Nolan Howell: 27-9, .750
Daniel Galvan: 19-8, .704
Christian Diaz: 23-12, .657
Benjamin Kohn: 15-8, .652
Josh Hall: 14-9, .609
Tim Bernier: 13-9, .591
Lucas Bourdon: 7-5, .583
Chris Groves: 20-17, .541
TC Engel: 14-14, .500
Tim Hickey: 14-14, .500
Connor Dillon: 15-16, .484
Luke Irwin: 25-31, .446
(To put it succinctly, Nolan absolutely ate my lunch for Bellator last week, going 4-0 to my 1-3. That sunk me even further into the Winslow [NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!] League and gave Nolan a commanding lead on the entire shabang.)
UFC Welterweight Championship: Georges St. Pierre (c) (23-2) vs. Nick Diaz (26-8)
Tim Hickey: I am a fan of both fighters for a long time. GSP, because I respect his fight IQ and his ability to make great fighters look ordinary, and Diaz because he always comes to fight. Some of my favorite fights of all times had Nick Diaz in them. That being said, GSP is a stylistic nightmare for him. Diaz has traditionally struggled with wrestlers, hence why Strikeforce kept him away from every wrestler they could during his time as their champion. GSP via decision.
Luke Irwin: If not the best, then Georges St. Pierre is currently the smartest fighter in the world today. His fight IQ is unmatched and I think the lessons that were learned in two fights; Condit vs. Diaz, and his own fight with Condit, will benefit him tremendously. Nick Diaz, on the other hand, is a child. When things don’t go his way, he starts to taunt, he starts to pout, and he starts acting irrationally. GSP is going frustrate the living hell out of Diaz en route to a lopsided decision. St. Pierre via UD.
Connor Dillon: Alrighty, it’s the super robot versus the perennial bad boy. This breaks down to can GSP control Diaz, and can he do damage on the ground if and when he takes him down. Yes. Nick Diaz won’t be able to control the distance or the Octagon and GSP will incorporate his excellent takedowns to ground Diaz down. GSP via TKO, Fourth Round.
Tim Bernier: Georges St-Pierre is the second greatest mixed martial artist to ever live. He’s faced the toughest competition of anyone to ever fight in this sport. He is going to beat the snot out of Nick Diaz. Diaz will look lost after the first round, and he will not adjust or find any effective offense during the course of this fight. I should note that I’m biased as all hell, as GSP is my favorite fighter. Clean sweep on the scorecards: Georges St-Pierre by Unanimous Decision.
TC Engel: GSP hates Nick Diaz. GSP with a chip on his shoulder traditionally turns out poorly for his opponent. GSP is a better striker. GSP is a better wrestler. GSP will beat Nick Diaz by second round knockout.
Josh Hall: GSP UD. GSP is simply better than Diaz everywhere. A late round finish wouldn’t shock me, but I’ll take St. Pierre by dominant decision.
Benjamin Kohn: GSP by UD- Diaz really doesn’t have much of a chance here.
Nolan Howell: I am a huge Diaz fan and would love to see the upset here. That said, he cannot dictate where this fight takes place and GSP has shown some stone cold composure in adherence to a gameplan. I don’t count on him being lured into slugging with Diaz and I don’t count on him getting submitted. Going to be a rough night for the Stockton collective. Georges St. Pierre by unanimous decision.
Chris Groves: GSP is a fantastic wrestler with fantastic top control. He’s also a great strategist when it comes to MMA. As much as I’d love for Diaz to pull something out and for chaos to ensue, GSP will win in every way that Diaz hates to lose. GSP via UD.
Welterweight Bout: Carlos Condit (28-6) vs. Johny Hendricks (14-1)
Tim Hickey: This has FOTN written all over it. Condit is the better technical striker, but Hendricks has the heaviest hands in the entire welterweight division. Bigg Rigg has great wrestling credentials on paper, but he rarely seems to use them, instead relying on the Dan Henderson method of fighting (trying to land that one big punch). I think Hendricks comes out smart and utilizes a gameplan of cutting off the cage, working for takedowns and trying to land some strong GnP on Condit. Hendricks via decision.
