After last week’s fiasco where I went 6-7 I have decided that watching hours of past fights and applying analysis is overrated and a lot of work. Instead of all of that work I am channeling my inner Dirk Gently and applying a more holistic approach to the UFC 196 card.
Most people are too scared or too smart to pick fights this way but no one has ever accused me of being too smart or scared to do something stupid. As always when making my fearless fight picks I must warn others that using these in deciding how to bet your money may not be the smartest thing. Then again, I cannot do much worse than last week.
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
In this fight, we have two fights who suffer from image problems. Conor McGregor is constantly dealing with his first name being misspelled. Conor started to eat to quiet the pain and it is that weight gain that prompted this move to welterweight. For a moment, the McGregor camp thought they might have to move up to fight Nick Diaz at middleweight but they have hidden most of the food from Conor and they feel confident that he will make
Which would have been devastating to Nate who has always been Jim to Nick’s John Belushi; This is finally a chance for Nate to emerge from Nick’s shadow and hopefully, in future fights, CBS Sports will be able to find a picture of Nate to use instead of just using one of Nick’s pictures that looked the most like Nate.
The winner of this fight will be able to repair their image the most. “That is great,” you might be saying to yourself but “who is going to win this matchup is what I want to know.” This is a move to an upper weight class for Conor and it will be decided by an uppercut. Actually, several uppercuts from McGregor. He will start to the body and then land a big one on the chin for a second round TKO.
McGregor via TKO in the second round
Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate
This one is simple using MMA math, Miesha Tate lost twice to Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm beat Rousey in two rounds. Holm, therefore, is twice as good as Tate and two plus two means that Holm will get the finish in the fourth round.
Tate is tough but this is a bad matchup for her. She is too inclined to charge straight in and rarely moves her head. That is an easy opponent for Holm to pick apart which she will do. Tate will take a lot but finally fall in the fourth.
Holm via a fourth round TKO
Gian Villante vs. Ilir Latifi
This is an interesting matchup and the only guaranteed pick in one is that someone is going down. Since Ilir Latifi is from Sweden which either is the home of the Norse Gods or close to a country that is and Dirk Gently encounters a Norse God in the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul I am picking Latifi.
He will catch Gian Villante early in the first round and send him crashing to the canvas. Then he will ride his horse on the beach and order some pizza.
Latifi via a first round KO
Corey Anderson vs Tom Lawlor
The clash between Tom Lawlor and Corey Anderson will be a fun and entertaining fight. Both fighters are riding two-fight win streaks into the battle. Anderson sounds like he is from the same country as the Norse Gods. Lawlor looks like he could be a modern Norse God.
Lawlor is dangerous and is on a mission to prove that he belongs in the top ten. I like him to get the upset via TKO in the second round.
Lawlor via second round TKO
Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko
This is one the fights that I am most excited to see. The winner will likely get the champion Holly Holm for their next fight. Amanda Nunes is a nightmare with her destructive Muay Thai, devastating ground-and-pound, and her dangerous submission game.
While Valentina Shevchenko does not have the grappling skills of Nunes she is a dynamic striker. Though she really did not show it in her UFC debut. However, she did surprisingly out grapple Sarah Kaufman. But, it is as a kickboxer that Shevchenko made her name in combat sports and she will not want to get into a grappling battle with Nunes.
The pattern for Nunes has been established. Her 11 wins have all been finishes with nine of them coming in the first round. If Shevchenko can withstand the early onslaught from Nunes I like her to take a three round UD.
Shevchenko via UD
Brandon Thatch vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Both Brandon Thatch and Siyar Bahadurzada have the ability to end a fight quickly. They also both coming off of two fight losing streaks and need a win to avoid possibly being cut by the UFC. They both also were highly thought of prospects at one point. They also both stopped Paulo Thiago in the first round.
I expect Thatch to regain his mojo in this fight with a second round finish of Bahadurzada.
Thatch via second round TKO
Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb
This will be a banger and mash special as Erick Silva and Nordine Taleb like to throw down. Look for both guys to meet in the middle and start firing bombs. I like Taleb to hold up a little better and get the win.
Taleb via UD
I like Vitor Miranda to TKO Marcelo Guimaraes in the first round.
Chas Skelly will take a tough three round UD from Darren Elkins.
Look for Diego Sanchez to win the battle of the gritty and entertaining veterans by winning a hard-fought three round SD over Jim Miller. It will a classic Diego Sanchez win.
I like Jason Saggo to submit Justin Salas in the first round.
Julian Erosa will use his size to pound out a TKO win over Tertuto Ishihara.
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