What an epic weekend it’s been for MMA fans! Yesterday, three major events went down, as Bellator held it’s injury rattled, yet still entertaining “British Invasion” to kick the evening off. The event ended with a surprising decision, as British prospect Liam McGeary won a controversial contest against Light Heavyweight champion Emmanuel Newton.
Then, Legacy FC held it’s 39th event, providing solid entertainment. Finally, to capture the night, Invicta’s 11th event took place. The prelims didn’t begin until nine in the evening, while the main card didn’t start until 11 at night. It capped off with an expected triumph by one of the two greats in Women’s MMA, as Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos destroyed Charmaine Tweet in the first round.
The other dominant female champion is fighting tonight, and goes by the name of Ronda Rousey. She’s won every single one of her fights, all via finish, with each but one of them ending in the first round. Her adversary tonight will be another undefeated fighter, Cat Zingano. Aside from possibly Holly Holm, she is the only adversary the UFC can use to keep Cyborg from fighting Rousey.
Simply put, the main card for the evening is, well, subpar. And that’s an extreme understatement. Forget $60, it’s hard to even fork over $6 for this card.
Alas, the prelims for this card are also pretty “meh”. Yeah, they kind of suck, at least on paper. Still, it’s free MMA, so that’s something. It pales in comparison to last night’s Bellator and Invicta cards. Still, the prelims and post-fight coverage are worth a watch, to cap off an otherwise terrific MMA weekend.
From a pick’s perspective, I was 43-13 to start off the year, including 19-2 over the two cards prior to last week’s Brazil card. Of course, last week’s card set the record for most upsets in a single UFC card, so things went severely awry. I wanted to pick Marion Reneau and Matt Dwyer, but didn’t. However, my pick of Sam Alvey was on point, despite my record for the card being an overwhelmingly disappointing 3-8. In fact, that’s my worst record ever for a UFC card, ever since I began following MMA over a decade ago! My record is now 46-21.
Hopefully, I do better this go around. There’s no guarantee, but chances of exceeding three wins for this card should be a given, or so I’d like to believe.
Fight Pass Prelims (7/6c, UFC Fight Pass)
Masio Fullen (9-4) vs. Alexander Torres (2-1)
The first fight features two guys I’d never hear of before today. That said, any time someone with a 2-1 record enters the UFC, unless it’s a TUF fight, I cannot pick them. Prediction: Fullen via tko, round 3.
James Krause(21-6) vs. Valmir Lazaro (12-3)
The next fight, in my opinion, should be on television. Both fighters are good, and deserve the spotlight. Lazaro is a knockout artist, while Krause has submitted 13 opponents. I feel like he’s better, so I’ll go with him. I want there to be a finish, but I see it going the distance, in a fun fight. Prediction: Krause via decision.
Televised Prelims (8/7c, FS1)
Derrick Lewis (11-3, 1NC) vs. Ruan Potts (8-3)
If there’s one thing every MMA fan can agree on, it’s that this fight will be a slaughter. Lewis has brutal power, and Potts is a punching bag. He got knocked out by Soa Palelei and Anthony Hamilton in his two UFC fights, and the same fate will result in this bout. Prediction: Lewis via brutal tko, round 1.
Douglas Lima (10-2) vs. Tim Means (22-6-1)
The next fight is an intriguing one, with shocking predictions. A lot of people seem to be picking Lima here, and I cannot see why. He looked horrendous in his UFC debut in the TUF 19 Finale against Eddie Gordon, and barely won a short notice bout against the previously unknown Jorge de Oliveira. He’s okay, but not good enough to beat a veteran like Means. Means is a good fighter who’s great outside the UFC. He’s won 15 times via knockout, but usually goes 15 minutes in the UFC. I see him schooling Lima here. Prediction: Means via unanimous decision.
Roman Salazar ( 9-3) vs. Norifumi Yamamoto (18-6, NC)
Boy is this fight a doozie. There was once a time where Yamamoto was a hot commodity. But that was back in 207, when he finihsed the year with a 17-1 record, with a no contest. He has gone 1-5 since, and is 0-3 inside the octagon. His last fight was three years and two days ago, and is clearly past his prime.
Still, it’s not as if Yamamoto is facing some elite level competition here. Salazar is 9-3, and has been finished in the first round by both of his only recognizable opponents, Anthony Birchak and Mitch Gagnon. He’s more active and is not on a skid like Yamamoto. I honestly do not see either one doing a good job here. I apologize, but I cannot pick either fighter here. I will sit on the sword for this one. Prediction: Draw.
Roan Carneiro (19-9) vs. Mark Munoz (13-5)
In the final prelim fight of the night, we get two UFC veterans. Munoz looks cooked, while Carneiro is returning to the UFC after over six years. He got cut by the promotion after losing a split decision to Ryo Chonan in September 2008 at UFC 88. Since then, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt has gone 7-1, capped by winning the one-day Battlegrounds MMA Welterweight tournament last October. He won three fights that night, including the final bout against veteran Brock Larson.
As for Munoz, well, he should contemplate retirement. The wrestler has lost three of his last four fights, each via finish. The lone win was a decision over Tim Boetch at UFC 162 in July 2013.
I want to pick Carneiro, but my heart won’t let me. Both are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts, so I’ll just go with the wrestler, because, yeah. Prediction: Munoz via unanimous decision.