UFC 167 picks

ufc 167 baneer

 

Overall thoughts on card

David: I’m gonna be honest. This is a ONE fight card to a T. I really don’t care about any of the major fights on this card. I’m actually more excited about the pre-lims, except one fight.
One BIG fight.
Collin: Fairly excited. I fully expect GSP to soundly handle Hendricks in a thoroughly non competitive fashion, but I’m always somewhat excited to watch a true master ply his craft. Should be fun to watch Woodly poke Kos in the eye and see Rory do some more foot shuffling.

Main Card Picks
Flyweight     Tim Elliott     vs.     Ali Bagautinovufc167

David: This one is a hard one, so don’t take anything from it.
Funny thing about this one is the Russian has come back off a 2-2 record, and the American started 0-2-1 before launching into the great winning streaks.
So who to take here? I’m going to go with the Russian. I’m for some reason I’m still a fan of SAMBO.
But lets be honest. The only reason I’m picking the Russian is know Timmy lost to Dodson, so there is a ceiling to his talent. The Russian? No Idea.

Welterweight     
Josh Koscheck     vs.     Tyron Woodley

David: Beyond that we have 2 fights with Strikeforce guys vs “UFC Guys”

I’m not a fan of Koscheck, never have been, never will be. He is fighting a guy that guy just got beat by Jake Sheilds, Tyronne Woodley. Yeah, and Koscheck might be able to take him down and do the same thing, but Koscheck is more than willing to trade- and that might be Woodley’s best chance. Koscheck gets into a striking match, and might get KO’ed. I think Kos is too smart for that if he starts losing, and will start shooting.
Koscheck: UD

Collin:This is the most competitive of the three big 170 pound bouts on this card in my opinion. Both fighters are skillful wrestlers with big punching power and great athleticism.  I believe that Josh is the better wrestler, but Tyron is possibly the better striker at this point. This is as close to a pick ’em fight as I can get, but in a fight this close I tend to shade toward tge better wrestler with more experience. Could be a firefight, could be a snoozer, but expect Kos to walk away with his hand raised after a decision that many will probably disagree with.
Josh Koscheck, unanimous decision.

Welterweight
Rory MacDonald     vs.     Robbie Lawler

David: I like Lawler, this resurgence is really showcasing what he is made of. The problem here is Rory is just on another level. He’s gonna pop his jab to slow Robbie down, and stay away from that power until Lawler begins to tire- I’m not sure he has the goods to stop Lawler, but he is good enough to dictate where the fight goes and work it as far as he needs to.

Rory via DEC

Collin: This is a headscratcher to me. Whenever the cries for this matchup first rang out following Rory beating Jake Ellenberger on the same night Robbie beat Bobbie Volker I never liked this fight. I see the value of giving Rory an opponent who will force him to be more aggressive but is relatively shop work and should be an easy victim, but really Rory should be fighting a top 3 guy, not an aging vet in a weightclass he doesn’t belong in. Robbie could be able to land a big left hand and put Rory away, but look for Rory to feed him a steady diet of jabs before Robbie tires, gets taken down and finished with ground and pound.

Rory MacDonald, knockout in round 2.

Light Heavyweight Chael Sonnen

Sonnen vs Evans

David: Explain to me where Sonnen is better than Rashad. He’s not a better wrestler, he’s not a better striker, he doesn’t have better cardio, and I’m not sure he’s got better Ju-Ju. Sonnen easily has the lesser chin, and the worst submission defense of any three time title contender since Tank Abbott. What he does have over Rashad is drive. Sonnen is not a hall-of-fame talent, but he does have the gift of gab and a simple gameplan that will beat most men at his level or below. The chance he has is Rashad has a tendency to play well below his level at times during a fight, and during those times, Sonnen can not only be competitive, but dominant. Problem is, he can’t really stop anyone at the highest level. Rashad can stop him however, but I’m not sure he will. The best Rashad beats the best Sonnen, so I’ll take that.

Rashad via DEC

Collin: This is a really interesting fight to me. Rashad has shown at various times in his career that he can be a great fighter. He has lighting hand speed when he can get knto position to fire off combinations, and a solid enough wrestling base that he cannot be taken down by most wrestlers. His biggest frustrations have come when opponents who can maintain distance just outside of his punching range and either jab him to death, ala Nogueira, or dart in and out of range the way Machida did. I’m not really sure how he will cope with the unrelenting pressure of a fighter like Sonnen though. Chael will be in his face from bell to bell, and I can forsee an outcome where staying in Rashad’s comfort zone can be disastrous for him and he could eat that snappy right cross that effecively ended the career of Chuck Liddell. Or I can see Chael frustrating him immensely,  grinding him up againt the cage, scoring a few greco tamedowns and winning a decision. I don’t forsee a Sonnen submission like we saw him pull out againt Shogun, but I can easily see him using superior body positioning and a smothering top game to overpower Rashad.

Sonnen via unanimous decison.

 UFC Welterweight Championship

Johnny Hendricks vs Georges St Pierre

 

David:Here is the problem with Hendricks.

GSP only has to catch you once. , no wait. Thats Hendricks. To me he is the 170 version of Hendo, back when Hendo was HENDO. A wrestler who was more than willing to stand with you. The difference is, Hendricks rolls a lot lighter, and he may or may not have the chin to allow that to happen for the next decade.
GSP has one weakness, he can get KO’ed. He’s a little afraid of it, and he’s more than willing to ride you for 25 minutes than catch a KO. The advantage he has is he is VERY hard to catch clean, and that’s only getting better. Hendricks is going to have to catch a CLEAN hit  to knock him out,
GSP just has to be GSP. take away the primary weapon, and make him beat you with his second option. The problem is, Hendricks has a better number 2 than some fighters have a number 1.
I would love nothing more, if I’m a Hendricks fan- and I am- than to see Hendricks come out and snatch a double. I know everyone wants to see GSP do a Nate Quarry impression, but I’d love to see  GSP just get slammed flat on his back. I don’t think Hendricks wants to, since GSP tapped the last guy who slammed him on his rear- some dude named Hughes, but still. It would be great.
The biggest difference here is going to be the reach advantage that GSP has. He can just pepper away at Johnny, pick his spots, and cruise.
GSP via scorecards

Collin: The UFC has done a really good job of making a lot of people think Johnny Hendricks is the stiffest test out there for Georges St. Pierre. They have done a good job convincing everyone that he is a better wrestler than Koscheck, hits harder than Dan Hardy, ect. The reality is that he is a plodding, albeit immensely powerful striker, who arguably lost to both Carlos Condit and Josh Koscheck while climbing his way to a title shot. I just don’t see anthi g in his skillset that makes me believe Georges won’t be able to just jab him at will until he is tired, take him down at least once a round qnd cruise to a unanimous decision. I like Hendricks but he is facing one of the best welterweight fighters ever, and I can only envision Georges walking away from this fight with the UFC belt still firmly fixed around his waist.

Georges St. Pierre, unanimous decision.

What Happens if GSP Loses?

Collin: He rematches Condit, or any of the other elite welterweight contenders he’s bested before, and gets his title back. I don’t expect him to go to 185 anyway, especially with the super-fight with Anderson losing its luster.
David: If Rory Runs over Lawler, I can see GSP going up, Yes the Superfight isn’t the 2M buy-Cowboy Stadium fight it could have been- But GSP vs Lyoto then a title shot? Sure.

 

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