figure out the wild man in the next round and take advantage of his poor submission defense skills.Diaz by submission, round two

Jonathan Snowden: Clay Guida is a machine, a non-stop whirling dervish who keeps coming forward. Diaz is just a winning machine. He’s ready to step out of his brother’s rather large shadow and establish himself as the fighting Diaz brother. Guida is just another stepping stone. Diaz, Submission, Round 3.
Christopher Dolan: I know this is a huge card but I’m really excited for this fight.  Diaz has been on a role and I think he’ll continue that roll vs. Guida.  In the past Guida has fallen pray to submissions and I think that will happen again.  Look for Diaz to win this fight via submission in the second round.

Caleb Newby: Nate Diaz – Decision

David Andrest: This is a great fight for fans, finally we will know if Diaz is the goods.  Guida will bring it to you every second of every round.  While I think Diaz will eventually have more success than Guida , I don’t think it will happen this time. Guida via Decision.

Welterweight (170 lbs.): Karo Parisyan (18-5) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (11-0-1):

Sam Caplan: The last time we saw Parisyan was in April, when he got demolished by Thiago Alves at UFN 13. Since that time, Parisyan had been scheduled to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida but was pulled a day prior to the bout because he was in no condition to fight. Parisyan himself has revealed his battles with panic attacks and acknowledged his poor conditioning habits. I’ve got to ask whether we have any reason to believe Parisyan is ready to fight? Kim is an extremely tough opponent and while I think he’s overrated to some degree, he’s going to make Parisyan look bad if Karo is not 100 percent ready for this fight. The pick for me is Kim via first round TKO.

Michael Huckaby: This matchmaking doesn’t make much sense to me.  Wait…. Parisyan beats an overmatched Chonan, faces Kim here and was originally scheduled to face Yoshida but had to pull out.  Karo Parisyan hates Asian people!  Wait, they throw Gono to Fitch and Nakamura to the wolves immediately.  This is just mean.  Is this Kim’s punishment for beating Matt Brown?  You go from a close squeaker against Matt Brown to getting dominated physically by Parisyan?  This is rubbing me the wrong way.  Winner: Karo Parisyan, decision.

Nick Travaglini – The big question in this fight is what Karo is going to show up. If the Parisyan of a few years ago shows up, this will be an exciting fight with it ending badly for Kim. If the more recent Parisyan with the panic attacks shows up, this will be a quick TKO for Kim. I am a firm believer you have to pick fighters on what you know about them and not what you think they can do. So I am picking Parisyan to win via unanimous decision over Kim, as I can see him winning round one and two and gassing out in round three. This fight has potential to steal fight of the night honors for the whole show.

Cory Brady: Parisyan hasn’t looked good in a while. Kim on the other hand, is a real rising star at 170 pounds. Kim has dynamite in his fists, very clean boxing. He has very good wrestling and his ground and pound can be downright horrifying at times. In a good way. Kim by horrifying ground and pound TKO. If Parisyan trades with Kim he will get caught, either way: Kim by TKO

Lee Gerowitz: Dong Hyun Kim’s nickname is “The Stun Gun.” Phenomenal. One major question needs to be answered here: Is Karo Parisyan 100% healthy? Another key – both fighters have strong judo backgrounds, but Kim has the edge in that department due to his fourth-degree black belt. Something just doesn’t seem right here with Parisyan, who is coming off of a TKO loss to Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 13. Kim may have been given a gift with his split-decision victory over Matt Brown at UFC 88, but I think he earns a clear win this time.“The Stun Gun” by TKO, round one

Jonathan Snowden: My friend Kendall Shields is all about Judo. It’s his whole life and watching the UFC with him is an infuriating cacophony of Japanese move names and cries of JUDO! What will young Kendall Shields do now, as Judo faces Judo in the Octagon? I guess he’s a winner either way. Parisyan, Decision.

Christopher Dolan: It’s not often that I change my mind on a fight last minute but that’s what I’m doing with this fight.  Originally I like Parisyan in this fight but I can’t go against Kim.  Parisyan has a long history of going to the judges score cards and I don’t see that happening in this fight.  I like Kim to win this fight with a third round TKO.

