Cubicle Warrior’s UFC 198 Picks

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MAIN CARD

265 lbs. Heavyweight: Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum (20-5-1) vs. Stipe Miocic (14-5)

Fabricio Werdum has finished three of the best heavyweights to ever compete in MMA– Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Cain Velasquez. He has also lost to Andrei Arlovski and Junior Dos Santos, but his last loss was in 2011.

Stipe Miocic has finished a few good fighters–Andrei Arlovski, Mark Hunt, and Roy Nelson–but has been 2-1 since 2014. His style is not flashy, but his gutsy performances have notched him several POTN, KOTN, and FOTN awards.

Prediction: Miocic by decision. Logic says Werdum should win this one, but the pattern of injured fighters returning too soon and losing leads me to pick the healthier Miocic.

185 lbs. Middleweight: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (22-4) vs. Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (25-11)

While using TRT, Vitor Belfort was a bona fide assassin who destroyed Michael Bisping, Dan Jefferson, and current middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. At age 39, he is just outside the capabilities of fighters who have beaten him– Chris Weidman, Jon Jones, and Anderson Silva.

Jacare is a very dangerous grappler with occasional knockout power. He has submitted Robbie Lawler and Ed Herman, and has knocked out Yushin Okami. His lack of cardio has been a liability that has led to decision losses in close fights against Yoel Ramero and Luke Rockhold.

Prediction: Jacare by late submission. Belfort at the top of his game against a less patient fighter would normally get the nod, but it would not hurt my feelings to see Belfort win this one. I see Jacare learning from his close loss in the last fight and rising to the occasion to get a signature win here.

140 lbs. Catch-weight: Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (15-1) vs. Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (8-6-1)

This dude Cyborg is going to walk into the ring at 165+ pounds and destroy Smith in the first round. I would keep the paramedics nearby.

Prediction: Cyborg by death punch, probably before you take your first swig of Budweiser, the official beer of the UFC.

205 lbs. Light Heavyweight: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (23-10) vs. Corey “Beastin 25/8” Anderson (8-1)

Rua is old and broken. His list of fighters he has lost to is a notable one: Lyota Machida, Jon Jones, Forrest Griffin, Alexander Gustaffsen, Chael Sonnen, and Ovince St Preux. He might still have enough gas in the tank to add to his list of wins:

Anderson is a rookie only two years away from his TUF 19 win, but he does have impressive undercard wins over Tom Lawlor and Fabio Maldonado.

Prediction: decision for Anderson. I used to love the Shogun, but I feel he missed his window of growth a long time ago. Anderson will notch his signature win and begin the long, rookie climb through a tough division.

170 lbs. Welterweight: Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberena (11-3) vs. Warlley Alves (10-0)

Prediction: Alves by submission, just because I hate Bam Bam’s nickname.

Preliminary Card

170 lbs. Welterweight: Demian Maia (22-6) vs. Matt Brown (20-13)

Maia just keeps plodding along at age 38. His methodical style keeps him in close victories against fighters like Gunnar Nelson, and Jon Fitch, but his lack of explosion in stand up has been a liability in close losses against Chris Weidman, Jake Shields, Rory MacDonald.

Brown has decent wins against lower tier fighters such as Mike Swick and Erick Silva, and hung in to close decision losses Johnny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler.

Prediction: Matt Brown is on par with Gunnar Nelson, whom Maia beat by unanimous decision. Expect a decision win for Maia here.

185 lbs. Middleweight: Thiago Santos (12-3) vs. Nate Marquardt (34-15-2)

Santos has gone head to head with Uriah Hall and made it to a decision loss. Otherwise, his resume is not very impressive with two KOs over lesser known fighters and a decision victory against a middle tier middleweight.

Marquardt was one of my favorite fighters seven years and seven losses ago. The game has evolved past Nate the Great, but Santos is not a threat to his outdated fighting skills.

Prediction: Marquardt KO in the middle round.

155 lbs. Lightweight: Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo (19-4) vs. Yancy Medeiros (12-3)

Trinaldo lost to low-end Michael Chiesa, but beat once high-end Ross Pearson. This guy is hard to figure out.

Medeiros has no notable victories, but he does have two notable losses–Dustin Poirier and Jim Miller. 

Prediction: Not that anyone cares, but Trinaldo has the chance to show his victory over Pearson was a sign of improvement. Trinaldo does have five successive victories, so I will give him the benefit of a doubt and call for a decision victory here.

135 lbs. Bantamweight: John Lineker (26-7) vs. Rob Font

5’3″ Lineker seems to have found his calling at Bantamweight after failing to make weight at Flyweight earlier this year.

Rob Font is 12-1 against a bunch of nobodies.

Prediction: Lineker by submission.

Preliminary Card

205 lbs. Light Heavyweight: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-7) vs. Patrick Cummins (8-3)

Cummins will patiently lull Nogueira to sleepworthy decision.

155 lbs. Lightweight: Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo (19-4) vs. Yancy Medeiros (12-3)

Trinaldo has notched victories over better fighters than Medeiros, so I expect a decision for Trinaldo.

170 lbs. Welterweight: Sergio Moraes (10-2) vs. Luan “Tarzan” Chagas (14-1)

Moraes gets an easy opportunity to showcase his jiu-jitsu against Chagas, who took the fight on two week’s notice.

145 lbs. Featherweight: Renato “Moicana” Carneiro (9-0-1) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (18-3).

This should be an exciting fight between two up and coming fighters, with the Chechen coming out on top.

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