If you've heard MMA legend and former UFC champ Pat Miletich
's contributions to the Strikeforce: Challengers broadcasts or his analysis on ESPN's "MMA Live," then it won't surprise you to know that Miletich had a lot of really insightful things to say when I called him to play Fighter vs. Writer for UFC 118
So insightful, in fact, that it immediately made me wonder why I was dumb enough to choose Miletich to go up against, when I'm a dismal 1-4 in this series so far.
So the bad news is that I'm up against a superior MMA mind this week. The good news is that I got to hear Miletich break down the upcoming card, which includes one fight where "The Croatian Sensation" says there's an epic beating in store for one of the interested parties. Can you guess who?
Yeah, you probably can. But you should still read all about how both Miletich and I see the main card playing out on Saturday night. Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. PennPat's pick:
Penn via submission or TKO. "I like Frankie a lot, but I didn't think he won the first fight. He bounced around a lot, but literally almost every time he came in on B.J. he got caught with punches. If B.J.'s knee is healed up and he's healthy, I think he puts it on Frankie this time."My pick:
Penn via submission. As long as we don't see the same lethargic Penn we saw in the first fight, "The Prodigy" should get his belt back on Saturday night. At least now he knows he can't sit back and counter and expect to win a decision.
Randy Couture vs. James ToneyPat's pick:
Couture via whatever he wants. "James Toney needs money badly enough that he's willing to go out there and get dumped on his face and mauled like a groundhog getting mauled by a grizzly bear. That's what's going to happen."My pick:
Couture via TKO. If Toney could even slow down a takedown, much less stop one, I'd be impressed. He won't, though. Instead Couture is going to take him down, put his head in the fence, and pound him with elbows until he can't see anymore.Gray Maynard vs. Kenny FlorianPat's pick:
Kenny via decision or cut stoppage. "If Kenny can just avoid some of the takedowns, somewhere over fifty percent of them, I think he'll win. Gray had really good torso movement when he fought Diaz...but Kenny's kicking ability will take some of that away from him."My pick:
Florian via decision. As boring as it is for us to agree three times in a row, I can't pick against KenFlo in this one. He's the more complete fighter.Demian Maia vs. Mario MirandaPat's pick:
Maia via decision. "I haven't seen enough of Miranda to form too great an opinion, but I've always been a fan of Maia. If he's improved his stand-up a little, I give him a much better chance of winning."My pick:
Maia via submission. Like Pat, I haven't seen a ton of Miranda's fights, so it's tough to know yet what to make of him. I've seen Maia though, and he's among the best middleweights in the UFC at the moment. He'll find a way to get this to the mat and finish it there.Nate Diaz vs. Marcus DavisPat's pick:
Davis via decision. "He's got a lot of boxing experience. Nate and Nick Diaz both like to box, both have good styles, but Marcus has a ton of pro boxing matches. ...He's stronger, physically, and he's meaner than sh-t. I think Marcus just overpowers him."My pick:
Diaz via decision. I'm only partially making this pick so I can have at least one point of disagreement with Pat, but I'm also partially doing it because there's a very good chance that Davis, at 37, is not the fighter he once was. Diaz probably can't finish him, but as long as he doesn't get sucked into a slugfest he should win.