UFC Fight Night 30: Machida vs. Munoz staff picks and predictions

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Check out who the Bloody Elbow staff is picking for each and every UFC Fight Night 30 bout.

Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz

Tim Burke: While I think Munoz is a more versatile fighter than the Ryan Baders of the world, Machida tends to look really good in these types of fights. Obviously Munoz is going to try and work his wrestling, and I think that is going to get him knocked out. Lyoto Machida by TKO, round 3.

Anton Tabuena: This fight will probably make me bummed out regardless of the outcome, but on the sake of being objective, I think it's a fairly easy fight to predict. There are some intangibles such as them training together a lot before, but style-wise, Lyoto has dealt with several guys like Munoz. He has won every single bout against talented wrestlers (even if a few incompetent judges disagree with me), plus now he won't have a size and strength disadvantage either. I would hate to see a Filipino go down, but I think it's Lyoto Machida by TKO.

T.P. Grant: We've seen Machida vs plodding wrestler with power a few times now, we all know how it ends: a very tepid fight that goes to the cards and can go either way, but I'll take Machida. Lyoto Machida by Decision.

Mookie Alexander: I thought Machida won both the Davis and Henderson fights, but nearly wound up 0-2. Some fans say Machida's style lends itself to judges not giving him rounds, while others say Machida's style is just fine and the judges are terrible. I think it's a bit of both, and I say that as a Machida fan. Now, pertaining to this fight, he should wreck shop. Munoz has ferocious ground and pound, but Machida is vastly superior everywhere else. Machida will be delivering knees to the body and hard punches to the face, and hopefully when the referee stops the fight Munoz will not have taken 86 unanswered strikes. Lyoto Machida by KO, round 2.

Zane Simon: While I was really impressed with Munoz his last time out, I still wasn't that impressed with his takedown setups. He capitalized on Boetsch's willingness to overpursue and his poor footwork to continually get takedowns and maintain top control. But Machida doesn't overpursue and he has excellent footwork. The question really is, will he feel strong enough at Middleweight to create more offense and not rely so heavily on counterstriking to the point that judges aren't sure what they're watching. I hope his recent loss gave him a spark of urgency, so I'll take him here. Lyoto Machida by KO, Round 2.

Fraser Coffeen: Here's the thing for me - can Machida be elusive and stay away from Munoz non-stop for 5 rounds? I honestly don't think he can. I see Munoz closing the distance, getting inside, and getting his hands on Machida. From there, either he takes him down and pounds him with those heavy, heavy G&P shots, or he shoves him into the cage and grinds him out. I'm probably way off base here, but I'm going with the former. Mark Munoz by KO, round 3.

Staff picking Machida: Grant, Zane, Mookie, DSM, Stephie, Anton, Tim, Dallas
Staff picking Munoz: Fraser

Melvin Guillard vs. Ross Pearson

Tim Burke: Straight standup. Over three rounds, who is the better kickboxer? Pearson. Who has more power? Guillard. Tough call. I'll go with power over skill. Melvin Guillard by TKO, round 2.

Anton Tabuena: As always, Guillard should have the power and the skills to beat Pearson, but I doubt he will be able to put everything together to pull it off against a guy like Pearson. Ross Pearson by Decision.

Mookie Alexander: I'm a Ross Pearson fan and I've repeatedly written off Guillard in the last few fights. Pearson's new ability to finish fights with his fists is encouraging, especially since I think Guillard has a questionable chin. However, if we're comparing peak power, I think Guillard is superior with both his hands and his knees. For Pearson to win this he needs to avoid the early round 1 Guillard blitzkrieg, and he has to outbox him without trading haymakers. This is a close fight to me, and I have a slight feeling that Guillard will get the KO midway through the 2nd round, prompting a restart of the Guillard train, followed by a crushing loss to a top 10/fringe top 10 fighter. Melvin Guillard by KO, round 2.

