First published in the Lethbridge College Endeavour, Jan. 28, 2009
With Sean Young
Nate Diaz vs. Clay Guida
Diaz has won all five of his UFC fights and is building momentum toward becoming a serious contender for the lightweight title. Th e Gracie Jiu-Jitsu brown-belt’s last foray into the octagon, last September against Josh Neer is the only decision victory of his pro career.
That same night, Guida put an impressive unanimous decision victory on his resume by out-pacing a very game Mac Danzig.
Sean’s pick: Guida. Diaz hasn’t impressed me really yet. I think he’ll find pulling guard on a beast like “the Carpenter” is a bad game plan.
Scott’s pick: Diaz. He’s ridiculously dangerous on the ground and besides, isn’t Guida a type of cheese?
Karo Parisyan vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Parisyan was scheduled to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 88 in September 2008, but a last minute back injury forced him to withdraw. “Th e Heat” – once considered a top-five welterweight suffered a brutal KO defeat to Thiago Alves in his last showing. Th ough “Stun-gun” Kim is undefeated, a controversial split-decision victory over Matt Brown at UFC 88 has him motivated to prove he can win without the judges.
Sean’s pick: Karo, I guess. Neither fighter is really exciting; I’ll probably make a beer run during this one.
Scott’s pick: Kim, undefeated and his name is “Stun-gun.” Good enough for me.
Stephan Bonnar vs. Jon Jones
Cutting his MMA teeth on the Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Finale, Bonnar is no stranger to adversity. But several injuries and a nine-month suspension in 2006 have kept “Th e American Psycho” inactive for long periods. His first fight in 14 months will be no easy feat. “Bones” Jones, 7-0 is a solid Muay-Thai striker with a pedigree in wrestling superior to Bonnar’s.
Sean’s pick: Bonnar. He won’t back down and trains with Xtreme Couture. Th is one is going to show what he’s made of.
Scott’s pick: Jones. Bonnar’s only claim to fame is losing to Forest Griffin, and Jones is undefeated.
Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva
Each man is 13-0, but Machida’s record hosts bigger names with victories over BJ Penn, Rich Franklin, and Tito Ortiz. Silva – a fearless striker and wrestler will look to push the pace and cause Machida to make mistakes.
Sean’s pick: Silva. Sometimes charging like a Bald Bull from Mike Tyson’s PunchOut works, this being one of those times.
Scott’s pick: Machida. Machida’s unorthodox style confuses opponents until they make a fatal mistake.
Georges St-Pierre vs. BJ Penn
Both fighters are at the peaks of their careers and have vastly improved since Mar. 4, 2006 when they last met inside the cage. Since losing the contested UFC ’58 bout via split decision, Penn has made a successful transition to lightweight and captured the title with three dominant victories over Jens Pulver, Joe Stevenson and Sean Sherk, respectively. After beating Penn, St. Pierre went on to gain, lose, and regain the 170lb title, and has destroyed his last four opponents – the most recent being a five-round battering of Jon Fitch.
Sean’s pick: Going to take a lot of heat for this, but I’ll take Penn. I think there’s a good chance his mental game, boxing and iron chin will be the difference.
Scott’s pick: GSP. Th ere are three unbeatable MMA fighters in their weight classes: Fedor, Anderson Silva, and GSP. He’ll make a mockery of a fattened-up Penn. H.