We’re giving this entire ‘Staff Pick’ trend a shot on MiddleEasy with UFC 168. This idea was inspired by my bud OB, a guy Jason and I lived with at separate time intervals in completely separate states. We used to party with OB, but now he can’t really party because he’s too irresponsible when he drinks. He hasn’t quite grasped the idea of being a functional alcoholic. With enough effort, it’s possible to drink and not completely get out of control — yet OB still hasn’t comprehended this concept. Damn you OB. Don’t stop drinking, just learn how to drink and manage with life.
Damn, what a half-assed intervention.
Anyway, check out our picks for UFC 168.
I want to see a highlight reel knockout for Siyar, but I’m not so sure that’s going to happen. I believe in ring rust, and Howard has looked pretty good at welterweight. I’m picking Howard, but I don’t really want to. I’m sorry, Doomsday.
I have a strong feeling Siyar is going to run through Howard, though, as a 90s comics fan, I feel weird picking against a guy called Doomsday when he’s fighting anyone not named Kal-El.
I still remember Siyar when he was toiling through Sengoku and then blazing through scrubs that his management found for him on Ultimate Glory events. His UFC run has been a mixed bag thus far, but I think we’d all like to see Siyar and Doomsday go to war with Siyar walking away with a crazy KO.
I think Siyar takes it. In fact, I think he knocks out Howard or puts on a prolonged beating on him.
Siyar will always be the guy who said the UFC was racist against people from Afghanistan to me. Or maybe it was Strikeforce? Either way, I remember him going off on an endless tirade that gave me a few laughs. Plus, I remember watching the Sengoku lightweight and welterweight tournaments and saw him fight. (Sengoku never die) With that in mind, I’m going with Siyar.
I’ve got Siyar winning this one by decision simply because I’m not sold on Howard being a UFC fighter. He looked pretty good in his early wins but I see him as more of a gatekeeper if anything. Bahadurzada on the other hand suffered a setback, but I still see him as a legit title threat in the future. Well, that and having an Afghani hold a UFC belt will probably do wonders for world peace are the reasons I’m picking Siyar.
Let’s not forget the fact that the Boston Bomber trained MMA at John Howard’s gym. There’s an underlying sense of aggression in Doomsday for this fight. He wants to prove the world that he’s a patriot and unfortunately it will unjustly come out towards Siyar at UFC 168. Also, it seems as if everyone that left Golden Glory has been cursed in their MMA career — look at Alistair Overeem, now Siyar. Doomsday wins this by slaying Siyar, and then Siyar will reincarnate into four different forms that will star in mildly-successful comic book spin-offs.
I’ve been living so close to Glendale, California lately that I feel like an honorary Armenian. I mean, I have to be, right? They call me their bro so often I’m starting to feel like part of their giant family. Nice people, these Armenians. I choose Manny, bro.
I’ve been hanging around GFC with Layzie the Savage and Jason Nawara lately so I can’t help but pick Gamburyan. Hopefully this pick will get me honorary Armenian status, like Jason has achieved.
I’m nowhere near being an honorary Armenian, but I think that Manny’s skills lend themselves to making Dennis Siver look lost, which will be fun to watch. Both guys could also try to beat the piss out of each other, which would be awesome to watch, but I still think Manny takes it. Plus Dennis Siver kind of looks like this guy that used to model for us in art school, so I always enjoy watching him get smashed. Too much information?
Siver is the better of the two, so I choose Siver. And I expect spinning back kicks. Loads.
I’m from Connecticut, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Armenian in my entire life. Which I suppose is a good thing, because I don’t need to be flipped on my head. I’ve never been overly impressed by Manny, he hasn’t looked that good since he flattened Mike Brown. Siver on the other hand, does well against slower opponents who don’t hold too much power and Manny fits that mold. Score one of the for the guy that throws spinning sh*t.
I started watching MMA proper during TUF 5, so in a sense Manny and I have grown up together. He would have been the TUF champion if he wasn’t so crazy with his takedowns. I’d normally just stick my money on him, but he’s fighting a guy with much better striking, and when that happens, he tends to lose. This have been looking up for him in his past few fights but I’ll have to go with Dennis Siver here simply because I can see him out-striking Manny and avoiding the takedowns.
