UFC 181: The Down and Dirty Picks
It is another UFC event and that means it is time for some more down and dirty fight picks. For UFC 181 we get two title fights leading a card that is packed like a rush hour train. Hendricks vs Lawler II in the main event with Pettis vs Melendez in the co-main. We also have a Mexican Boogey Man, Big Bad Travis Browne and Abel Trujillo fighting.
This kicks off a big stretch of events for the UFC. After this there is the TUF finale with the first ever UFC straightweight champion to be crowned. The next night is Junior Dos Santos vs Stipe Miocic headlining another card from Brazil, with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier looming to start the new year, followed by Conor McGregor fighting in Boston and then we finally get Cat vs Ronda – with many other fights as well; A lot of big fights on some big cards. It all starts with UFC 181. Here are the picks from myself and our fearless leader Dave Reno for UFC 181.
Hendricks vs Lawler II
Wolff: The Ruthless One Strikes Back. Johny Hendricks comes into this fight with a fully healthy right bicep while Lawler brings the wisdom gained from that fight. As the wise Yoda once said, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” This time Robbie will do and emerge with the belt after telling Hendricks to call him Daddy. Lawler via 4th round TKO courtesy of a head-kick.
Reno: The first one still holds up as one of the best fights of the year, arguably the best title fight in UFC welterweight history. This one will mark the return of Bigg Rigg’s red left hand – shout out to Nick Cave. Hendricks retains via KO.
Pettis vs Melendez
Wolff: Anthony Pettis is like the Spike Spiegel of the UFC simply one of the coolest fighters to watch in the octagon today. Here is an extensive look at why I think he retains the title. Pettis via 4th round TKO also courtesy of a head-kick. That is right back-to-back head-kick finishes.
Reno: Melendez gets down and dirty in this one. I like him to make it a dog fight; he will wear down the champ on the ground and take a gritty UD to become the first skrap packer to claim UFC gold.
Browne vs Schaub
Wolff: This is simple. The very hittable Brendan Schaub, meets the hard-hitting and looking to make a big statement, Travis Browne. The result is in the 1st round Schaub goes down from a punch by Browne and does not get back up without assistance. Browne via 1st round TKO.
Reno: Travis Browne is a monster. He needs to work out some kinks to hang out with guys like Velasquez and Werdum but other than them he beats anyone in this division right now. Browne via KO.
Duffee vs Hamilton
Wolff: There will no need for judges in this one. All four of Todd Duffee’s fights have ended with a TKO and he is 2-2 in them. While Anthony Hamilton lost his debut by submission and won his next fight by TKO. I like him to get the TKO win in the second round again.
Reno: Duffman thrusts towards the problem, with his fist. Duffee via TKO victory early and often.
Ferguson vs Trujillo
Wolff: Oh yeaaaah! This one is going to be fun. Again we are not going the distance in this one. Not when Abel “Killa” Trujillo meets Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson. You cannot have nicknames like that and then play it safe in the octagon. These two have earned their names. I like Trujillo in this one. They will both land but his chin is a little better. Trujillo via 3rd round TKO.
Reno: ‘El Cucuy’ has built a nice little UFC career for himself since winning TUF 13 while Trujillo hasn’t done so bad himself. Aside from running into a buzzsaw named Nurmagomedov, Trujillo has been a finish machine. This is a next level fight for both guys, I like Trujillo to take that step and get the highlight reel finish.
Faber vs Rivera
Wolff: Welcome to Francisco Rivera’s Holy Shit! UFC moment when he faces Urijah Faber in the octagon. Faber is just too good for Rivera. Simple formula here Faber hurts him in the standup and finishes him via a RNC. Faber via RNC in the first.
Reno: If Faber is fighting and there isn’t a belt ringside I’ll take him every time. Faber via submission.
Gordon vs Samman
Wolff: Eddie Gordon is running into the wrong fighter at the wrong time in Josh Samman. Look for a three round battle to be won by Samman via a UD.
Reno: Team Serra-Longo is on fire right now and I just don’t see it being putting out anytime soon. Samman is a beast, but he’ll look like a “Truck” hit him at the end of this one. Gordon via TKO.
Anderson vs Jones
Wolff: Corey Anderson will be too much for Justin Jones who is taking this fight on short notice, and fighting up a weight class. Mr. Anderson by TKO in the first.
Reno: Short notice fight here for Jones and moving up in weight to boot. I’ll take him anyway, I like his attitude. Jones via TKO.
Pennington vs Evans-Smith
Wolff: While it might look like things got easier for Raquel Pennington when the striking sensation Holly Holm had to pull out of their fight due to an injury. Her replacement Ashlee Evans-Smith is a tougher matchup for her. Evans-Smith has strong wrestling and ground game. Her standup is improving but will take this fight to the ground to take a hard-fought decision. Evans-Smith via UD.
Reno: Evans-Smith is a fighter on the rise while Pennington seems to be destined for permanent gatekeeper status. Evans-Smith via wrastlin’ and GNP.
Pettis vs Hobar
Wolff: This is a battle of two of the best local promotions in this country as Sergio Pettis representing RFA will take on Matt Hobar coming from Legacy FC. Hobart has the size but Pettis will have the speed. Even though he is only 21 years old Pettis will enter the octagon for the fourth time. I like him to use his speed advantage to pick Hobar apart in the first two rounds then finish him in the third. Pettis via a 3rd round TKO.
Reno: Great Fight Pass headliner here between a couple of exciting bantams. Young Pettis gets it done here late in the 2nd.
White vs Collard
Wolff: Alex “The Spartan” White is kicking the card off against Clay “Cassius” Collard. I am pretty sure Cassius is one of the worst nicknames Collard could have chosen. Combined with the fact that in every picture White looks like he is channeling his inner Rory MacDonald means that Collard is going down. I like White to take this one by rocking him in the standup and getting the submission on the ground. White via a second round submission.
Reno: White gets back in the win column here with a vicious finish over Collard. Expect a lot of finishes on this card.
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