But rather than dwell on hypothetical conversations that exist only in my head, we move forward to UFC 122 and a fight-picking showdown with former "Ultimate Fighter" contestant and recent Sportscenter highlight-maker Gerald Harris, who took some time out from training for his fight at UFC 123 next weekend to match wits with me.
Unlike Gerald, I haven't slammed my way on to ESPN (yet), but I feel pretty good about my prognosticating powers this week. That is why I now turn awkwardly toward the "Hurricane" and utter the four most important words in the English language: You wanna do it?
Nate Marquardt vs. Yushin Okami
Gerald's pick: Before I could even finish explaining how Fighter vs. Writer works, Gerald blurted out, "Marquardt is going to win." That's what you get when you talk to a guy who's been spending a lot of time at the Grudge Training Center in Denver alongside Marquardt and Trevor Wittman. When I asked for a method, Gerald added, "However he wants."
My pick: I'm taking Marquardt too, but I don't think it will be quite so easy. Okami is a big guy who can and will hold you down for fifteen minutes. I think Marquardt stays on his feet enough to win a decision.
Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara
Gerald's pick: In a direct violation of the Writer vs. Fighter unified rules, Gerald refused to pick a winner here, explaining, "I couldn't care less." When I pointed out that they're both middleweights, like him, he said, "Exactly." I've decided that the only way Gerald can tally a win in this one is in the case of a draw or a no contest. And if that happens, yeah, I'm going to be very mad.
My pick: Rivera. It's going to be tough, and he won't be able to rely on being the better boxer in this match-up, but he's certainly more well-rounded. In a fight this close, I think that will make all the difference.
Dennis Siver vs. Andre Winner
Gerald's pick: "That's a tough one. I'll give it to Siver because of his wrestling. He's a really good MMA wrestler."
My pick: Winner. I know Siver has the strength of all Deutschland behind him, but I think Winner's speed and takedown defense will prove to be sehr, sehr gut.
Amir Sadollah vs. Peter Sobotta
Gerald's pick: "I don't know a lot about Sobotta, but obviously I know a lot about Amir," Gerald said. For you dolts who just started watching MMA six weeks ago, that's because Sadollah defeated Harris to knock him out of the TUF 7 competition. "I'll go with Amir," he concluded.
My pick: Sadollah. Despite his record on the local circuit, Sobotta has yet to win a fight in the UFC. He even lost a decision the last time the UFC was in Germany, so apparently the home crowd doesn't help all that much.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Goran Reljic
Gerald's pick: "I have to go with Soszynski with...what is that darn move he does? Kimura! Soszynski by kimura."
My pick: K-Sos. I don't think he's sneaking up on anyone with that kimura any more, but I think he edges out a decision against Reljic, who has shown in the past that he can definitely be outwrestled.
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