The UFC likes to portray Dennis Siver as the greatest kickboxer that has ever graced the Octagon, and it’s just ridiculous. He’s UFC’s only German token, so if they do revisit the country at some point in the future, he will definitely be in the main event. He’s a funny looking guy, that Siver. However no more bizarre looking than Manny. The last time I saw Gumburyan, we were partying at some club in the MGM Grand. That’s irrelevant info — but Dennis Siver will win this in the most boring fight of the night.
Michael Johnson is looking good lately, eh? I think he outspeeds and out-works the blown up Tibau here for the decision. Unless Tibau guillotines him early. There’s always that.
Tibau has looked better than I’ve expected him to look lately, but Johnson’s hands have been looking better lately, and I think he’s going to display his improved striking in this fight just as he did in the Lauzon fight earlier this year.
This is kind of a fight to see who keeps their job at this point as neither guy has been overly impressive of late. I think that Johnson’s win over Lauzon was a hell of a lot more impressive than Tibau squeaking out a decision over Jamie Varner, though, so I give the edge to Johnson.
This is tough, but it’ll be Tibau time on Saturday night. I like Johnson and all, but I think Tibau will out grapple him and take him to a decision.
I’ve always been for the UFC adding more gimmick titles. It would create more interest in the prelims and get the casual fans a reason to tune into the FX/Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports 2/Fuel/Facebook/Youtube/Twitter/Telemundo portion of the card. The first title I would add is a no brainer. It would be the TV title and there is only one man who could hold it and that’s Gleison Tibau. He may not be Ric Flair, but he’s at least Johnny B. Badd. Johnny B. Badd with the victory.
I can’t say I really care all that much about this fight. This will be the one where I go make a cup of coffee and maybe fry up some bacon. I guess Johnson’s win over Joe Lauzon last time out probably puts him in good stead coming into this fight, but if I had a gun to my head, I’d pick Tibau due to his experience and his tenacity. While Tibau is picking up a decision win, I’ll be in the kitchen, glad I didn’t watch a fight which will mostly be a battle for ground position. Knees to the head of a grounded opponent would make this fight more fun.
Michael Johnson reminds me of the 1995 New York Knicks — unlimited potential, but entirely too streaky and inconsistent to get a ring. We don’t know which Michael Johnson will show up at UFC 168. However the Tibau that will show will appear as if he consumed four lesser forms of Tibau and then padded the remaining muscle on top of his existing muscle. Johnson did look rather extraordinary when he fought Joe Lauzon, so I’m going with the TUFer in this.
Hopefully this is awesome, but I don’t want to see either guy lose. It seems like Hall has a fire finally lit under him, and Leben knows he needs a win, but who knows what really happens here? Maybe an awesome finish? Maybe nothing? There’s talk of these guys being on the chopping block, but I can’t see Dana ever cutting Leben. If he did, he would be setting up Leben vs. Shlemenko, which I desperately want to see.
While Hall hasn’t been impressive since leaving the TUF house, I expect he’s going to showcase his much hyped talent in this fight (finally). Leben has slowed down a lot and as long as he doesn’t catch Hall, I’m guessing we’ll see him outpointed on the feet en route to a decision loss.
I never got the whole Uriah Hall thing, maybe because I never watch TUF, but having talent is one thing, being able to apply it practically is another thing. I’m not sure that Uriah Hall has that ability that translates into success as a professional fighter, although I think he’d make a marvelous trainer. Chris Leben has a hard head and will be able to just step through Hall’s pitter-patter and probably knock him out or at least put on one hell of a show.
Hall, definitely. Hall may not be realising his full-potential or living up to the hype, but with his back against the wall, I guess he might. Plus, Leben is shot. There is no way Leben takes this. He’s on his way out, and Hall might be the one who has to pull an Old Yeller on his career in front of everyone on Fox Sports, BT Sports or whatever channel you’re watching it on.