Luke Irwin: Now we’re talking. I think we were all happy to see the return of a more aggressive Condit against GSP, and I hope that continues. Ideally, this ends up being a firefight, and I can see Hendricks eeking by. Hendricks via SD.
Connor Dillon: I love Condit, but I think Hendricks will win this based on his wrestling. I think he’s gonna get Condit againt the fence and turn this into something resembling his fight against Koscheck. Hendricks via Decision.
Tim Bernier: At the time of this writing, Carlos Condit is an underdog to Johny Hendricks. It’s slight, but I think Condit should be about a -145 or -150 favorite. Condit at +115 is almost enticing me to end my betting hiatus. I don’t think Hendricks has proven he has the skills to beat a fighter like Condit. Condit has faced better competition. Hendricks looked like dogshit against 2012 Josh Koscheck, lost a UD to Rick Story a little over two years ago, SD’d Mike Pierce. He didn’t fight long enough against Fitch or Kampmann to show that he is some amazing fighter that is going to walk in and crush a fighter like Carlos Condit in 20 seconds-because Carlos sure as shit has better defense than Kampmann and Fitch. Carlos Condit by decision.
TC Engel: If I ever pick against Carlos Condit, I won’t be able to live with myself. That being said, I think Carlos Condit can keep Johny Hendricks at range, and pick him apart with straight punches and kicks to the legs and body. I don’t see a finish, but I think Carlos Condit will beat Johny Hendricks by Unanimous Decision.
Josh Hall: Hendricks UD- This fight is a coin toss but I think Hendricks uses his wrestling to grind out an ugly decision win.
Benjamin Kohn: Hendricks by KO rd 1- Hendricks’ Leonidas beard shall conquer all.
Nolan Howell: Everyone should be rooting for Hendricks here. The guy has deserved a title shot two or three times over and he just keeps getting tougher opposition each time, only to mow people down and still miss out on a shot. Unfortunately, Condit seems to be a guy that matches up very well with Hendricks. Lengthy striking and a stifling ground game that can be employed from his back, Condit will likely pick apart Hendricks. Carlos Condit by unanimous decision.
Chris Groves: Condit is extremely well rounded and he could easily take home a UD here….but Hendricks has crazy power. I know Condit survived the heavy shots he took from Ellenberger. But that was YEARS ago, and I think Hendricks hits harder and will land. Hendricks via KO, round 1
Welterweight Bout: Jake Ellenberger (28-6) vs. Nate Marquardt (32-11-2)
Tim Hickey: Marquardt makes his return to the UFC, and isn’t given an easy fight where he has to face off against the always dangerous Ellenberger. Although Ellenberger’s stock has dropped a bit over the past year, he is still one of those fighters that Nate The Great has struggled with over the years. Expect Ellenberger to utilize his strong wrestling to grind out Marquardt over 3 rounds. Ellenberger via decision.
Luke Irwin: I’m happy to see one of my favorite fighters in the world back in the UFC. I just don’t know whether we’ll see the guy against Woodley or the guy against Saffiedine, because those two were totally different guys. I’d like to think Marquardt finds his fire back and mauls Jake in the later rounds like he did T-Wood (his old nickname was better). Marquardt R3 TKO.
Connor Dillon: Ellenberger has power, and in Nate The Great’s last appearance he seemed slow and not very quick. I think Ellenberger catches him and kicks Marquardt out of the UFC. Ellenberger via TKO.
Tim Bernier: Marquardt has quite a strange career. He’s really inconsistent. He a bit of a headcase as well. Ellenberger hits like a fucking truck. Marquardt is in on short notice. Ellenberger by KO, round 1.