Caleb Newby: Karo Parisyan – Decision

David Andrest: Karo Parisyan is not going to win this fight.   KIM via TKO

Non-televised Preliminary Card –

Welterweight (170 lbs.): Jon Fitch (17-3) vs. Akihiro Gono (29-13-7):

Sam Caplan: It’s a shame that this fight has been relegated to the undercard because I believe it could be one of the best fights of the night. Gono hasn’t been all that impressive since coming to the UFC but he’s an experienced veteran who has not been fighting up to his potential. On the other hand, Fitch is one of the most technical and toughest fighters in all of MMA. I expect Fitch to win this one via unanimous decision.

Michael Huckaby: Gono is going to put up a fight as he always does but Fitch will use his superior striking to get close and take this to the ground where he’ll wear Gono out with ground-and-pound for fifteen minutes.  DJ Gozma only fights once per year in the UFC so enjoy his January performance.  Winner: Jon Fitch, decision.

Nick Travaglini – Fitch is coming off a devastating beating from GSP at UFC 87. Gono will be a tougher opponent for Fitch than most people think. Gono is a very slick veteran who will have a counter for everything Fitch throws at him. Where Fitch separates himself from Gono is in strength and conditioning. I think Fitch will start slow but win rounds two and three and pull off the decision win.

Cory Brady: Easiest fight on the card for me to pick, hands down. Fitch by however he wants, whenever he wants. Hopefully it’s quick so we get to see it on the live broadcast. I have a feeling it will be. Fitch by submission

Lee Gerowitz: Wow. Talk about being smacked upside the head with a dose of reality. In his last fight, Fitch was fighting for GSP’s welterweight title. Now, he’s slotted on the non-televised portion of the card. Gono is custom-made for Fitch, whose wrestling skills will enable him to take Gono down with ease. This has Mike Goldberg screaming, “Jon Fitch is back!” written all over it. On a sidenote, I was going to insert a joke about Fitch getting Gono-rhea, but it didn’t make the cut.Fitch by TKO, round one

Jonathan Snowden: Gono is one of the sport’s most colorful warriors and a veteran of almost every major promotion in the world. His resume includes SHOOTO, DEEP, ZST, Pancrase, Pride, Super Brawl, and the UFC. He has almost 60 career fights and is as comfortable on his feet as he is on the ground. None of that will help him when Jon Fitch takes him down and smashes his face. Fitch, TKO, Round 2.

Christopher Dolan: It’s amazing that Fitch is on the undercard but I can understand why he is there at the same time.  Gono is a talented fighter but he’s not in Fitch’s class.  I like Fitch to win this fight via third round TKO.

Caleb Newby: Jon Fitch – Decision

David Andrest: Guess you’ll sign on the dotted line next time. Fitch via whatever he feels like.

Lightweight (155 lbs.): Manny Gamburyan (8-3) vs. Thiago Tavares (13-3):

Sam Caplan: Tavares was once one of the brightest lightweight prospects in MMA before dropping three out of his last four bouts. A jiu-jitsu black belt, he presents a big matchup problem for Gamburyan. Gamburyan, the TUF 5 lightweight runner-up, loves to crowd his opponents and wrap them with bodylocks and ground them. However, Tavares is very slick on his back and is a threat to submit Gamburyan from the bottom. If Gamburyan is forced to stand, he could find himself in trouble because Tavares’ hands are good enough to exploit Gamburyan’s reach disadvantage. I am picking Tavares to get back on the winning track with a second round submission.

Michael Huckaby: Loss to Rob Emerson or not, Gamburyan always impresses with his tenacity.  Tavares has been nothing short of disappointing and while I considered picking him here I just picture Gamburyan being a pitbull and getting the best of it on the ground while avoiding subs.  Winner: Manny Gamburyan, decision.

Nick Travaglini – Talk about two pit bulls going at it. This will be a whirlwind fight. I think Tavares is the more well rounded than Gamburyan in every aspect of MMA. Tavares also has the length advantage in the stand up. I think Tavares rights the ship against Gamburyan and wins a third round TKO victory.