Zane Simon: Guillard proved once again that he has every bit of ability to stay lightyears ahead of the Mac Danzigs of the world, but Ross Pearson isn't Mac Danzig. Neither fighter has much of a complex kicking game, or a takedown game, or a grappling game to be relied upon, so this will probably be a straight boxing match, more or less. And in those circumstances I just think Ross has more tools. He throws more to the body, moves his head well, and puts together great combinations. He could still get caught here, Guillard is quicker and probably stronger, but if Ross stays competitive in the first I think he'll take this. Ross Pearson by Unanimous Decision.

Staff picking Guillard: Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Dallas
Staff picking Pearson: Grant, Zane, Stephie, Anton

Ryan Jimmo vs. Jimi Manuwa

Tim Burke: Gods of MMA, I know I've sinned at times. No one's perfect. But if you have any compassion, please let Manuwa connect with a video-game uppercut that turns Jimmo into Jello...the green Jello. Everyone hates green Jello, right? Please? #JimiTime! Jimi Manuwa by KO, round 1

Mookie Alexander: This fight ends two ways. One is Jimmo turning in a Jimmo type of performance (read: boring), or Manuwa blasts him on the feet. I fear Jimmo will probably grind him out, but I much prefer the alternative outcome of Manuwa by something violent. I badly want that to happen or else I will be snoring. Jimi Manuwa by KO, round 1.

Zane Simon: The light heavyweight division needs Manuwa very badly right now. Not because he can potentially beat the champion, but because he has serious potential to at least get into the title picture. Jimmo is by turns very exciting and incredibly boring and I expect the more time he spends in the UFC the more boring he'll get. Hopefully Manuwa can use his shocking speed and power and brutal Muay Thai to run through Jimmo quickly because if not he's probably getting ground out. Jimi Manuwa by KO, Round 1.

T.P. Grant: This fight is highly dangerous for Jimmo, which means he will try to make it as awful and unwatchable as possible, because that represents his best chance at success. Someone is going to be able to drag Manuwa into deep waters some day, and we will get a real measure of Manuwa's potential on that day. I think Jimmo tries like heck to make this a grinding fight, but Manuwa's power puts this one to bed. Jimi Manuwa by KO, Round 2.

Fraser Coffeen: Jimmo gonna Jimmo. Ryan Jimmo by decision

Staff picking Jimmo: Fraser
Staff picking Manuwa: Grant, Zane, Mookie, DSM, Stephie, Anton, Tim, Dallas

Norman Parke vs. Jon Tuck

Tim Burke: I'm going to a brewpub in a city 80km away after work today. They have 20 beers on tap, and I'm going to try them all at least five times each. Chromosomes will be begging for a new host body. I will probably try to chat up the popcorn machine (again). I hope they took out the ceiling fan, that thing did a number on my forehead last time. Jon Tuck by decision.

Anton Tabuena: Looks like I'm the only one picking the guy from Guam. Not sure why either because Tuck has more power, and better BJJ. Jon Tuck by Decision.

Mookie Alexander: Oh boy a TUF fight. Norman Parke by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: I really want to pick Tuck here. Parke's fight against Kazuki Tokudome was just bad. Parke has zero power in his hands and his wrestling is built more around strength than technique. That said, I haven't seen anything from Tuck that would suggest he's not capable of getting taken down and ridden for three rounds. Norman Parke by Unanimous Decision.

Staff picking Parke: Zane, Grant, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Stephie
Staff picking Tuck: Anton, Tim, Dallas

Nicholas Musoke vs. Alessio Sakara

Tim Burke: Sakara's bigger and hits harder. That's about it. Alessio Sakara by knockout, round 2

Zane Simon: For a guy with as much octagon time as Sakara it's hard to imagine a less impressive fighter. He's supposed to have a terrific boxing background, but he's chinny and has terrible defense and routinely gets outstruck. That said, Musoke is a natural welterweight debuting in the UFC up a division who appears to have no singularly remarkable skill other than athleticism. Even as a less than impressive fighter I expect Sakara to take this. Alessio Sakara by TKO, Round 1.