TC Engel: Nate Marquardt will never be viewed correctly in the minds of fight fans. Everyone loves him for his Tekken combos, but past that, he’s not much special. Mediocre wrestling, mediocre striking, mediocre BJJ, mediocre speed, mediocre cardio. Jake Ellenberger will beat Nate Marquardt by first round knockout.
Josh Hall: Ellenberger KO1- Ellenberger will not want to repeat the dud of a fight he had against Jay Hieron, and I think the 2 fighters slug it out until Ellenberger lands a big right hand to secure the KO win.
Benjamin Kohn: Marquart by UD- I think Nate is to standing to get caught by Jake and will stick to the outside enroute to a win.
Nolan Howell: Jake Ellenberger is loads of fun to watch. He either clobbers his opponent in the first round or slowly fades en route to being finished or taking a decision. Nate Marquardt is a guy that can easily take advantage of that, but he is also wildly inconsistent. In addition, he hasn’t shown to be terribly impressive at welterweight. Something just tells me that Marquardt has an advantage just about everywhere here, perhaps save offensive wrestling. Nate Marquardt by unanimous decision.
Chris Groves: Nate is taking the fight on less than full notice, Jake has great wrestling and a lot of power…he’s also the younger fighter. I think Ellenberger paces himself, but eventually cracks Marquardt with something heavy that Nate won’t bounce back from. Ellenberger via 2nd round KO.
Middleweight Bout: Chris Camozzi (18-5) vs. Nick Ring (13-1)
Tim Hickey: Ugh, is this for real a main card fight? Really? Camozzi via TKO
Luke Irwin: Wow, this card really falls off quite briskly, eh? Camozzi has silently won three in a row, and although Ring is a step up in competition, it’s not a large one at all. Camozzi via UD.
Connor Dillon: I’ll admit, I don’t like Nick Ring, and I hope Camozzi destroys him, but I see it going to decision. Camozzi via Decision.
Tim Bernier: After three really awesome fights to end the card, we get…Nick Ring vs Chris Camozzi. Yay. Ring by decision.
TC Engel: Nick Ring. Why does the UFC try to ram him down Canada’s collective throat? I don’t know. I do know that Chris Camozzi will beat Nick Ring by Unanimous Decision.
Josh Hall: Ring UD- Its gonna be grinding and ugly whoever wins, and that is Ring’s kind of fight, so I’ll take him by decision.
Benjamin Kohn: Camozzi by UD- Ring gasses and Cammozi is a big guy. I expect this to be a pretty boring fight that Camozzi takes narrowly.
Nolan Howell: Another battle of inconsistencies here. Ring has quite a few wins in the UFC, but two of them have been pretty atrocious judging calls that gave him the victory. Camozzi can look lackluster or inspired, depending on the night. This is a coin-flip decision, but Ring hasn’t shown me anything terribly impressive and Camozzi is a tough out that will keep coming. Chris Camozzi by unanimous decision.
Chris Groves: I care about this fight only because I want to see Nick Ring catch a beating. Who I’m picking/rooting for shouldcome as no surprise. Camozzi via UD.
Lightweight Bout: Colin Fletcher (8-2) vs. Mike Ricci (7-3)
Tim Hickey: Cause lord knows we can’t have a main card unless it has a Canadian fighter in it. Good gravy, Camozzi, Ring and Ricci all on a main card. Are sure this isn’t being held in Calgary? Ricci via decision
Luke Irwin: Boy, this fight is….boy. Fletcher UD.
Connor Dillon: I didn’t really like Ricci and Fletcher seems like a cool name. Fletcher by submission.
Tim Bernier: Wikipedia tells me both of these guys lost the Ultimate Fighter. One of them lost to a guy named Norman Parke. Really? Norman? There’s no excuse for that. Mike Ricci by decision.
