This Saturday night in Calgary, Canada we are in for an action packed UFC card takes place which features a main event of Renan Barao ns Urijah Faber for the UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship. There are a lot of Canadian fighters on the card, being that this is the first UFC ever held in Alberta, Canada, so expect the crowd to be very loud and nationalistic. Canadian fight crowds are some of the most passionate in the world, and that is a fact, not an opinion. After my incredible performance at UFC 148 (5-1 on the Main Card, 8-3 Overall) the entire Mixed Martial Arts World is certainly waiting with bated breath for my picks for UFC 149. I cannot, and will not let my people down. Here are my picks for UFC 149, as always I will start with the preliminary card (available on FX) then will go in depth on the main card:
Anton Kuivanen OVER Mitch Clarke
Antonio Carvalho OVER Daniel Pineda
Bryan Caraway OVER Mitch Gangon
Anthony Perosh OVER Ryan Jimmo
Roland Delorme OVER Francisco Rivera
Nick Ring OVER Court McGee
Chris Clements (11-4) vs Matthew Riddle (6-3): The Canadian who holds the fastest knockout in MMA History (3 seconds) Clements will have a major home field advantage in Alberta, as he enters this match riding a five fight winning streak. Riddle, the American who competed on season 7 of The Ultimate Fighter, has much more experience in the UFC. Clements is a dangerous kickboxer and a finisher, I expect the Canadian to finish this fight, though Riddle could win a decision. WINNER: Clements by TKO.
Brian Ebersole (50-14) vs James Head (8-2): The always entertaining Ebersole, the man with the arrow shaved into his chest hair, just won a match in late June against dangerous TJ Waldburger. A winner of 11 straight, Ebersole is an MMA Veteran and never passes up on an opportunity to fight, so he took this match on short notice to replace the injured Claude Patrick. James Head is coming off of an impressive submission win against Papi Abedi in April, but the experienced and unorthodox Ebersole will be too much for him on Saturday night. WINNER: Ebersole by DECISION.
Cheick Kongo (17-7-2) vs Shawn Jordan (13-3): A former fullback on the LSU football team, Jordan is a dangerous up and coming young striker, who will face the daunting task of taking on the experienced Kongo on Saturday night. Jordan has been impressive and is coming off wins against Oli Thompson and Lavar Johnson, however Kongo is a veteran who has been through wars and has beaten some of the biggest names in MMA over the course of his career. There should be a lot of heavy punches thrown in this one and somebody is going to end up winning by referee stoppage, I am giving the advantage to the more experienced Kongo. WINNER Kongo by TKO.
Hector Lombard (31-2-1-1) vs Tim Boetsch (15-4): Lombard is well known to MMA fans, having competed in Bellator, where he is the former middleweight champion and the record holder for fastest knockout in history (6 seconds). Lombard was expected to fight in the UFC in the past, but was forced to withdraw due to visa issues, as he is Cuban. Saturday night he makes his much anticipated UFC debut when he takes on Tim Boetsch, a dangerous American who has won his last three fights and seven of his last eight. The only blemish on his record since mid-2009 is a submission loss to Phils Davis, which is nothing to be ashamed of, and he is coming off of a knockout of Yushin Okami. This may be the fight of the night, my gut instinct has been to pick Hector Lombard, however now I find myself leaning Boetsch. This one is a touch call, I’m going with my gut. WINNER Lombard by DECISION.
UPDATE: I’ve been thinking a lot about about this fight. Very confident Lombard wins. WINNER Lombard by TKO.
UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship: Renan Barao (28-1-1) vs Urijah Faber (26-5): Renan Barao lost his first professional fight in 2005 by unanimous decision when he was 18 years old, and since that day, he is undefeated (one no contest). The 25 year old explosive Brazilian has been impressive since joining the UFC, where he is 3-0 and has earned the right to compete for the Interim title on Saturday night. Urijah Faber was scheduled to face fellow Ultimate Fighter coach Dominic Cruz for his Bantamweight title at the conclusion of the show, but that all changed when Cruz blew out his knee while training, forcing this fight for the interim title. The winner of this match will eventually take on Cruz to become the undisputed UFC Bantamweight Champion, and Faber has every intention of winning to set up a rubber match with Cruz (they have each beaten each other once over the course of their careers). I think that eventually we get to see the deciding match between Faber and Cruz, however it will not be a result of this match, because I’m picking Renan Barao to remain undefeated in the UFC. WINNER: Barao by DECISION.
ENJOY THE FIGHTS