Cory Brady: Interesting fight. I just don’t feel that Gamburyan has what it takes on the feet to hang with a lot of the top guys in the UFC’s lightweight division. Tavares is not a top guy at 155 but he is more well rounded than Gamburyan and the stand up will be the difference. Tavares by knockout

Lee Gerowitz: Gamburyan was knocked out in 12 seconds by Rob Emerson at UFC 87. I don’t care how many times he says he’s gotten over that devastating loss; it has to be on his mind still. On the other hand, Tavares also has a lot to prove since he is coming off of two consecutive losses. Tavares should have an advantage in the stand up department, which is the reason why I believe that Manny comes up a bit short…as usual. Pun completely intended. Tavares by KO, round two

Jonathan Snowden: Manny is a better fighter than he showed the world in his first round knockout loss to the average Robert Emerson. He’ll show it here. Gamburyan, Decision.

Christopher Dolan: Tavares needs to win this fight to avoid his third straight loss and I think he will.  Gamburyan has a history of short fights no matter if he wins or losses and I think this fight will be quick.  I like Tavares via first round submission.

Caleb Newby: Manny Gamburyan – Decision

David Andrest: It’ll be interesting to see a touch of gloves here.  I like both guys in the cage, but Tavares is too well rounded. Tavares via Sub

Welterweight (170 lbs.): Chris Wilson (14-4) vs. John Howard (10-4):

Sam Caplan: Howard is a strong prospect from the East Coast but I am not sure if he’s ready just yet for the upper-echelon of the UFC’s welterweight division. Wilson might not be a household name in the UFC, but he’s already one of the promotion’s best strikers at 170. I see Howard coming into this fight a little overmatched and losing the fight via second round TKO.

Michael Huckaby: So Wilson gets this guy after Steve Bruno while poor Kim has to fight Parisyan?  Mean.  As far as I know, Wilson is better at every aspect and if I have to pick I say he dominates Howard early until the ref pulls him off.  Winner: Chris Wilson, TKO, Rd2.

Nick Travaglini – Chris Wilson is a hugely underrated fighter at 170lbs. I think Wilson is good enough to hang in with the best in the division. Short of Wilson looking past Howard, I think he tattoos Howard with a TKO win in the first round.

Cory Brady: Another fairly easy fight to pick. Howard is solid but Wilson is on another level. I want to say that Wilson is going to win a decisive decision but I’d love to see him finish it. He just may. Wilson by submission

Lee Gerowitz: From a physical perspective, this is an incredibly intriguing fight. Wilson is 6-foot-1, while Howard, making his UFC debut, stands at just 5-7. Despite the height (and reach) disadvantage, Howard can throw bombs, which means he has a puncher’s chance. The question is, can his maneuver his way inside and land on Wilson? I’m going with the upset here and also predicting Howard to win KO of the Night honors. Howard by KO, round one

Jonathan Snowden: The similar records are deceiving. Wilson is Team Quest’s top young fighter, with wins over top guys like Jay Hieron. Howard is also a young fighter, but one taking a huge step forward with this fight. Wilson, Submission, Round 2.

Christopher Dolan: In what should be a good fight I like Wilson to defeat Howard via a second round TKO.

Caleb Newby: Chris Wilson – TKO, Rd1

David Andrest: Chris Wilson is the best 170 that many have never heard of or seen.  He will dispose of Howard with relative ease.   Wilson TKO Round 1

Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.): Jake O’Brien (10-2) vs. Christian Wellisch (8-4):

Sam Caplan: O’Brien is coming off back-to-back losses and desperately needs a win here. Wellisch is the better striker of the two but O’Brien’s hands have improved a little in the last year. I see O’Brien using his boxing to set up the takedown and en route to grinding out a unanimous decision victory.

Michael Huckaby: This is one of those fights on WMMA or when making your own cards that you throw on there at the end because both need a fight and you might as well get them both out of the way at the same time.  This will be in no way pretty or entertaining and I’ll pick O’Brien by grounding and napping for longer than Wellisch can.  Winner: Jake O’Brien, decision.

Nick Travaglini – This is the only poor fight on the card in my opinion. Both men are fighting for a roster spot while the loser will most likely be shown the door. I think O’Brien has more upside so I am rooting for him to take this fight. I think his superior wrestling will enable him to win a controlling and boring decision.