TC Engel: I did not watch Ricci’s season of TUF. I did watch Fletcher’s. I think he’s a terrible wrestler that’s mediocre everywhere else, and I know nothing of Ricci apart from his fight against Naptime Colton, his friendship with Rory MacDonald, and his hipsterness. So, umm.. Colin Fletcher will beat Mike Ricci by second round d’Arce choke.
Josh Hall: Ricci KO2- Fletcher has a solid submission game, but I think he lacks the offensive wrestling to implement it here. Ricci via 2nd round KO.
Benjamin Kohn: Ricci by UD- Good wrestler vs. bad takedown defense, Ricci by takedowns.
Nolan Howell: Simply put, aside from being lengthy, Fletcher is not very impressive. Ricci is no animal himself, but he has potential staying power as a lightweight gatekeeper. Mike Ricci by second-round TKO.
Chris Groves: Wow, I truly give zero fucks about this fight. Apologies, but that’s the way it is. Ricci via UD.
Welterweight Bout: Bobby Voelker (24-8) vs. Patrick Cote (18-8)
Tim Hickey: In his last 5 fights, Bobby Voelker has fought Roger Bowling 3 times. That and he hasn’t fought in like 18 months. Expect a beating. Cote via KO.
Luke Irwin: Voelker hasn’t fought in a while, but Cote is done as a high-level fighter. Voelker is a legit fighter and I think he’s going to take it to Cote. Voelker R1 TKO.
Connor Dillon: Cote via TKO.
Tim Bernier: Cote’s career has been one disappointment after another. Quite unfortunate. I think he still has the skills to beat Bobby Voelker, who is on a three fight streak, the last two of which have come against Roger Bowling. Because Strikeforce matchmaking. Cote by decision.
TC Engel: Patrick Cote, compared to Nick Ring, is beloved in Canada. I like him, and I hope he wins. Oddly enough, I think he can do it. His chin showed signs of fading in his last fight, but I’d be stunned if Bob Voelker is the one to do it, so I think Pat Cote will beat Bobby Voelker by Unanimous Decision.
Josh Hall: Voelker KO2- I’m afraid Cote is totally shot as a fighter, and Voelker is tough as the fight wears on. I think he finishes Cote in the second or third round.
Benjamin Kohn: Cote by KO. More experience against better competition + big power= Cote by KO.
Nolan Howell: Voelker is sloppy and has some ring rust. Cote should pack more of a punch at welterweight and be able to land at will. Patrick Cote by first-round KO.
Chris Groves: Voelker hasn’t fought in nearly 2 years…that’s bad. Even if Cote had a rough cut, I still predict he’ll be the better striker and all that jazz. Cote via TKO round 3.
Featherweight Bout: Antonio Carvalho (15-5) vs. Darren Elkins (15-2)
Tim Hickey: Interesting stylistic matchup (although may not be as fun to watch) pits Elkins’ strong top game against Carvalho’s good jiu-jitsu. I like Elkins to grind this one out in a performance to make Jon Fitch proud. Elkins via UD.
Luke Irwin: I really, really like Elkins since he went to Featherweight. He’s crazy strong at that weight class, and while Carvalho can win a number of ways, I think Elkins grinds him into a paste with GnP. Elkins via UD.
Tim Bernier: Darren Elkins ain’t no joke. He’s a step above Carvalho. Elkins by decision.
TC Engel: Damn, this is easily one of the toughest picks for me. I’m a big fan of Carvalho. He’s a very nice striker with surprising power. He also looks like a total nerdlips, so that’s a plus. But Elkins is a great grinder, on his way into the upper echelon of the division. Out of my hatred of grinders, though, I’ll say Antonio Carvalho beats Darren Elkins by first round technical knockout.
Josh Hall: Elkins UD- Elkins wins a lot of decisions, and I don’t think Carvalho has the weapons to catch him with something, so more of the same for Darren here.
Benjamin Kohn: Elkins by UD- Elkins is gonna get the takedown and dominate position throughout the fight.
