Sunday, December 6, 2009

On the road again: Las Vegas, day 3 - Kyle won the picks war again

We both did another lousy job of picking yesterday's UFC fights. Our only excuse is that many of the fights took surprising turns. In the end, Kyle emerged victorious. Here's the run-down, again going from the bottom of the card to the top.

Mark Bocek vs. Joe Brammer

We both called Bocek by submission, and he indeed won with a rear naked choke in the first round.

Dennis Hallman vs. John Howard

This fight was actually two battles in one. For the first two rounds and about 4:30 of the second, Hallman was in control, dominating on the ground and though not doing much damage, still clearly winning. With about 30 seconds to go, though, and Hallman on top on the ground but accomplishing nothing, the ref stood them up. Howard rushed in, Hallman forgot he was there to wrestle and avoid striking, and Howard knocked out Hallman with five seconds to go. Amazing.

We both picked Howard, and we were wrong almost the entire fight, but when it counted, Howard came through, and we both notched another correct pick.

Brian Stann vs. Rodney Wallace

We both chose Wallace to finish this one, so we were both shocked and concerned that we might have blown this one when Greg Jackson and some of his coaches walked out with Brian Stann. We were right to be worried, because Stann fought intelligently, dealt well with Wallace's take-downs, and pulled off the unanimous decision victory. Stann gave us our first wrong pick of the night--but not, alas, our last.

Justin Wren vs. Jon Madsen

We both chose Wren, and when the fight ended, we were both confident we had made the right choice. Unfortunately, the judges disagreed with us in what I believe was a terrible decision, and Madsen won. I had said there was always a chance that these two wrestlers would decide to box all night, and they did. Bad choice, Wren--and now we have two wrong selections.

James McSweeney vs. Darrill Schoonover

Kyle went for McSweeney, and I opted for Schoonover. I was wrong: McSweeney won by TKO in the third.

I now have three wrong; Kyle holds strong at two.

Marcus Jones vs. Matt Mitrione

In the post-fight interview, Matt Mitrione said he had "retard strength," and he showed his power tonight by knocking out Jones in the second. I'm not at all a fan of Mitrione, but he is a big, strong man who earned this victory.

Kyle is now down three, and I'm down four.

Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Veach

Edgar looked like he belonged in a lower weight class than Veach, and Veach clearly won the first round, but none of that mattered in the end as Edgar took over in the second ultimately submitted Veach. Only Gray Maynard should be ahead of Edgar in the line for a chance at the winner of next week's Penn vs. Sanchez lightweight title bout.

Oh, yeah: We called this one.

Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander

We were both wrong about this fight in two significant ways: We expected Alexander to win, and we expected a slugfest. Instead, Kimbo won by decision in easily one of the worst fights I've seen in a while. Alexander ran from Kimbo most of the night, punishing his legs with kicks and staying safe. Both men gassed, and the referees gave the decision to Kimbo.

I'm now down five; Kyle, four.

Jon Jones vs. Matt Hamill

We both chose Jones, and he was indeed winning, dominating Hamill--until he hits Hamill with an illegal downward elbow strike and loses by disqualification. Somewhere along the way, Hamill appeared to have dislocated his shoulder, so we never saw the fight we'd hoped to see. Expect a rematch.

Meanwhile, though, I've now gotten a full six wrong, and Kyle has five incorrect.

Roy Nelson vs. Brendan Schaub

Nelson let us both finish on a high note as he beat Schaub. To our surprise, he knocked out Schaub in the first. I don't expect Nelson to be able to hang with the serious UFC heavyweights, but he's now under UFC contract.

Final tally: Kyle, 5-5; Mark, 4-6.

As always, the most important lesson of our picks is that you should never make bets based on them.


Michael said...

I haven't been a fan of Nelson the entire running of this season, and still wasn't going into the finale. He never did anything to impress me other than use his weight to his advantage, which in my opinion does not make you a great fighter. In this finale he finally found a challange in Brandon. Brandon was able to get avoid the crucifiction and even power out and get back to his feet. At that point I thought Nelson might be done. I was shocked when he knocked Bradon out.

I give him credit, and respect him as an experienced fighter. However, as you said, I'm not sure how he can hold up against an experienced fighter with some serious striking ability. Roy is not a striker, he got Brandon with a well placed shot, but he's not likely to get that chance against a guy like Lenser, should he ever get a chance to fight him. I don't know that Roy has the striking ability to go into a stand-up fight with any of the major heavyweights in the UFC, which could be a huge disadvantage, but time will tell. I've been wrong before.

Mark said...

Kyle and I were discussing this very topic after the fights. We'd like to see Dana pit Nelson against a serious heavyweight, say Gonzaga, and find out just how good Nelson really is.


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