Cory Brady: This is a gimme fight for O’Brien. Not that Wellisch is a push over but O’Brien’s wrestling ability should be enough to take Wellisch to the mat quckly on his way to a easy ground and pound victory. O’Brien by TKO

Lee Gerowitz: If O’Brien is smart, he’ll keep this fight standing in order to avoid any sort of submission attempts from Wellisch. O’Brien is also coming off of two straight TKO losses, while Wellisch is coming off of a first-round KO loss. Both fighters are also cutting down to 205 pounds for the first time in their careers. Something tells me O’Brien will let this fight go to the ground and Wellisch will take advantage of that. Wellisch by submission, round three

Jonathan Snowden: O’Brien was considered a top UFC prospect a few years ago, before a serious neck injury threatened to end his UFC career. Like Darth Vader, he’s more machine than man, complete with a titanium rod in his neck. How can Christian Wellisch compete with that? O’Brien, TKO, Round 2.

Christopher Dolan: Despite coming off back to back losses I think O’Brien should be able to bounce back in this fight.  I like for O’Brien to defeat Wellisch via a third round TKO.

Caleb Newby: Jake O’Brien – Decision

David Andrest: A classic loser leaves town fight.  O’Brien should have no trouble taking Wellish to the floor and laying on him for 15 minutes, giving  Caplan and Newby  time to find the hot dog stand.  O’Brien via Decision

Welterweight (170 lbs.): Matt Arroyo (3-2) vs. Daniel Cramer (0-0):

Sam Caplan: Arroyo was beating Matt Brown this past June during the TUF 7 finale until he was injured. A tremendous grappler, Arroyo’s Muay Thai has made major strides. He’s clearly the better fighter than Cramer but I am curious to know just how bad does he want this win? How important is being a pro fighter to Matt Arroyo? If Arroyo doesn’t bring his A-game, he will lose this fight. However, I expect him to step up and submit Cramer in the second round.

Michael Huckaby: Really, a PPV card?  You can certainly see why the UFC lets go of disappointing top 20 fighters that make mediocre money when they can throw guys like this on a PPV with a straight face.  I wonder if they can sign me and Caleb Newby and let us go on a PPV for cheap.  I’ll just pick Arroyo until I can really see Cramer.  Winner: Matt Arroyo, submission, Rd2.

Nick Travaglini – This will be a fun fight, both of the guys have a motor. Arroyo is a pretty accomplished BJJ grappler while Cramer basically showed a sprawl and brawl style on the show. I will take Arroyo to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Matt Brown and submit Cramer in round two.

Cory Brady: Is this fight seriously happening in the UFC? Do I really have to pick a winner in this fight? Matt Arroyo wins by something

Lee Gerowitz: Daniel Cramer is one of the prettiest men to ever enter the octagon. I would love for him to be my wing man every Friday and Saturday night here in New York City. There’s no doubt in my mind that he could pull in significant “talent” wherever we go. He’d even be a good choice to back to me up in a bar fight. The bottom line is, I’m jealous of Daniel Cramer’s Abercrombie and Fitch-like looks. But this isn’t about me. This is about a guy who will enter the octagon making his first and final appearance in the UFC. The bottom line is, had Cramer not been on The Ultimate Fighter 7, he’d never see the light of day in the UFC at this point in his career. Daniel Cramer…enjoy it while it lasts…at least you’ll look gorgeous losing.Arroyo by submission, round two.

Jonathan Snowden: TUF veteran Cramer makes his UFC debut. A fighter with no professional record doesn’t belong in the “Super Bowl of MMA.” This is unacceptable. I hope Arroyo makes him pay. Arroyo, Submission, Round 1.

Christopher Dolan: I think Arroyo will keep his career trend going winning a quick fight.  Look for a first round submission victory over Cramer.