Nolan Howell: Sort of a toss-up, but Elkins’ offensive (if you can call it that) grappling is the deciding factor. Carvalho’s ground game might be able to control him, but I doubt it. Darren Elkins by unanimous decision.
Chris Groves: Elkins is 4-0 at Featherweight for a reason. He has a stifling wrestling-based grappling style that is enough to get past guys like Carvalho. Elkins via UD.
Welterweight Bout: Dan Miller (14-6) vs. Jordan Mein (26-8)
Tim Hickey: Everyone knows those Miller brothers are as tough as microwaved steak, but Jordan Mein is perhaps one of the brightest prospects in the welterweight division. Mein has devastating elbows, and as long as he can keep this fight on the feet, I see him finishing Dan Miller. Mein via KO.
Luke Irwin: This is my FOTN prediction right here. The Miller brothers are never in a boring fight, and they’re really throwing Dan into a shark tank herre. Mein is vicious and can put away most everyone at 170. He’ll put a beating on Dan, but he won’t finish him. Mein via UD.
Connor Dillon: Miller via Decision.
Tim Bernier: Dan Miller is a great guy. Life has given him some of the biggest “fuck you’s” it has to offer. So it is with a heavy heart that I pick Mein by decision. Here’s to hoping Dan has another guillotine somewhere inside him.
TC Engel: This fight is so good. I mean, how do you cheer against Dan Miller? And Jordan Mein uses standing elbows! I have no desire to break this down. I’ll say Dan Miller beats Jordan Mein by third round guillotine after losing two rounds.
Josh Hall: Mein UD- I think Jordan Mein is going to be physically too much for one of the UFC’s good guys in Dan Miller. Miller has never been finished though, and I don’t expect that to change here.
Nolan Howell: While people are high on Mein, people also sleep on Miller. Miller is tough and underrated. He’ll use his wrestling and grappling to take this one. Dan Miller by second-round submission.
Chris Groves: Miller is a personal favorite of mine. Knowing his story, I find it impossible to root against him. The fact that he always takes short notice fights only adds to his manly-man persona. Jordan is a prospect with a bright future, but it’s Miller via Sub, round 2.
Lightweight Bout: Daron Cruickshank (12-2) vs. John Makdessi (10-2)
Tim Hickey: Hey look, some dude from a TUF season I didn’t watch, and Makdessi, best remembered as having Joe Rogan tell us over and over what a world class striker he is. Makdessi via “K-1 level striking”.
Luke Irwin: This could also steal FOTN. This is going to be a standup battle. Makdessi uses his length and karate well to keep distance and land consistently. Sam Stout had absolutely nothing for him. Cruickshank is different, though. He won’t try to outpoint Makdessi, he’s going to pressure him like Njokuani did. Cruickshank via UD.
Connor Dillon: Makdessi via Decision.
Tim Bernier: These prelims ain’t half bad. Makdessi by decision.
TC Engel: This undercard is ridiculous. This is going to be fun. I predict violence, and I think Daron Cruickshank beats John Makdessi by Unanimous Decision.
Josh Hall: Makdessi UD- I expect this to be a stand up affair, and I think Makdessi has at least a small advantage on the feet. The Bull by decision.
Benjamin Kohn: Cruickshank by UD- Bigger, more explosive, and more power in his hands and feet, but Makdessi should be able to last the duration of the bout.
Nolan Howell: I am really looking forward to this fight for some taekwondo awesomeness. The standup seems to be relatively even or at least comparable, but Cruickshank has a wrestling background to turn to if things get rough. Daron Cruickshank by unanimous decision.
Chris Groves: STAND AND BANG! At least I hope so. Both guys have karate/Tae Kwon Do backgrounds(I think), but Cruickshank also has wrestling to mix in, which should only make his standup more effective. Cruickshank via KO, round 1.