Uriah Hall reminds me of former Philadelphia Phillies prospect Greg Golson. Now, I’m sure most of you aren’t degenerates baseball fans who follow baseball down to the absolute lowest level of it like myself, so let me spin you a tale of Greg Golson. He came out of high school in Texas as an absolute #rig, he ran a 3.8 from home to first, plus bat speed, plus arm, plus power, plus range in the outfield. If you were a scout, Greg Golson made you #moist, but the sad thing is, with all of these tools, he just wasn’t that good of a baseball player. Greg Golson is now 28 and only has 42 plate appearances after being drafted in 2004. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, Chris Leben is going to beat Uriah Hall.
At UFC 138, Chris Leben chose Mad World as his walkout song and I swear the whole crowd went silent while he walked to the ring. Leben looked so intense, as I’d imagine a gritty NY detective would look as he walked to a crime scene where he knew he would find a dead child. Or something. This fight might well be the battle of mental states. If Uriah Hall has fixed his own inability to actually fight, he will destroy Leben. However, I’m not gonna count Leben out until I see his walk to the cage.
People need to realize that Leben is the closest thing MMA has to an actual zombie — sorry Chan Sung Jung. Leben’s chin-to-brain connection is reinforced with some sort of forcefield that scientists have yet to decrypt. You can’t knock him out, and Uriah Hall won’t be the one to do it. I’m not even sure why the UFC gave Hall this tough of a fight, but I can assure you if Hall loses he’s out of the UFC. So much potential in that guy, damn. Chris Leben wins by pure roughnecking.
Ugh! I love this fight. Poirier is one of my favorite “up and coming” fighters, if you want to call him that. I think he can take out Brandao, but we’re likely going to see an entertaining back and forth battle before he does it. Poirier is like a Louisiana version of Roger Huerta.
Brandao is a scary dude, but he can get a little crazy, and I think a calm, calculating Poirier is going to pick him apart in this match.
When I think of a dude from the south, I dunno, Dustin Poirier doesn’t come up for me. Especially when I think Lafayette, I think of Bray Wyatt, which then makes me think about Robert Mitchum’s Max Cady, then I turn back to Poirier and think “well, who cares?” Diego is a talented dude and I think he has an advantage standing or grappling that leads to his win.
Brandao. By violence. If he doesn’t score the finish in the first or in the first two minutes of the second, then Poirier might win.
Okay, I’ll be frank with you, after seeing Dustin Poirier and Erik Koch fight earlier this year, I was shocked to find out that they weren’t the same person. This fight couldn’t be easier for me to pick, Diego Brandao’s favorite fighter is Wand, he comes out to sandstorm. Wanderlei Silva by knock out.
Diego Brandao will win via toxoplasmosis. Also, I’d like to echo Gary’s point about Koch and Poirier. Sorry guys.
I don’t even know much about Dustin or Diego. Occasionally fighters just fly under the radar, and these guys are two of them. The UFC is pushing Dustin to be some ultra-south guy that grew up on a farm and juggled pigs while he hand-pressed his own tobacco. Diego Brandao is a guy devoid of hype and he has nothing to lose, so I’m going with Diego.
Jim Miller via beard. That’s all I know.
Miller is going to dispatch of Camoes quickly and violently. Because he is Jim Miller.
The Millers are probably two of my favorite UFC fighters around right now. They can’t be in dull fights and they always deliver when they need to. That submission loss to Pat Healy literally never happened, okay? Jim Miller is just too good and Camoes has never shown that he could hang with a guy like Miller.
I can’t believe this is on the main card. Who put this on instead of a fight like Leben/Hall? Miller is going to crush this dude.
Since both Walsh and Nick are fans of Jim Miller, I’m picking Camoes solely because I want to see them upset. I know how that seems, I know it makes me seem like a horrible person that I want to see a fighter lose who I have nothing against in the slightest bit, I’ve met Jim Miller and he’s a super nice guy. With that in mind, yes I’m a horrible person, Camoes by heel hook.