Caleb Newby: Matt Arroyo – Sub, Rd2

David Andrest: Barring any freak injuries, Arroyo will dominate this fight from the bell until he decides what submission he choses to use to pick up his submission of the night bonus.  Arroyo  via Sub

—————–YTD PAIN POLL TOTALS———————–

David Andrest– 17/20 (.850)

Caleb Newby– 17/20 (.850)

Cory Brady– 16/20 (.800)

Lee Gerowitz– 16/20 (.800)

Chris Dolan– 15/20 (.750)

Jonathan Snowden– 15/20 (.750)

Brendhan Conlan– 14/20 (.700)

Huckaby– 13/20 (.650)

Nick Travalini– 13/20 (.650)

  • john says:

    Man you guys are basically split on the GSP Penn fight, I cant wait. I am honestly a hundred times more excited about saturday night then I am for Sunday and I am a huge football fan. I am not a huge fan of Machida, but I am really looking forward to the fight to see if Silva can bring it to him, win, lose or draw I am just excited to see what Machida is going to do getting pressured constantly. Then there is the Diaz and Guida fight. I absolutely love Diaz and Hate Guida, but this is the test Nate needs at this point in his career.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    I just watched the prior Penn/GSP fight. GSP’s wrestling made the difference in that fight, and it’s improved since then, imo. BJ relied on his striking, and hasn’t done much of anything else since moving down to 155. I don’t think he’ll outstrike GSP,;he will be taken down\; and his best chance to win is by submission. He didn’t try too many submissions the first time, and hasn’t used any Jits since fighting lightweight, and I can’t understand why. Supposedly that’s one of his strengths.

    Also, wasn’t Fitch in GSP’s training camp? I watched a recent Prime Time episode and could have sworn that they showed his face. Whoever it was didn’t get interviewed or even identified by name like Cerrone, Jardine, etc. I’d sure like to see his fight, especially if Karo pulls out.

  • Dylan says:

    huckaby the first fight was march of 06 thats way more than two years.

  • BigDave says:

    Ill just give my predictions on the main card cause the undercard isnt worth my time.

    St. Pierre wins by RNC in the first 30 seconds of rd 1

    Machida wins by UD AGAIN!!!!

    Bonner wins by Submission rd 2

    Guida wins by Split Decision

    Kim wins by TKO due to strikes rd 2

    Just to set my opinion on BJ Penn for the record, I hate his guts. He talks like a moron street thug with his “i’m gonna kill him” and all the rest of that. He is a disgrace to the real atheletes of the sport who train hard all the time. And after he loses tomorrow night he will go on to getting destroyed at 155 lbs by Kenny Florian and lose his 155lb title. Then people can stop talking about him even being anywhere near the best p4p.

  • Dylan says:

    BigDave no one cares what you think do us all a favor and never post on here again if you knew anything you would know that BJ has never been submitted in mma so the odds of him getting choked out in less time than tim sylvia are about the same as you ever touching a woman…. NONE WHATSOEVER……

  • Dylan says:

    p.s. In all seriousness though your embarassing yourself just stop

  • Josh says:

    I cannot believe 2 of you picked Diaz by Decision??? If it goes to a decision it would have to be Clay because he is so aggressive. If Diaz fails to submit, we know how judges look at it when one fighter is on their back a large part of the time. Diaz by stoppage or Guida by decision!

  • Rich S. says:

    Penn/GSP will be tough [well, it should be, i hope it does’t end up like brock/randy or something where it’s WAYYYYYY less of a struggle than people thought it would be]
    I just think GSP has come wayyyyy too far in his game to let BJ repeat the standup.. and since he was submitted by Matt Hughes he has improved his sub defense tremendously. I’m not sure how he’s going to win, but i know he will.. I’ve never really liked BJ at WW, he’ll probably gas near the 3rd and then it will be all downhill..

    And i think Machida will win AGAIN.. Thiago’s good, and he definitely know how to push the pace, but i can see it now.. he gets a little careless and takes a headkick that downs him and then Machida finishes him off..

    As for Bonnar/Jones.. that one’s actually a little tough for me too.. I mean, any time Stephen’s fighting, i pick him to win.. but this Jon Jones dude is a freaking BEAST.. either way i gotta pick Stephen in this one.. he’s a little better in both the standup and ground game..

    Diaz/Guida is really tough to pick too..
    I mean, i had Neer to beat Diaz last time around,
    and i though Danzig was gonna beat Guida [although i had him picked], and they BOTH proved me wrong..
    They both looked GREAT in their last bouts..
    I think Guida’s really entered the next chapter in his career and he seems to be way smarter and more aware.. Diaz has yet to lose in the UFC and i just can’t figure out who’s going to be the one to beat him..
    gahhhhh this one’s hard but i’m goin’ Diaz

  • john says:

    “Supposedly that’s one of his strengths” (about BJ’s JJ)

    Well, in 2000 he became the first non-Brazilian to win the black belt division of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Rio so I’d say he’s pretty damn good.

