Fighter vs. Writer: UFC 121 Picks With 'Mayhem' Miller

Jason "Mayhem" Miller appeared only briefly at Tuesday's EA Sports MMA demo at Universal City Walk. He beat "King" Mo Lawal via first-round TKO in the game, talked a little smack, then suddenly disappeared.

When I tracked him down after the event had wrapped up, he and his friends were just finishing up in a nearby skydiving simulator, during which one of his friends lost a tooth that had been superglued into his mouth after being knocked out. This was treated as a hilarious misadventure that everyone, including the loser of the tooth, seemed to enjoy.

Just another day in Mayhemland.

After he'd calmed down enough to form sentences, Miller agreed to go head-to-head with me in a prediction contest for UFC 121. Talk about an adrenaline rush.

Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez
Mayhem: "I'm very interested to see how this fight plays out, but I'm going to go ahead and say 'Viva la Raza!' and go with Cain Velasquez." Mayhem added that he thinks Velasquez "scrambles better than any other heavyweight on the ground" and "he has the right tools and enough cardio to put Brock away in round two or three."
Fowlkes: As insane as it seems for us both to pick against Lesnar, I also like Cain's speed over Brock's strength and think he'll be able to stay off his back for most of the fight. However, I think this one is going the distance, so I'll take Velasquez via decision.

Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampmann
Mayhem: "I think Shields will probably just keep taking him down. I'd like to see Kampmann out kickbox him, but I don't think he'll have enough takedown defense to keep Shields from imposing his will." When asked if that meant he was predicting a boring fight, Mayhem replied, "Yeah, probably. But who knows, maybe Shields submits him."
Fowlkes: Partly just to be contrary, and partly because a Shields victory seems to be too well-laid a plan by the UFC, I'm taking Kampmann. Do I feel good about this pick? I do not.

Tito Ortiz vs. Matt Hamill
Mayhem: "Hamill should be able to use his wrestling and counter-punch Tito. I just don't see Tito being able to impose his will in that fight."
Fowlkes: Agreed. I don't see how Ortiz wins this. Hamill is no Ken Shamrock. I think he takes a decision after three one-sided rounds.

Paulo Thiago vs. Diego Sanchez
Mayhem: "That Thiago dude is tough. I want my favorite motivational speaker, other than Tony Robbins, to win that one, but I think Thiago has the skills."
Fowlkes: If I believed in Sanchez's ability/interest in turning this into a wrestling match, I might be more optimistic about his chances. Instead I think Thiago keeps it standing and wears him out on the feet for three rounds.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Brendan Schaub
Mayhem: "Really, the fans. The fans win this one, because I don't know who either of those guys are." Here's where I reminded him that Gonzaga had headkicked Cro Cop, and that jogged his memory. "Oh, Gonzaga. Yeah. Who's the other guy?" Here's where I told him about Schaub's run on TUF 10. "Oh, now that you tell me that, Gonzaga all day. That's all I need to hear. He was on 'The Ultimate Fighter'? That's like a curse."
Fowlkes: A curse? Tell that to Rashad Evans and Josh Koscheck. I think this fight ends in a cloud of dust within the first five minutes, but I suspect Schaub will be the one left standing.

Court McGee vs. Ryan Jensen
Mayhem: "I don't know who either of those guys are, but Court McGee, just his name alone is enough." It turns out that Mayhem, in his recent travels to Brazil, met someone who identified himself as Jack McGee, which Mayhem immediately assumed was a fake name. "I was like, what are you, a child molester on the run?" Somehow this translates into a pick for Court.
Fowlkes: Since I actually know who McGee is, I also know he's the last TUF winner fighting his first post-TUF fight. You think the UFC is going to put him in a difficult fight right out of the gates? Not bloody likely.

Tom Lawlor vs. Patrick Cote
Mayhem: "I'm going with Lawlormania, baby!" When asked about the method of victory, Mayhem replied, "Via being awesome. I say he's going to be losing the fight, then Hulk out in round three and submit him. You watch. He's going to Hulk out."
Fowlkes: I'm not 100% sure what Mayhem means by 'Hulk out' (turn green and outgrow his clothes?), but I'm also going with Lawlor. He's a better grappler and Cote's been too inactive lately.

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