Silva x Diaz - Picks & Predictions
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PICK vs. OPPONENT
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Silva x Diaz
Anderson Silva fighting Nick Diaz? That's insane. That's like if Robbie Lawler were to win a title in modern MMA. I really don't believe this is going to happen until the bell rings and they find themselves in the same cage. Part of me wants to see this fight unfold into a grappling match, but a larger, more important, part of me wants to see it play out exactly like the strike fest it looks like on paper. I also can't help but think Diaz will be undersized for this fight. The most interesting dynamic will be how their striking games play out. Anderson loves/needs space to do what he does and Diaz loves/needs to fight in telephonebooth range to do his thing. I have no prediction other than Anderson winning.
Woodley x Gastelum
Kevin Gastelum has been unassuming during his entire stint in the UFC and, it's worth noting, he's been undefeated during it as well. Tyron is anything but unassuming – he's built like a statue, has several vicious knockouts under his belt, and I think he scared the "e" rightthefuckoff his own name. I feel like Gastelum should be able to use his wrestling to control Woodley, but I don't know if he has the striking chops to keep up with Tyron on the feet. Also, it scares me a bit how poorly a wrestleboxer like Koscheck did against Woodley. That was terrifying. This is the first time that I remember Kevin getting the "favorite" treatment but Woodley is beyond a live dog here. I'm rooting for Gastelum but not with my wallet.
Lauzon x Iaquinta
God dammit Joe Lauzon, why do I love you so much? Now I'm going to have to convince these people that a younger version of you has no shot against you. While both these guys are probably best on the mat, I have to give Iaquinta the nod striking. That Longo/Serra camp isn't to be trifled with and Iaquinta proved that with his knockout of Pearson. Then again, Lauzon just dispatched another fastrising prospect in Mike Cheisa with a TKO. This really is a great matchup to see where both guys are, relatively, in the division. Honestly, I think Lauzon scrubs the floor with Iaquinta grappling but will have a tough time striking. There will probably be blood. Classic JLau fight. Can't wait!