    “Just to set my opinion on BJ Penn for the record, I hate his guts. He talks like a moron street thug with his “i’m gonna kill him” and all the rest of that. He is a disgrace to the real atheletes of the sport who train hard all the time. And after he loses tomorrow night he will go on to getting destroyed at 155 lbs by Kenny Florian and lose his 155lb title. Then people can stop talking about him even being anywhere near the best p4p.”

    Are you serious? Have you ever watched BJ fight before? I suggest you do before you put your “opinion the record.” You act like he is some pretty boy whose new the sport or something. Regardless of this fight BJ Penn is a legend. Also I love K Flo but Sherk handily beat him with one arm, and BJ Penn absolutely destroyed Sherk who was afraid to even wrestle with BJ for gosh sakes. Florian has no chance against Penn, nor does anyone in his weight class.

  • Rich S. says:

    BJ’s a beast in the cage, there’s no doubt.. but he REALLY annoys me with all his prefight antics..

    He always tries to make it personal.

  • john says:

    I can see how BJ could annoy people (i think he’s hilarious) so I understand what you are saying Rich, I just get pissed when people don’t give BJ enough credit, the guy is a freaking legend. Its hard for me to pick this fight because I like both the guys alot, and there is something wrong with you if you don’t like Georges.However, while I think GSP is a great athlete and fighter, BJ is a straight up warrior.

  • john says:

    I also find it a bit funny that BJ as tiny as he is fought Lyoto to a decision in 05 at that K1 show.

  • Grappo says:

    Wow, I thought the vast majority of people were picking GSP.

    Huckaby wrote – “…St. Pierre will still win the standup battle…”

    Still? He didn’t win the standup battle in the first fight. Look at his face at the end of the second round. It looked like Leatherface had cut off GSP’s face and was wearing it like a mask. He controlled the fight by continually getting takedowns, but he didn’t win the standup war.

  • darkmetal says:

    Yeah, BJ tends to really amp up the rhetoric whenever he fights, while GSP is always the “gentleman fighter” who says he fights with his fists rather than his mouth. But you have to admit, BJ does do a great job making everyone think it will be an “all-out war”; Obviously, this sells seats and PPV’s.

    I think that GSP will win this one. I am amazed that at his level, he seems to be constantly making an effort to “level up”. And it can be said that if you don’t improve, you get left behind–just ask Ken Shamrock.

    I think Lyoto Machida will continue to win, and beat Thiago. His gameplan is exactly what Andrei Arlovski should have stuck with in his match with Fedor. He takes Bruce Lee’s “hit but don’t be hit” philosophy to a new era. Of course, when he wins, we will hear all the hard-cores whine about him not charging in for a slugging match, but this is not a youtube brawl, it is MMA. If you don’t like elusiveness, then blindfold the fighters and let them go. Machida is not Kimbo Slice, for Pete’s sake.

    Guida will be very hard for Diaz to submit. His gas tank seems almost unlmiited for 3 rounds, and he will not stay in a static position long enough to be positioned.
    I don’t see Guida KO’ing him, but he will grind him throughout…obviously.

  • mike wolfe says:

    BJ’s tough talk is his way of pumping himself up, imo. He’d talk like that to himself in the mirror when he had no audience and there were no cameras. And yeah, he does have a warrior spirit in the octagon. The question is whether he has the warrior spirit when it’s necessary to push himself to the limit in training. GSP does, and his conditioning is always amazing. That was one of the reasons he beat BJ in their first encounter. He had the strength and endurance to take BJ down repeatedly even after taking damage in the stand up war in the first round.

    And for the record, I know about BJ’s success in JJ competitions. My point is that he shouldn’t overlook that advantage in a MMA fight with GSP. If BJ tries to fight GSP the way he fought Sherk, for example, he’s playing to GSP’s strength as a fighter, and he won’t have the height, weight, and reach advantages that he usually has when fighting at 155. BJ’s JJ could be an equalizer and an advantage for him, but my hunch is that he’ll only use it defensively off his back. In a five round stand up war, GSP is too big and has way too much gas in his tank and will prevail.