Mookie Alexander: Do you want to know why ticket sales for this show are terrible? Fights like these make the main card time and time again. Sakara hasn't won a fight since the very first UFC on Versus in 2010, when he beat James Irvin's skeleton. And for the record, the original fight of Sakara/Tom Watson probably shouldn't be main card material either. Ugh. Alessio Sakara by TKO, round 1.

T.P. Grant: Tough pick as Musoke is a solid fighter out of Northern Europe and it has been a while since Sakara has looked anything near impressive. Musoke is a great athlete, but is fighting up a weightclass. Then again Sakara was preparing for a grappling wiz and now he
gets a fairly rounded athletic newcomer. I'll go with a mild upset and say Musoke walks away a winner over a fading Sakara. Nicholas Musoke by Decision.

Staff picking Musoke: Grant,
Staff picking Sakara: Zane, DSM, Fraser, Stephie, Anton, Mookie, Tim, Dallas

Phil Harris vs. John Lineker

Tim Burke: Please don't come in at 129 pounds, John. John Lineker by TKO, round 1

Mookie Alexander: Lineker missed weight again. I'm tired of that and the UFC should seriously consider cutting him if he loses. Luckily for him, he won't. John Lineker by body punch TKO, round 2.

Zane Simon: Harris isn't a bad fighter, but he's got cannon fodder written all over him. Lineker is being lined up for a title shot. He may have struggled a bit with Jose Maria last time out, but Maria is a bit like Emanuel Newton in that his jerky, throw anything style has the ability to throw off much more traditional opponents. Harris doesn't represent that problem and I expect this to look more like Lineker's fight against Gashimov. John Lineker by TKO, Round 3.

T.P. Grant: BODY SHOTS!!! no not those kind of body shots.... John Lineker by TKO, Round 2.

Staff picking Harris:
Staff picking Lineker: Zane, Grant, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Stephie, Anton, Tim, Dallas

Piotr Hallmann vs. Al Iaquinta

Tim Burke: I honestly have no idea what to think in this fight. Hallmann surprised the hell out of me, and Iaquinta looked excellent last time too. Iaquinta...nah, he's getting subbed. Piotr Hallmann by submission, round 2

Zane Simon: I was highly doubtful of Hallman his last time out, but he proved that not only does he have the skill, but the size to really create problems at lightweight. He's strong, his clinch game is technical and he's one of the few European fighters that really knows how to chain takedown attempts. Iaquinta looked great beating Couture Jr. but... well... it's Couture Jr. Al Iaquinta was once a pretty bright prospect, but I just don't know how much noise he's ever going to make in the UFC. Piotr Hallman by Unanimous Decision.

T.P. Grant: I'll take the guy that kimura'd the shit out of Trinaldo over the guy that nip-tucked Couture Jr. Piotr Hallmann by Decision.

Staff picking Hallmann: Zane, Grant, Stephie, Anton, Mookie, Tim, Dallas
Staff picking Iaquinta: DSM, Fraser

Luke Barnatt vs. Andrew Craig

Tim Burke: I think someone's getting knocked out. And I think that'll be Barnatt. Andrew Craig by TKO, round 2.

Zane Simon: I really want one of these fighters to be better than they are. Barnatt seems largely set on copying the fighting style of Stefan Struve. He's tall and rangy but gets hit a lot and honestly does his best work in the clinch and on the ground. Fortunately for him, unlike Struve, he has very little cage wear on his body with a career that is only six fights old. Thus far in his UFC career Craig has showed that he can have exciting bursts of offense, but is also very hittable and has trouble creating sustained success while striking. I'm flipping a coin here and going with Craig because luck seems to have been on his side lately and he's put together a bit of a streak in the UFC. Andrew Craig by decision.

