UFC 198

Werdum x Miocic - Picks & Predictions

Tune in for unsolicited and underqualified analysis

PICK vs. OPPONENT

Werdum x Miocic
Jacare x Belfort
Cyborg x Smith
Anderson x Shogun
Maia x Brown
Santos x Marquardt
Lineker x Font
Cummins x Little Nog
Trinaldo x Medeiros
Moraes x Chagas

DEVIL’S PARLAY

Cummins (-250)
Brown(+250)
Anderson (-240)
Stipe (+130) $6.66 to win $99

PREDICTIONS

Easily the best card to ever hit Brazil. Olympics be damned!

Fabricio Werdum x Stipe Miocic

A glance at Werdum’s resume will tell you he’s gold – pure championship material. From his world-class BJJ to his evolving, effective, unorthodox striking, it’s hard to make him uncomfortable in the cage. Fabricio took the belt away from Cain in Mexico and he was also the first guy to drive a stake through Fedor’s heart. His goofy grinning face is unrelenting and pressure will not phase him. Problem is, Stipe got haaaaaaaaaands.

Most of Werdum’s opponents try to keep things on the feet on account of his life-altering grappling capability, and that’s where Miocic thrives. Obviously, that won’t be anything new for the champ. Werdum’s striking, under the great Rafael Cordeiro, has improved leaps and bounds (proven by a Mark Hunt KO that I’m still confused about) but Stipe’s boxing is, by all accounts, <i>fantastic</i>. Stipe’s wrestling, monster sprawl, and impressive awareness should also help him avoid the takedown. Werdum is hittable, as he’s proved in the past, but Stipe’s challenge lies in taking him <i>out</i>. Werdum needs to be turned off because if you follow him to the ground, you’re diving head first into a tar pit. Stipe has the conditioning to stay alert, but also needs to avoid playing into Werdum’s games. The champion is one crafty veteran and he simply has more ways to win. All glory to Mr. Miocic, but I don’t think Saturday will be his night.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza x Vitor Belfort

This fight would have been so much easier to call if it wasn’t in Brazil. I don’t know what kind of special training regimen Vitor goes through in South America, but it sure makes him unbeatable. Out of his last seven fights, he’s won five. All in Brazil. The other two? Losses. One in the US and one in Canada. Just a curious little tid-bit. Hardcore fans still remember the era of TRT Belfort, as he tore through our favorite middleweights and light-heavyweights with a combination of whirling kicks, knockout shots, and a couple hundred extra nanograms of testosterone. He looked better than he ever did in his prime. I don’t know about you, but I’m still not over it. I was once a huge Belfort fan, but his surge in skill-level and suspicious extracurriculars have left me feeling indifferent about the iconic fighter. He can do it all, he can do it well, and his presence is terrifying...for the first round. Jacare would be smart to attack Vitor’s gas tank and to empty it early. 

Weidman was able to take out Belfort pretty easily, after withstanding the initial onslaught. Souza should be able to do the same exact thing if he’s not asleep at the wheel. Jacare Souza’s defense is solid and he’s been amassing an interesting list of knockouts on his record, which should prevent a hapless start from either man. Praise the heavens that at least Jacare is Brazilian. Maybe that will negate Belfort’s jungle juice. Souza’s strong point is obviously his jiu jitsu and the constant threat of a slick submission won’t hurt, unless you’re fighting him. If Jacare can secure a dominant position, he will finish it – especially when Vitor starts to run on fumes. I feel overly confident in picking Souza. Jacare has the fight IQ and perfectly-rounded skills necessary to take out the young dinosaur or the old lion or whatever bizarre anthropomorphic animal reference Belfort has decided to call himself . The 'Gator gets this to the ground and latches onto a limb from there. Pass the torch!