Saturday, July 29, 2017

How I fared with my UFC 214 predictions

Despite the timestamp on this post, I'm publishing it after the fights completed.  In yesterday's entry, I picked the winners of all three title fights on the UFC 214 pay-per-view card that aired earlier tonight.

Let's see how I did.

Daniel Cormier (champion) vs. Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship

I picked Jones, and I was right:  he won.  I expected, though, five grueling rounds.  The first two rounds were indeed rough, with a newly confident Cormier bringing the fight to Jones and, though Jones out-struck him, being the aggressor.

In the third round, Jone caught Cormier with a head kick and followed up with brutal kicks and punches and elbows that ultimately knocked out Cormier.

In his speech after his victory, Jone was gracious and mature.  I will hope that lasts.  Regardless of his personality, though, Jones is inarguably the best light heavyweight mixed martial artist in the world.

Tyron Woodley (champion) vs. Demian Maia for the UFC Welterweight Championship

In one of the least interesting fights of the evening, Maia tried 23 times to take down Woodley--and never succeeded.  Woodley tagged Maia from time to time, but he spent most of the fight evading take-downs and striking rarely.  In fact, the fight set a record low for strikes.

Woodley won a unanimous decision that had the crowd booing both fighters.  I picked Woodley, so I was right again.

Cris Cyborg (real name: Cristiane Justino Venâncio) vs. Tonya Evinger for the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship

I expected Cyborg to beat the heck out of and ultimately KO Evinger, and indeed Cyborg did.  What I didn't expect was Evinger to hang in the fight until the third round.  I have to give Evinger credit for lasting as long as she did, but in the end Cyborg overpowered her.

So, I went a perfect three for three.  Not bad, but not impressive, either, because these were easy fights to call.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Calling the title fights in UFC 214

Saturday night's UFC 214 pay-per-view card is a doozy that features three title fights.  As I've done a few times recently, I'm going to put myself to the test by picking here the winners of those fights.

Daniel Cormier (champion) vs. Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship

This bout, the main event of the evening, pits two incredibly talented athletes in a rematch that has attracted a ton of attention.  These two hate each other, and they take every opportunity to mess with each other, so the energy should be amazing.

Daniel Cormier is an Olympic wrestler who has beaten every MMA fighter he's faced in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight classes--except one, Jon Jones.

Jon Jones was the youngest UFC fighter to hold a championship and has lost only once--and that loss was a bullshit referee call.  I saw that fight live, and I believe Jones was robbed.  Jones is also one of the biggest screw-ups in the UFC, a man who is his own worst enemy.

As good as Cormier is, he's giving up size, age, and an enormous amount of reach to Jones.  I'd love to see Cormier win this fight, because he seems to be a better person, but his only paths to victory are to knock out Jones--not Cormier's typical way to win--or hold Jones tightly against the fence and grind out a decision.  Neither is at all likely.

So, I have to go against my heart and pick Jones to win, most likely by a decision after five grueling rounds.

Tyron Woodley (champion) vs. Demian Maia for the UFC Welterweight Championship

Woodley is a decorated wrestler with serious power in his hands.  Maia is the scariest BJJ fighter in this weight class and is on a strong winning streak.  Either could conceivably win, but I have to give the nod to Woodley.  Maia will have trouble taking him down, and if Maia can't do that, then he'll have to deal with Woodley's striking, which is simply better.

This one is also likely to go the distance, but when the fight is over, expect the ref to raise Woodley's hand in victory.

Cris Cyborg (real name: Cristiane Justino Venâncio) vs. Tonya Evinger for the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship

Cyborg is an unstoppable force who has to cut a lot of weight to make 145 and who has lost only once, back in 2005 in her debut pro fight.

Evinger is an Invicta champion--but at 135 pounds--who has lost five times.  She's going up in weight and taking this fight on short notice.  She is also the biggest odds underdog I've seen in the UFC.

Evinger has only three ways she might win:  by tagging Cyborg with the luckiest punch in MMA history, by smuggling a baseball bat into the octagon and beating Cyborg with it in the initial seconds, or by Cyborg pissing hot after the match.

None of those is likely.  This fight won't go the distance.  The only real question is whether Cyborg will KO or TKO Evinger in the first round.

Cyborg will take this one easily.

I'll report after the fights on how I did.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My favorite airport for lunch: Austin

Why?  Because it offers a Salt Lick BBQ food stall right next to an Amy's Ice Creams stall.  I like to pass through security, pick up a Coke Zero at the Book People shop, head to Salt Lick, order the two-meat combo (brisket and sausage), and settle in for a delicious lunch.  I never eat the sides, so I always have room for a small cup of Amy's.

That's exactly what I did today as I was making my way home from Austin.  The brisket and sausage were as tasty as usual, and for the ice cream I chose butter pecan (my mom's favorite) and pistachio.

Now, I'm happy to report that I'm home!  I fly out again a week from Friday, so I'm going to focus on getting the most out of this time at home.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Quick and tasty dinner time

As chance would have it, our company had quite a few folks in town this week, so most of us gathered today for an informal dinner at a local Shake Shack.  This particular Austin installation of the franchise offers a burger with sausage in it, which I, of course, tried.  It rocks; eat it if you're in Austin.

For dinner, we all bopped over to Amy's, where I enjoyed their honey vanilla ice cream.

This nice, low-key dinner with friends and colleagues was a great break in a very long work day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Crazy day in heat-town

The high each day here in Austin is over a hundred, so I am enjoying the conditioned air whenever I can get it.

The day was crazy busy and culminated in a large and very enjoyable client dinner we sponsored.  I can't talk about the details, but the meal was at my favorite Austin restaurant, Counter 3 . Five . VII, so you know the food was great.  The companionship and conversation were equally good.

As I was working late last night, the hotel's Internet service went out and stayed out, so I was able to post this blog only today.  I do not heart this hotel.

Back to it!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Getting smarter in Austin

And doing it the fun way:  by eating great barbecue.

Click the image to see a larger version. 

Specifically, this is the meal we shared tonight at Cooper's in downtown Austin.  Nothing makes the IQ soar (temporarily) like great barbecued meat!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The beach movie report, 2017

With three weeks in the beach house, we were, of course, able to take in more movies than usual.  We also watched multiple UFC events, so the area with the big TV was a hopping place.

As you can tell from this photo, we watched films of every sort.

Click the image to see a larger version.

These films are in no particular order.

The one box that glare obscures is season one of Killjoys.  We made it through all of that season and half of the second (box for it in the lower right).

As you can tell from our consumption of 15 TV episodes and 34 movies, we clearly devoted a noticeable part of our evenings to viewing.  That's a tradition I'm happy with.

The most surprising film of the batch is War On Everyone, which is foul-mouthed, politically incorrect, extremely violent, and ultimately both hard to predict and laugh-out-loud funny.  If you have the right sense of humor, I recommend it highly--but don't blame me if it offends you.

I could happily watch two movies a day most days, given the chance.


Blog Archive