T.P. Grant: Middling British prospect fighting experienced American fighter for the first time? Andrew Craig by Decision.

Staff picking Barnatt: Fraser
Staff picking Craig: Zane, Grant, DSM, Stephie, Anton, Mookie, Tim, Dallas

Jessica Andrade vs. Rosi Sexton

Tim Burke: Rosi's cool. Rosi Sexton by decision

Zane Simon: One of these women needs a breakout performance here and I think it's going to be Sexton. Both woman are small, but where Andrade is athletic Sexton is actually skilled. Sexton was able to reasonably hold her own against the much larger Alexis Davis whereas Andrade got more or less horsed around by Liz Carmouche and pounded out. I don't expect a stoppage here, but I expect a lot of grappling with Sexton generally getting the upper hand. Rosi Sexton by Split Decision.

T.P. Grant: Rosi is sneaky good and I think she gets a solid win here with her excellent grappling. Rosi Sexton by Submission, Round 3.

Staff picking Andrade:
Staff picking Sexton: Zane, Grant, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Stephie, Anton, Mookie, Tim, Dallas

Cole Miller vs. Andy Ogle

Tim Burke: I like Miller, but I just don't know which version of him is going to show up on any given night. Andy Ogle by decision.

Zane Simon: Both these fighters are tenacious as hell, I'll give them that. And while I've never really been a fan of Miller (for whatever reason) I'm warming more and more to him. This fight is really a question of how stupid Cole Miller decides to fight. He's got the size and the experience and they have pretty similar skills. I'll take Cole Miller here, but I don't expect him to make it easy on himself. Cole Miller by Split Decision.

Mookie Alexander: I don't think I've ever picked a Cole Miller fight correctly in over a year of doing these predictions. I'm picking Cole, so that means put the money on Ogle. Cole Miller by submission.

T.P. Grant: I share mutual friends with Cole, so excuse me while I make a pick for purely personal reasons. Cole Miller by Flying Inverted Triangle, 1st second of the 1st Round.

Staff picking Miller: Zane, Grant, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Stephie, Anton, Dallas
Staff picking Ogle: Tim

Jim Hettes vs. Robert Whiteford

Tim Burke: Hettes is still a top-flight prospect in my eyes. Jimy Hettes by submission, round 2.

Zane Simon: Robert Whiteford is a brawler, plain and simple. He's fast, he's strong, he's confident, and he's not especially technical. Against Hettes I expect that will mean he gets thrown around a lot and spends a lot of time on his back looking up pleadingly at the ref. Probably before getting subbed. Jimy Hettes by Submission, Round 1.

T.P. Grant: Man I really hope the Jimy Hettes that threw Nam Phan on the ground over and over again shows up, that guy was fun. I still think Hettes is an excellent prospect, but he'll need to re-earn that status over another tough, ATT striker. I think he gets the job done. Jimy Hettes by Decision.

Staff picking Hettes: Zane, Mookie, Grant, DSM, Fraser, Stephie, Anton, Tim, Dallas
Staff picking Whiteford:

Michael Kuiper vs. Bradley Scott

Tim Burke: Scott should not be at 185. Kuiper is going to work him. Michael Kuiper by decision.

Zane Simon: They're both young, they're both good sized, they both have a propensity for throwing punches and getting hit in the face, but I guess at this point I'll take the guy who has more Octagon time, isn't moving up in weight, and has a black belt in Judo. Michael Kuiper by Decision.

T.P. Grant: Kuiper was straight out grappling Tom Lawlor before he lost on a guillotine choke, that Lawlor needed badly as his knee was hurt during a takedown. I think Kuiper gets the win here. Michael Kuiper by Decision.

Staff picking Kuiper: Zane, Grant, DSM, Fraser, Stephie, Anton, Mookie, Tim, Dallas
Staff picking Scott:

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