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UFC 148 Picks

July 7, 2012

MMA

While all the attention is (rightfully) focused on Anderson Silva’s rematch with Chael Sonnen at UFC 148, there will actually be other fights happening in the same building tonight.  Let’s take a look at the other fights that fill out tonight’s main card.

BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT: Ivan Menjivar (24-8, 2-1 UFC) vs. Mike Easton (12-1, 2-0 UFC)

The small, fast-paced action of the Bantamweight division usually doesn’t make for too many highlight reel knockouts, but usually provides for some decently-paced action.  These guys both have a smattering of good finishes between them.  Menjivar was retured for a four year span, but has a 4-1 record since returning in 2010.

Menjivar has been a veteran of the indy circuit, but since his return, he’s gone to the upper levels of competition, with bouts in the UFC and WEC.  Easton was the UWC Bantamweight Champion, defending his title twice.  The second title defense, a split decision victory over former WEC champ Chase Beebe, earned the dubious distinction of Robbery of the Year from Sherdog.  Still, he’s an up-and-comer, still just 28 years old, and could be ready to ascend the ranks with a couple more nice wins.

Pick: Easton – Unanimous Decision.—————

FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT: Chad Mendes (11-1, 2-1 UFC) vs. Cody McKenzie (13-2, 2-2 UFC)

Cody McKenzie likes the guillotine choke submission.  A lot.  After a TKO win to open his career and a triangle choke finish in his second fight, McKenzie won 10 straight fights by the guillotine.  He then lost with two rear-naked chokes, then won his last fight with yet another guillotine.

Chad Mendes was TKO’d by UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo back in January’s title match.  Before that, he had quickly risen the ranks in the division.  He hasn’t stopped a fight in over two years, winning four straight unanimous decisions leading into his championship bout.  This should be another slower bout, but McKenzie will try to finish with his guillotine choke if it goes to the ground.

Pick: Mendes – Unanimous Decision.

—————

WELTERWEIGHT BOUT: Dong-hyun Kim (15-1-1 [1], 6-1 [1] UFC) vs. Damian Maia (15-4, 9-4 UFC)

The Welterweight division has looked an awful lot like the Middleweight division over the last few years.  Georges St. Pierre is at the top and everybody else is just a cut below.  Kim and Maia are both solid fighters, but Maia was wrecked in his Middleweight title fight with Anderson Silva.  He’s struggled a bit lately, and hasn’t finished a fight since 2009, when he submitted Chael Sonnen.

Dong-hyun Kim has a 4th dan black belt in judo and has been fairly dominant since arriving in the UFC from DEEP.  His only loss is to current Interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit. Maia is very good, though his recent record isn’t great.  Still, I think Kim will win this fight.  He’s beaten everyone except Condit and a guy who tested positive for painkillers, but I don’t see either guy stopping the fight.

Pick: Dong-hyun Kim – Unanimous Decision.

—————

MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT: Cung Le (7-2, 0-1 UFC) vs. Patrick Cote (17-7, 4-7 UFC)

Cung Le features an incredible array of looping kicks, as he changes angles, distances, and styles instantaneously.  He was trashed by Wanderlei Silva in his UFC debut at UFC 139, but had The Axe Murderer on the ropes in the first round.  He tired quickly, and Silva capitalized for a TKO win.  Though he’s 40 years old, the movie star is a relative newcomer to MMA, competing in his 10th fight tonight.  He’s a blue belt in jiu-jitsu, but features a Jackie Chan-esque arsenal of kicks, with a black belt in Taekwondo.

Patrick Cote had mixed success in his first UFC run.  He opened 0-4, but came back to win four straight and put himself in contention for Anderson Silva’s Middleweight Championship.  He was (surprise, surprise) defeated by The Spider, and after losing two more fights, was released by the promotion.  He’s been rehired as a fill-in for tonight’s bout.  He has a solid Muay Thai background to go with decent boxing skills.

Cote just didn’t seem like he could fight consistently at the UFC level last time around.  Le may not have drawn a well-suited stylistic replacement, as Wanderlei has an impressive Muay Thai background, too.  But his wide array of kicks should give him space on the feet, and I think he’ll have made a marked improvement in conditioning from his last fight.

Pick: Le – 2nd Round TKO.

—————

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Tito Ortiz (16-10-1, 16-9-1 UFC) vs. Forrest Griffin (18-7, 9-5 UFC)

Tonight’s Co-Main Event is the retirement fight for UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz.  The People’s Champion has drawn only one win since he beat down Ken Shamrock in 2006.  His Submission of the Night over Ryan Bader at UFC 132 was a brief glimmer of vintage Tito.  His takedowns and ground and pound abilities are still fearsome, though his chest just can’t take the pounding anymore.  His losses to Little Nog and Rashad Evans came after vicious knees to his chest.  Tito’s legacy is cemented, though, as the longtime Huntington Beach Bad Boy defended the Light Heavyweight strap five times.

Forrest Griffin has a pretty solid legacy, too.  He held the Light Heavyweight belt at one time and has been in some of the most savage wars in UFC history.  This fight will be a good old-fashioned slugfest.  Tito will want to go out on a high note, while Forrest is hoping to get his career back on track for one last push to the top.  Expect a really fun brawl here.

Pick: Ortiz – 3rd Round TKO.

—————

So there you have it.  UFC 148 picks for the main card.  Like them?  Post a comment or tweet me at @cornerpocket422.  Also follow our live chat tonight at @thefarmclub.

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About mattpocket

I am the Sports Director at 88.3 FM WXOU Radio, out of Oakland University. I am the play-by-play voice of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. I've been to two NCAA Tournaments, been heard on ESPN, and won 9 Michigan Association of Broadcasters Awards. Follow me on Twitter. @cornerpocket422 You can tune in to The Corner Pocket every Friday from 3-5 pm with my cohost Bryan and Everson and myself, featuring the best guests, such as Dave Birkett, Jim Nill, and Bruce Buffer.

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One Comment on “UFC 148 Picks”

  1. Grieser Says:

    tito is going out a loser. forrest 2nd rd tko!

    other than that and Chael Sonnens coronation, im not horribly concerned about this card but i will be watching

    Reply

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