UFC 138 Leben vs Munoz Staff Predictions

Chris Leben vs Mark Munoz

Leland Roling - Mark Munoz is the safe bet. He can probably control Leben on the ground from top control and out muscle him to a decision win. But that's no fun, and I can't say I told you so when Leben miraculously comes back from the brink of unconsciousness and zombie flurries all over Munoz to win. Chris Leben via TKO.

Anton Tabuena - I'm a Filipino, and this fight really worries me. Kendall Grove and even Demian Maia rocked him, so if Leben can scramble out on a few of the takedowns, he can definitely land one of those huge bombs that would put Munoz to sleep. Mark's stand up has improved, but hopefully he wouldn't have to use it that much, and just takes Leben down and finishes him with his devastating ground and pound. Mark Munoz by TKO.

Tim Burke - Leben has a problem with throwing bombs and leaving himself open for the takedown. Munoz has some sloppy MMA wrestling, but he won't have much trouble putting Leben on the floor. And he has some nasty GnP. Both have cardio issues, but I see Munoz winning a weird, lackluster decision. Mark Munoz via decision.

KJ Gould - I think Mark Munoz will win, but who cares? Ben Henderson vs Clay Guida would have been an awesome main event for this card, and instead it'll get lost on Facebook the night of the Fox show. I think Leben has exceeded his ‘chin' limit and Munoz hits hard and can wrestle really well. Mark Munoz by TKO

Fraser Coffeen - Munoz leaves his chin too exposed at times for The Crippler's heavy hands. I could envision Munoz pulling off a decision, but the 5 rounds gives Leben more time to pull off another Terry Martin style zombie KO. Chris Leben by KO.

Staff Picking Leben: Leland, Fraser, Roth
Staff Picking Munoz: KJ, Tim, Anton

Brad Pickett vs Renan Barao

Leland Roling - Pretty solid fight, although nobody seems to care about a great mixed martial artist like Brad Pickett, which is just sad. I think Pickett is right that Barao hasn't had the high level of competition that he's had, and Pickett, despite his One Punch moniker, is an exceptional grappler. Pickett is the more well-rounded fighter, so I'll go with him. Brad Pickett via decision.

Tim Burke - This is, by far, the most interesting fight on the card. Barao might have won 183 fights in a row, but he's never met a guy as well-rounded as Pickett. This should be a five-round fight, not the main event. I think Pickett holds the advantage standing and can control where the fight takes place, so I'm going to go with One Punch here. Brad Pickett by decision.

KJ Gould - Brad Pickett, but who cares? Brad Pickett by decision

Fraser Coffeen - For a guy nicknamed "One Punch" Pickett sure does like to take guys down and grind them out. Those takedowns and top control will be enough to give him an edge every round. Brad Pickett by Decision.

Staff Picking Pickett: KJ, Tim, Anton, Leland, Fraser, Roth
Staff Picking Barao:

Thiago Alves vs Papy Abedi

Leland Roling - Apparently, I'm the only one interesting in this fight. Abedi has been training extensively in Holland at Mike's Gym for this fight, and he possesses brutal power and a judo base. Alves obviously has the perceived advantage standing, and he should be able to maintain range and pick apart Abedi. But Abedi is a worthy bet here, especially with the power he possesses. I'll go with Alves, but Abedi is far from a pushover. Thiago Alves via TKO.

Tim Burke - This is a strange style matchup. I think that Abedi will have a lot of trouble taking Alves down, and he's going to lose a straight striking battle. I'm not the biggest Pitbull fan ever, but I think the whole "he hasn't been the same since the brain injury" stuff is dumb. He'll get zero credit for this win because it's over a newcomer, but he will win. Thiago Alves by TKO.

KJ Gould - Thiago Alves, but who cares? Thiago Alves by decision

Anton Tabuena - I don't want to sound snarky here, but I'm with KJ, this just isn't an interesting fight. Thiago Alves by TKO.

Staff Picking Alves: KJ, Tim, Anton, Leland, Fraser, Roth
Staff Picking Abedi:

Terry Etim vs Eddie Faaloloto

Leland Roling - Long, long layoff for Etim, but he's clearly the better fighter in this match-up with more experience and more success against better competition. Terry Etim by submission.

Tim Burke - Faaloloto is 2-2 and has "lol" in his name. Who the hell would you pick? Terry Etim by submission.

KJ Gould - Terry Etim, but who cares? Terry Etim by TKO

Anton Tabuena - I know that KJ probably hates the UFC for bringing them this card, but to be honest, I'd kill for any kind of UFC event in the Philippines. Oh wait, Terry Etim by Decision.

