Pinche’s Picks UFC 187

UFC 187 was supposed to be headlined by Jon “Bones” Jones and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, but when the former champ plowed his rental car into a pregnant woman, and then ran off, the UFC decided to strip him of his championship belt and suspend the superstar indefinitely. You would think that by losing their champ and headliner this close to the fight, the PPV would be ruined, but Jones had a very good support cast for UFC 187. The card is still as exciting as it was before Jones went all Forrest Gump after that wreck, and just started running.

There are two titles on the line Saturday, plus some heavyweights, with a side of Cerrone. This card will definitely be more exciting than that Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, but will probably sell about 3.8 million less PPVs, and the fighter’s paychecks will have about a half-dozen less zeroes. I’m not betting too much money on this one, but only because I don’t have a lot of money. Which is also why I’m going with the favorites on this one.

-550 Joseph Benavidez (21-4) vs. +375 John Moraga (16-3):
John Moraga is coming off of a submission win over Willie Gates back in December, before that, he tapped out Justin Scroggins. The only trouble he has run into as of late would be his two loses to John Dodson and Demetrious Johnson, two of the best in the division. This fight will not be any easier for him, Benavidez is coming in off of two wins as well, and is 8-2 in his last ten bouts. The Team Alpha Male fighter will be able to win this fight on his feet or with his wrestling. Even though Moraga is a former Arizona State wrestler, Benavidez’s speed and foot work will make taking him down more difficult than he thinks. Moraga has better takedown accuracy than Joe B, but if he’s going to be successful with them he will have to slow Joe down. When it’s all said and done, Joe B wins by decision.

-450 #3 Travis “Hapa” Browne (17-2-1) vs. +325 #7 Andrei “Pit Bull” Arlovski (23-10):
I love this fight right here! Two of my favorite heavies stepping into the octagon in a fight that is almost guaranteed to not go the distance. Arlovski made his way back into the octagon after spending six years on the regional circuit. His first fight back was a bit of a let down when he faced Brendan Schaub, but he was quick to redeem himself when he KO’d Antonio Silva this past September. Arlovki has serious KO power, but I don’t think that alone will be enough to defeat Browne. Browne also has the same devastating KO power as Arlovski, in fact, he has 7 wins that have come in the first minute of the fight, and is 4-1 in his last 5 fights. Browne last fought in December when he defeated Brendan Schaub by TKO, and this fight will have the same result. Arlovski may land a couple big shots in the beginning of the fight, but it will be Browne who puts “Pit Bull” to sleep. Browne by TKO in this one.

-400 #3 Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (27-6) vs. +300 John “The Bull” Makdessi (12-3):
Donald Cerrone was originally set to face Russian standout Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 187, Khabib unfortunately suffered an injury and someone had to be crazy enough to step in and face “Cowboy” on short notice. Luckily, there’s this crazy Canadian, John “The Bull” Makdessi, who thought this sounded like a great idea. Makdessi has won 4 of his last 5 fights, finishing his last opponent, Shane Campbell, by first round TKO at UFC 186. 9 of Makdessi’s 12 wins have come by KO/TKO, but going up against Cerrone is no easy task. Although Cerrone is 0-1 in parking lot fights at Whole Foods, he is currently on a 7 fight win streak going back to 2013 in the octagon. He fought twice in 15 days back in January, and although he’s not too excited about facing Makdessi, he knows it’s a paycheck. This is Makdessi’s toughest opponent he’s faced so far, and I think it will be more of a learning experience than a victory. Cerrone’s superior striking will cause this fight to go to the ground, but that’s where he will end it. Cerrone wins by submission.

-500 Chris “All American” Weidman (12-0) vs. +350 #3 Vitor Belfort (24-10):
This is the first time in a long time, that we get to see a TRT free Belfort. Although from the pictures I’ve seen he still looks to be a very handsome man, with the body even dudes stare at, but we will see how the 38-year-old holds up. I’m 7 years younger than the guy, and I need a high fiber diet and comfortable shoes just to go out of town for the day, but Belfort has probably taken better care of himself than I have. Vitor has won 10 of his last 12 and 8 of those were by KO/TKO, and TRT or not, I think he can KO any middleweight if the opportunity was given to him; I don’t think Weidman will give him that opportunity though. Weidman is coming back from an injury, and although I feel like his time to lose is coming, I don’t think Belfort will be the one to give it to him. I would love to see Vitor win, he has always been one of my favorites and he is on one hell of a hot streak. But without the TRT, he won’t be able to fight like he did, but I hope he proves me wrong. I talked to Belfort’s closest training partner, Cheezits Christ, and he said, “TRT or not, this guy is ready to go to war.” We will have to wait until Saturday to see if he’s telling the truth. Weidman will be able to control Belfort and the pace of the fight, Belfort will fade in the later rounds, and Weidman will finish it by TKO.

-140 #3 Daniel Cormier vs. +110 #1 Anthony Johnson (19-4):
So, hear any good Jon Jones jokes lately? I would never say them to his face. Jon Jones was without a doubt, one of the most dominate champs in UFC history, and looked like he would reign as champion for quite some time. It was what he did outside of the octagon that would defeat him, and would also prove my theory that cocaine is a “gateway” drug to harder drugs like marijuana.

After the champ was stripped of his title, the UFC gave Daniel Cormier a second chance at the belt. I guess he earned it, he is coming off a loss and hasn’t beat a top ten light-heavyweight yet. Johnson on the other hand, could have one of the best comeback stories in sports history if he wins the belt. Johnson is on a 9 fight win streak since being cut from the UFC after not only losing to Vitor Belfort, but coming in over weight; something he had been struggling with. He fought his way back in higher weight classes, and is now fighting for the light-heavyweight belt; hard to imagine he once fought at welterweight. I would like for Johnson to win this fight, but I can’t bet with my heart. If I did I would take Angela Magana over anyone in the world. So, I’m going with Cormier in this one. He’s not going to be intimidated with Johnson’s size and his work ethic is hard to compete with. There is a very good chance Johnson could knockout Cormier, but I think Cormier is going to fight a very smart fight on Saturday. He took his last loss pretty hard, and I think he will do what he has to do to win this weekend, even if it isn’t fun to watch. I see him sticking to his wrestling roots, he will be able to take Johnson down, something he couldn’t do with Jones. Cormier wins this one by decision.

Go ahead bet your whole paycheck. There isn’t a person on this earth that has ever regretted listening to my advice.

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