I don’t know who Camoes is. Maybe that’s really unprofessional to admit but I had to look him up. I seen he lost to Kurt Pellegrino. I’m backing Jim Miller because he’s better than .500 in his career. Harsh? Maybe. Wrong? No
Jim Miller is one of those guys that has unlocked the secret of Dwarven steel. Nate Diaz slayed his hype train in New Jersey last year at a UFC on FOX card, but it’s hard not to pick him to win this fight. If he can just activate the power of looking like Gimli’s cousin, I’m sure he will take this.
It’s grappler vs. Striker, and I could see this being a knock down, drag out bloody war. One that ends with Barnett putting Browne into a kimura, grimacing and bleeding.
I’m really looking forward to this match. Browne has been looking great and Barnett is The Warmaster. I think this is going to be a tough back and forth fight for both dudes and I have a feeling Browne is going to catch Barnett and get the finish at some point late in the fight.
I feel emotionally invested in this fight for a number of reasons. The first is that Travis Browne defeated Ubereem, which is unforgivable. I feel bad for taking Travis Browne lightly, but as long as he goes up against guys that I actually like, I’m picking against him. The Warmaster wins this by CAPTURE Suplex transitioned into a kneebar much in the vein of 1989 Akira Maeda in UWF and yes, I know that I’m dropping references to things that most people on here won’t know or care about.
This is an interesting fight. Both heavyweights have looked great in their past fights, especially Browne. But Barnett by decision, because Browne won’t be able to finish him. Either that, or he’ll throw ridiculous kicks and blow something out like he did against Bigfoot.
Josh Barnett fought in Pride. Travis Brown didn’t. Josh Barnett likes death metal. Travis Browne doesn’t. Josh Barnett goes to see Every Time I die and gives people a torture rack. Travis Browne doesn’t. Josh Barnett holds the record for best open work out ever. Travis Browne doesn’t. Josh Barnett hugged Fedor. Travis Browne didn’t. Josh Barnett wins this fight. Travis Browne doesn’t.
I was visited on Christmas Day by an old friend who decided Christmas should be spent watching the PRIDE documentary. The end credits contained every fighter who had ever fought in PRIDE. Travis Browne wasn’t on that list. This is the main motivation behind picking Josh Barnett to win. I see Barnett backing Browne into the cage, throwing some knees and finishing it on the ground.
Now that it’s cool to talk about Magic The Gathering since Josh Barnett admitted he brought his deck with him to Las Vegas for UFC 168, I have to admit that I’m a guy that loves playing a pure blue deck. With all the counters and turn-altering cards, the level of frustration you can administer on your opponent is immense. Josh Barnett strikes me as a guy that would play a pure black deck. In Magic The Gathering, a black deck revolves around death and resurrection, something that embodies everything Barnett stands for. Travis Browne is someone that would have a green deck since he’s somewhat of a newbie to this entire MMA scene. Green decks are usually ‘creature decks’ filled with animals and beasts that endlessly replicate. Still, black usually overcomes green in the Magic The Gathering universe, thus Josh Barnett wins via Juzam Djinn being discarded and then reanimated at the beginning of the game.
Ronda wins however she wants. Miesha has nothing for her. First round finish, either by TKO or technical submission (arm torn off).
From what I’ve seen at GFC in the last couple weeks I can say with confidence that Ronda is going to do whatever she wants to Tate, and it’s not going to be pretty. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Ronda knocks her out early in the first.
The fact that this fight is even happening is stupid. Look, Cat Zingano defeated Miesha Tate and realistically, as soon as she is healed up and ready to go she should be in the ring with the winner, that winner being Ronda Rousey. That being said, we know how women play head games (note: Gary LaPlante doesn’t know this yet) and Miesha has been playing them aplenty. We already know that she is under Ronda’s skin, but is she in her head? That’s Miesha’s one real chance and I’m not sure that she’s done enough.
Ronda is going to ragdoll Tate and take that arm home. Why? Because three things are certain in life: death, taxes and Ronda Rousey by fucking armbar. And she’s going to tear that motherfucker off.