Welterweight Bout: Quinn Mulhern (18-2) vs. Rick Story (14-6)
Tim Hickey: God, what happened to you Rick Story. You hold wins over Thiago Alves and Johny Hendricks. We thought you were going to be The Chosen One, the man who would ascend to the highest levels of the division. Then Charlie Brenneman walked off the street, taking a fight in 24 hrs noticed, beat you and you were never the same. I would like to think you still have enough promise to beat Mulhern. Story via decision.
Luke Irwin: Yikes, Story bringing up the Facebook portion of a PPV card. Nevertheless, Mulhern is a perfectly adequate fighter, but he’s not a high-level guy, has feasted on horrible competition, and he’s never faced a fighter as aggressive and brutal as Rick Story. This is a rebound fight for Story, I believe. Story R1 KO.
Connor Dillon: Story via TKO.
Tim Bernier: I’m not a fan of Rick Story, but to deny his ability to win a snoozer by clutching a single leg against the cage is to claim ignorance. Rick Story by zzzzz decision.
TC Engel: I don’t think this is going to be close. Rick Story beats Quinn Mulhern by first round annihilation.
Josh Hall: Story UD- Mulhern has a gaudy record on paper but has not fared well when he has had steps up in competition. Story is a giant step up. Story by lopsided decision.
Nolan Howell: Rick Story by unanimous decision.
Chris Groves: Story has the strength to take it to Mulhern. I know that sounds shockingly vague, but what I’m saying is Story via UD.
Bantamweight Bout: Issei Tamura (7-3) vs. TJ Dillashaw (6-1)
Tim Hickey: Dillashaw via KO
Luke Irwin: Paraphrasing Ty Webb in Caddyshack, “Issei you’re not….you’re not…good.” Dillashaw via R3 Submission.
Connor Dillon: Dillashaw via TKO.
Tim Bernier: TJ Dillashaw has been pleasantly surprising to watch. He’ll probably get ragged on for being Team Alpha Male by some of my esteemed colleagues here, but I’ve enjoyed watching him. Dillashaw by Submission, round 1.
TC Engel: Yeah, I have my doubts about a Japanese fighter vs. a good grappler, especially when it’s a marketable, young TUF vet that the UFC wants to push. TJ Dillishaw beats Issei Tamura by first round technical knockout.
Josh Hall: Dilleshaw KO1- This should be quick and painful. Tamura has struggled as of late, going 2-3 in his last five fights, and Dilleshaw should come out aggressive here. TJ by 1st round KO.
Benjamin Kohn: Dillishaw by UD- TJ has looked good but I don’t see him finishing Tamura who is very durable.
Nolan Howell: TJ Dillashaw by first-round TKO.
Chris Groves: I think Dillashaw’s grappling has come along well enough to ensure a win here. Dillashaw via Sub, round 1.
Bantamweight Bout: George Roop (12-9-1) vs. Reuben Duran (8-4-1)
Tim Hickey: Is it sad when I would rather see any of the Facebook fights on the main card instead of Mike Ricci? Roop via TKO.
Luke Irwin: I still can’t believe Roop is fighting at Bantamweight, and he’s apparently very comfortable at it. Gah, he’s going to look like Wicker Man to his opponents. As for Reuben Duran, loved his bouts and wars with Sugar Ray, Hagler, and Hearns, but he just doesn’t have it. Roop via R2 TKO.
Connor Dillon: Roop via TKO.
Tim Bernier: WEC NEVER FORGET. George Roop by decision.
TC Engel: Well, I haven’t seen Duran fight in forever, but he can’t be worse than Roop. He just can’t. Wait, he has a belly button tattoo? George Roop beats Reuben Duran by Unanimous Decision.
Josh Hall: Roop UD- Roop desperately needs a win here, and I think he uses his length to keep it at range and outpoint Duran for a decision win.
Benjamin Kohn: Roop by UD- Long and lanky wins the race.
Nolan Howell: George Roop by unanimous decision.
Chris Groves: This is a must-win for Roop, and I think he does what he needs to do and outpoints Duran with his lenght and striking. Roop via UD.