Staff Picking Etim: KJ, Tim, Anton, Leland, Fraser, Roth
Staff Picking Faaloloto:

Cyrille Diabate vs Anthony Perosh

Leland Roling - Diabate is a far better striker than Perosh, don't see any problems for Cyrille here. Cyrille Diabate via KO.

Tim Burke - I care. Perosh definitely has the skills to easily submit Diabate if he gets him to the floor, but that's the big problem - he can't get him to the floor. Perosh is a lot tougher than he gets credit for, but Diabate will beat on him for a while before he breaks. It's just a brutal matchup for him. I want Perosh to win, but I've gotta pick Cyril Diabate by TKO.

Anton Tabuena - Diabate will probably keep it standing long enough to eat him up him his strikes. Cyrille Diabate by TKO.

Staff Picking Diabate: Tim, Anton, Leland, Fraser, Roth
Staff Picking Perosh:

SBN coverage of UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz

John Maguire vs Justin Edwards

Leland Roling - I actually like this match-up. Both men are pretty evenly matched here, although Edwards has the edge if Maguire's gameplan revolves around takedowns. Edwards looked solid against Lopez, however, and I'm still a stickler against British MMA in terms of how these guys build their experience. Justin Edwards via decision

Tim Burke - Striker vs. grappler. The problem for Maguire is that the grappler has a decent chin and can put him on his back. My initial instinct was to pick Maguire, but Edwards' performance against Jorge Lopez was actually quite impressive. I'm gonna go with Justin Edwards by submission.

Staff Picking Maguire:
Staff Picking Edwards: Tim, Anton, Leland, Fraser, Roth

Michihiro Omigawa vs Jason Young

Leland Roling - People need to take a long, hard look at Jason Young's stand-up in his previous fights. It's good. And if Omigawa thinks he can strike with Young, he's going to get landed on constantly. Omigawa must make this a strength battle on the floor. If he does that, he wins by submission at some point. Young is a bettor's dream in my mind, but I'll go with Omigawa. Michihiro Omigawa via submission.

Anton Tabuena - I'll probably be disappointed again, but I'm still picking Omigawa by Decision.

Tim Burke - If Omigawa has an ounce of sense left in him, he'll realize that he needs a win to stay in the UFC. If Dustin Poirier was able to take Young down repeatedly, Omigawa sure as hell can too. If he tries to man up and stand with Young, he'll get kicked right back to the minor leagues. If he remembers that he's a submission grappler, he'll finish Shotgun in the second half of the fight. Michihiro Omigawa by submission.

Fraser Coffeen - I love you Omigawa, but I refused to be fooled again. Jason Young by decision.

Staff Picking Omigawa: Tim, Anton, Leland, Roth
Staff Picking Young: Fraser

Rob Broughton vs Philip De Fries

Leland Roling - Broughton will either bore us to death or De Fries will save us. De Fries is a huge, lumbering, young heavyweight with some upside, so I'll be rooting for him. Philip De Fries via submission.

Tim Burke - Broughton is the slight underdog here, and I'm not quite sure why. Sure, The Fries submitting Stav Economou was somewhat impressive, but Broughton is a much tougher challenge. I've gotta go with Broughton by battering (but boring) decision here. Rob Broughton by decision.

Anton Tabuena - Which weighs more, coming in on short notice, or having the Octagon jitters? I'm picking the first one. De Fries by Submission.

Staff Picking Broughton: Tim
Staff Picking De Fries: Anton, Leland, Fraser, Roth

Chris Cope vs Che Mills

Leland Roling - Che Mills has the ability to play spoiler, and to be perfectly honest -- Chris Cope is far from a challenging opponent for him in my mind. Mills can do whatever here, but I think Mills' stand-up wins it. Che Mills via decision.

Tim Burke - Who what now? Che Mills actually made it to the UFC? I've done my best to take this picks stuff seriously up till now, but come on. Che Mills by decision.

Staff Picking Cope: Anton, Fraser
Staff Picking Mills: Tim, Leland, Roth

Chris Cariaso vs Vaughan Lee

Leland Roling - Cariaso has had a tough schedule to start his career in the UFC and WEC, and he's far better than his recent record suggests. He should run a clinic on Vaughan Lee. Chris Cariaso via TKO.

Tim Burke - The UFC is hoping for a barnburner here, but the hometown boy is rarely good enough to hang with the real pros. Vaughan isn't Renan Barao, and Cariaso is going to light him up. Cariaso by TKO.

Anton Tabuena - No shame in losing to Barao and Mayday McDonald. Chris Cariaso by Decision.

Staff Picking Cariaso: Tim, Anton, Leland, Fraser, Roth
Staff Picking Lee:     
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