Man, I really don’t care about this fight. Not in the least bit, nor did I care about Ronda’s last fight with Liz Carmouche. This kind of feels like when Jon Jones was fighting Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen, two guys who didn’t belong in there with him but got title shots because… well I still don’t exactly know why and yet, here we are again. Ronda, I guess.
Ronda Rousey followed the whole Middle Easy team on Twitter, Meisha Tate did not. So, maybe I’m biased here but I’m back Ronda. I don’t think Tate can match her on the ground. Tate has better wrestling but I’m not sure that will matter much. Striking wise, Rousey has been looking much better from the footage Layzie has been showing us. I’m going for Rousey via grudge.
The only person that has any hope of stopping Ronda Rousey is Cat Zingano, and we all saw what Cat did to Miesha’s face. This fight doesn’t really intrigue me because Ronda Rousey was so dominant in their first fight. That’s probably why the UFC decided to edit TUF in favor of Tate so that people will be on her bandwagon for UFC 168. See, you guys were manipulated — how does it feel? Realistically, I fear for Miesha’s life. You guys don’t understand Ronda like we do — cognitively she’s on another level. A level that won’t be understood until humanity shifts into a different form of consciousness.
I’m far more worried about this fight than the first one, but I can’t pick against Anderson. I think 2nd round TKO via something Matrix-y.
Man. I’m really nervous for this fight. Part of me thinks Anderson will demolish Weidman in exciting fashion, but I can’t count out the dude who KO’d Anderson, no matter the circumstance. I’m not happy about it, but I think I have to pick Weidman by TKO. Ugh.
Anderson Silva is literally the only UFC fighter that makes me excited to watch the UFC. It has been that way for years, so don’t feel bad or upset about it, it’s just how it is. There are still lots of guys that I enjoy watching, but watching Anderson Silva is like getting dessert at your favorite restaurant. That makes Chris Weidman some sort of expired sour cream mixed in with boxed mash potatoes and butter that you dropped on the ground before putting on the potatoes. Chris Weidman is a talented fighter but I’m just not sure that I can pick against Anderson Silva. This is the fight that determines if Anderson Silva is still the best who slipped up or if his age is catching up to him and it’s time to bow out and let Weidman reign over the division with that vacant expression on his face. I picked Anderson in there, by the way.
Anderson will come through this time. He just has to. Ever since he got knocked out, life hasn’t been the same and every time I watched Weidman land that devastating punch which caused Silva’s eyes to roll in the back of his head, it hurt me as much as it hurt him. Silva by second or third round TKO.
This is a funny fight, mostly because the people who clamored about Anderson’s showboating in his fights vs. Bonnar and Forrest Griffin are the same people who condemned him for doing it vs. Weidman. It’s just hilarious to me but that’s the way the culture in MMA is. I can relate to Anderson and his showboating though, in UFC 09, I can confidently say I was one of the best if not the best in the world at that game. I was ranked in the top 25 constantly, I would go to tournaments and win a decent amount of money and even though I was extremely good at the game and I’d crush people with ease, I would find myself bored at times even though I enjoyed the game. So at times, I’d set goals for myself, such as beating someone without throwing any strikes standing, beat someone without taking them to the ground, 99% of the time, I’d still win, but there’s always that one time where I’d get myself in trouble and that’s what happened with Anderson in his fight with Weidman. Anderson by whatever he wants.
The only way for Weidman to win a second time is by channeling Ryo Chonan and dropping for the flying scissor heel hook. I honestly believe Anderson was just getting into his rhythm just before he got knocked out in the first fight. Now that Weidman commands respect, I can see Anderson putting on a clinic. We’ll see the Anderson that demolished Rich Franklin twice.
On Twitter I said Chris Weidman will win this fight. Now, I’m taking that statement back. There are three fighters I will never bet against: Fedor, Wand, and Silva. I’ve learned my lesson throughout the years. If Anderson wasn’t caught the first fight, this rematch would have never took place. No one really even recognized Weidman as the champion throughout his reign. It just doesn’t process in our brains. Anderson will own Weidman, and then retire in the cage — and the world will never see GSP vs. Silva take place. Bummer.