Sunday, November 17, 2013

UFC 167: How we fared

There's no nice way to put this, so with great reluctance I will get right to the point:  I kicked Kyle's butt in the prediction contest last night.  With me correctly picking the winner in four of our five disagreements, I had what may be my biggest victory ever. 

I wish I could claim skill made the difference, but our track record proves that's not the case.  I just got lucky.  Still, I'll take it. 

Let's run down the results, starting with the Facebook prelims.

Cody Donovan vs. Gian Villante

At the end of the first round, which Donovan won easily, I was despairing that Kyle would start off the night with a victory.  In the second, as both fighters began to gas, Villante clocked Donovan with a right, followed him to the ground, and punished him until the ref stopped it.  Villante's victory put me up 1-0.

Sergio Pettis vs. Will Campuzano

Boner-powered Will Campuzano looked a bit over-matched for most of the first two rounds, as Sergio Pettis was enough better to clearly win those rounds.  In the third, Campuzano made a push, and one judge even gave him the round, but Pettis was clearly the winner.  My choice of Anthony's little brother put me up 2-0.

Jason High vs. Anthony Lapsley

In one of the night's many grinders, High and Lapsley went back and forth in every area, though much of the fight was on the ground.  High took the first and third rounds and so won the fight. 

I finished the Facebook fights with a perfect 3-0 record, while Kyle started the televised bouts only 1-2. 

Erik Perez vs. Edwin Figueroa

We both chose Perez, and we were both right.  Figuerora was never in this one, as Perez did exactly what I'd predicted and ground out a victory. 

Brian Ebersole vs. Rick Story

Ebersole is a tough, tough man who ate a ton of shots for 15 minutes and kept coming forward.  Rick Story, though, dominated him the entire time.  The end was never in doubt. 

We'd both picked him, so I moved to a still-perfect 5-0, and Kyle improved to 3-2.

Ed Herman vs. Thales Leites

I began my prediction with "Poor Ed Herman," and I was right to feel sorry for the ginger.  Leites dominated him for all three rounds, though to Herman's credit Leites was never even close to finishing him.  We both said it would go for Leites, so neither of us gained any ground on this.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Evan Dunham

By this point we were desperate for a finish.  We got one.  I wrote yesterday that I wanted Cerrone to win, even though I chose Dunham, and I got my wish as Cerrone dominated Dunham in the first and submitted him in the second. 

Cerrone's win ruined my perfect record, but Kyle had also picked Dunham, so he didn't gain on me.

Going into the pay-per-view, I was 6-1, while Kyle 5-2. 

Tim Elliott vs. Ali Bagautinov

Elliott was very aggressive and drove the pace of the fight for most of the three rounds, but Bagautinov landed more strikes and carried the day.  His victory gave me another win over Kyle, as I improved to 7-1 and Kyle dropped to 5-3.

Josh Koscheck vs. Tyron Woodley

Josh Koscheck was in this fight right up to the moment the referee told them to fight.  From then on, Tyron Woodley was everything Kyle said he statistically should be:  more powerful, more accurate, and possessing stronger take-downs and better take-down defense.  With less than half a minute to go in the first round, Woodley knocked Koscheck down and nearly out, then hit him again and put him completely out.

Woodley's dominant victory dropped me to 7-2 and improved Kyle to 6-3.

Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler

If anyone had asked about Rory MacDonald in the post-fight presser, I'm pretty sure Dana would indeed have blasted him as I predicted.  I was also correct to note that MacDonald would turn in a safe, boring fight.  Heck, at times it looked as if his goal was to avoid touching Lawler.  What I got wrong--and what Kyle also called wrong--is the outcome:  Lawler clearly (to me; one judge saw the fight for him) won two rounds and so earned the (split-)decision victory. 

With the co-main event ahead, I dropped to 7-3 and Kyle 6-4.

Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen

If Chael Sonnen's testosterone usage was helping him, you couldn't tell it past the first minute of tonight's fight.  Evans dominated after an initial take-down attempt, and, to my surprise, Evans finished Sonnen in the first round. 

This was the last fight on which we disagreed, so with a record of 7-4 (to Kyle's 6-5), I won our competition going away. 

Georges St. Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks

If you look only at the list of winners and losers, Kyle and I both appear to have correctly called this fight for GSP, because the judges awarded him a split-decision victory.  Though the stats were close, the result didn't appear to be:  Hendricks looked like no one had touched him, while GSP required stitches and was a bruised and bloodied mess.  Fans will be dissecting this controversial ending for a long time. 

I ended the night a very respectable 8-4, Kyle stayed over .500 at 7-5, and we had a generally good time watching the fights. 

As always, don't rely on us for betting advice!

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