Jeff "Wombat" Meszaros returns with his special brand of writing with another set of UFC predictions this time for UFC 69 "Shootout" where Georges St. Pierre takes on Matt Serra in the main event of the UFC's first ever foray into Texas. Diego Sanchez also takes on Josh Koscheck in the semi main event that could be number one contenders match......
Never pick a fight with an ugly person. Theyve got nothing to lose.
- Robin Williams Wheres the best place to have an Italian from New York fight a French-Canadian from Montreal? Texas, of course! With that logic in mind, the powers-that-be have taken the octagon to the home of cowboy hats, rodeos, and the death penalty for UFC 69: Shootout.
Georges "Rush" St-Pierre (13-1) vs. Matt "The Terror " Serra (15-4)
Serra reminds me of Joe Pesci from Goodfellas. Hes kind of small but if you laugh at him, hell hurt you really badly - except instead of stabbing you in the neck with a pen, hell tackle you and break both of your arms. Outside the ring he seems friendly and genuinely concerned for the well-being of his fellow fighters, but inside the octagon he fights with the wild fury of a cornered chimpanzee. Pete Spratt, Shonie Carter and Chris Lytle have all felt The Terror and now Serra has earned a title shot at the poutine-machine from Montreal, Quebec, welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. Rush is the heavy favourite to win and rightfully so. Serra was barely able to squeak out a split decision over Chris Lytle, who lost badly to Matt Hughes, who St. Pierre manhandled in November. The beat-down math seems clear. Serra will fly across the octagon like hes on fire, throw a few punches and then try to take St. Pierre down. Will he get the takedown? No. Neither Sean Sherk nor Matt Hughes could put St. Pierre on his back, so Serras chances seem slim. Also, The Terror could probably make weight with change in his pockets, while St. Pierre has to sweat out most of the water in his body to make 170 pounds. My guess: St. Pierre by TKO.
Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez (19-0) vs. Josh "K-os" Koscheck (10-1)
Being the better wrestler means you get to decide whether your fight goes to the ground or stays on the feet. Its like being able to choose between chess and checkers. If you are losing badly at one game, you can sweep it off the table and start playing the other. This can be enormously frustrating for your opponent, who has to pick the pieces up and start over every time you decide to switch games. Of course the question is, what do you do if your opponent is better at both games? Well, usually you lose. The bright side is you get to decide whether you lose by knockout or submission. Koscheck is without a doubt the better wrestler, while Sanchez has the better hands and vastly superior Jiu-Jitsu. So who wins? My guess: Sanchez.
Roger "El Matador" Huerta (18-1) vs. Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia (13-1)
Before he began his MMA career, Huerta was a bouncer. Garcia was an assistant manager for Frito Lay. Since then, Huerta has faced some seriously tough competition, including Melvin Guillard, John Halverson, Jason Dent, Ryan Schultz and Naoyuki Kotani. Most of Garcias opponents have had losing records, including Victor Estrada (3-10) and Steve Horton (1-14). Essentially, this is a fight between a former bouncer who has knocked heads with killers and a guy who retired from the potato-chip delivery business to beat up on habitual losers. Who will win? My guess: Huerta by TKO.
Yushin Okami (20-3) vs. Mike "Quick" Swick (10-1)
Mike Swick didnt earn his nickname because he likes chocolate milk. Like Georges Rush St. Pierre, he fights like a cab is waiting for him in the parking lot. Okami seems to relish wearing opponents down. All three of his fights have gone to the third round. So who wins? The cheetah that catches his prey with a sudden burst of speed, or the wild dog that pursues its victim until it collapses from exhaustion. My guess: The cheetah. Swick by TKO.
Alan "The Talent" Belcher (9-2) vs. Kendall "Da Spyder" Grove (9-3)
Standing 6-6 and weighing 185 pounds, Grove looks like something that just stepped out of a funhouse mirror. Of course, theres nothing fun about having someone knee you in the face. Da Spyder will use his reach to his advantage to give The Talent a head full of cobwebs. My guess: Grove by TKO.
Brad The Hillbilly Heart-throb Imes (6-2) vs. Heath "The Texas Crazy Horse" Herring (26-12)
Herrings octagon debut was one of the ugliest things Ive ever seen and Ive seen some ugly things. When he fought 22-year-old wrestler Jake OBrien in January, The Texas Crazy Horse seemed totally unable to stay on his feet and repeatedly slipped to the ground like he was wearing new socks on a linoleum floor. Now, after losing a unanimous decision, Herring returns to face Brad Imes. The good news for Herring is that Imes will probably brawl with him on the feet. The bad news is that he is 67 and 260 pounds. Herring, however, is no stranger to facing larger opponents, having once danced the fist-tango with the 385 pound giant Silva. My guess: Herring by TKO.
Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis (15-4) vs. Pete "The Secret Weapon" Spratt (16-7)
Theres nothing secret about Spratts Secret Weapon. He wants to kick you in the head, hopefully a few times. Neither is there any secret to why the matchmakers put this fight together. Both these guys like to strike. If this fight dissolves into a slug-fest, The Secret Weapon could diffuse The Irish Hand Grenade but Davis will probably win this fight by choosing to take Spratt to the ground. My guess: Davis by submission.
Josh "Bring The Pain" Haynes (9-6) vs. Luke "The Silent Assassin" Cummo (7-4)
There is something very painful about watching Josh Bring the Pain Haynes fight. It might be the tattoos, or the smurf-blue Mohawk, or the fact that he is corpse-pale and sports a ring of loose skin around his waist leftover from his former 330-pound girth. Still, you cant help but root for him since win or lose, he seems to cry after every fight, and sometimes before them as well. Sadly, he has a reason to cry here. The Silent Assassin might be a name better suited for the sudden escape of pant-gas, but Cummo is no joke. While his unibrow might cry out for tweezing, his skills are well-rounded, combining unorthodox strikes with solid Jiu-Jitsu. My guess: Cummo wins a unanimous decision.
Thales Leites (9-1) vs. Pete Drago" Sell (7-3)
For some reason every time two Jiu-Jitsu fighters meet in mixed martial arts, they throw their Jiu-Jitsu skills out the window and try to knock each other out with wild boxing and flying kicks. I expect this fight to be no different. Leites has defeated some impressive opponents, including Jose Pele Landi and Osami Shibuya. In his octagon debut, Drago choked out Phil Baroni. However, in his last fight he was the victim of a Rocky-esque comeback by Scott Smith. Now, coming off that KO loss, Sell looks for revenge. Can Leites slay the Drago? I dont think so. My guess: Sell by TKO.