Welcome to Sexiness vs. Deadliness, volume 2. The rest of this series, as well as episodes of my fight analysis podcast Heavy Hands, can be found on heavyhandspodcast.com.
It works like this: a lady in my life makes fight picks for a given card, awarding the winner prediction to the more attractive of the two fighters. I then make my own picks, using my fight-obsessed brain to choose whomever I believe to be the most likely winner. The last edition of SvD featured picks for UFC 167 and, well... it was close. Logic and analysis proved to be the more reliable means of picking fights, but only slightly. My little sister Taryn put up a surprisingly tough fight, picking at a perfect 66% ratio based on sex appeal alone. The final tally for UFC 167:
Obviously that's closer than I'd like it to be. I like to think of myself as a decent picker of fights, but I'm clearly doing something wrong if I'm chalking up just one more correct pick than my sister. I figured a roster change might help me out, so this week we're picking fights for UFC Fight Night 33, and my girlfriend Brittany will be in charge of the sexy selections. Let's get it on.
(follow this link to see the photos on which Brittany based her picks)
Brittany's pick: I think the moniker "Bigfoot" is appropriate for many reasons… but I’m sure he has a great personality. Hunto takes this one. Hunt by virtue of the fact that it’s Bigfoot.
Connor's pick: Yo, how can I possibly pick against my man Mark Hunt? Seriously though, this isn't a great matchup for Bigfoot. He's best on the ground, but he doesn't have stellar takedowns, and Hunt isn't exactly easy to put on his back (unless Bigfoot plans to pull guard and sweep him like Stefan Struve did). He's also prone to getting drawn into slugfests, and that kind of thing can only favor Mark Hunt. Bigfoot's chin might be bigger, but Mark's is far tougher, and he hits like a truck: even after gassing in round two he shattered Struve's jaw like volcanic glass. Mark Hunt by KO, round 1.
Brittany's pick: Shogun, mostly for the subtle chest hair. Shogun by the chest hair.
Connor's pick: First of all, chest hair ain't the only reason that Shogun is sexier than his opponent. No disrespect to Tuna, but Shogun is a fine-looking man. But I already knew Brittany's notions of attractiveness had to be skewed for her to date me, so I'll let it go and get to the point: this is a tough fight to pick. I was really leaning towards Te Huna until very recently, when I realized two things: 1) Shogun's been training with the master of technical aggression, Freddie Roach, and it's quite likely that he's got some seriously improved boxing abilities that we just didn't see in his brief ground battle with Chael Sonnen. 2) Shogun looked in tremendous shape at the weigh-ins--leaner and more muscular than he's looked in years. It's not a safe pick, but a healthy Shogun is a threat to anybody in the division. Shogun Rua by TKO, round 2.
Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh
Brittany's pick: I can only imagine that Anthony Perosh is called "The Hippo" because people are impressed that he survived after one of the behemoth creatures sat on his head and maimed his face. Ryan Bader has the sexiness pick. Ryan Bader by the face.
Connor's pick: Perosh has a way of defying the odds, and Bader is just inconsistent enough to give the Hippo an opening. That said, Bader is fast, powerful, and an all around better athlete than Perosh. I won't be upset if the Hippo gets the upset, but it's not likely. Ryan Bader by TKO, round 1.
Brittany's pick: This one was more of a challenge, as both fighters look as though they’d like to abduct me from Skull island and they both have the same terrible hair cut. I guess Pat has a more attractive jaw line… Pat Barry by the jaw line.
Connor's pick: HD is a fan favorite for a reason, and I hope he never ever gets cut. He should be allowed to fight and make silly videos with his equally badass girlfriend (Invicta fighter Rose Namajunas) for as long as he likes. That being said, he's just so damn inconsistent. I can pretty much never rely on a Pat Barry pick. Palelei didn't look great in his UFC re-debut against Nikita Krylov, but I'm willing to say that, his Octagon jitters out of the way, he'll look much better against Barry this time around. Pat's got a known weakness in the grappling department, and it doesn't seem likely that he'll ever shore it up. Palelei, on the other hand, is a solid grappler, especially for a heavyweight. If he plays it smart, he can put that skillset to work. Soa Palelei by Submission, round 2.
Connor's pick: I saw Dylan Andres knock out Papy Abedi live, and it was one of the least impressive knockouts I've seen in some time. Yes, Andrews revealed after the fight that he had suffered an injury in the first round, but he hasn't proven in any of his other performances that he's much of a better striker than he looked in that bout. Hester only has the one UFC win so far, but it was a hell of a knockout, and I don't think Andrews has the wrestling to take him out of his element. If Hester can keep it on the feet, he can sleep Andrews. Clint Hester by KO, round 3.
Brittany's pick: This one is really challenging, as it appears that their chests are the same size… Correia, because Kedzie is freaking me out. Correia by factors other than bra size.
Connor's pick: Julie Kedzie is awesome. She, like Pat Barry, is quite inconsistent, but always entertaining. Unlike Pat Barry, she's a true veteran of MMA, and she's actually pretty well-rounded. I have a feeling that someday soon Kedzie will have a Matt Brown moment, and suddenly start putting everything together. Her huge experience advantage should be a serious factor here. Hopefully Correia gets a second shot, because this is a tough matchup for a UFC debut. Julie Kedzie by Unanimous Decision.
Brittany's pick: Clearly Nam has been calling in his cousin Michelle to work her magic. Look at that flawless complexion! Phan for his expertly applied foundation.
Connor's pick: Nam Phan has a crowd-pleasing style, and he's one of the better fighters in MMA when it comes to throwing body punches. But he's just not a top-tier fighter, and those are the only guys that Takeya Mizugaki loses to. Mizugaki has crisp, powerful boxing and is very comfortable on the ground whereas Nam, despite his BJJ black belt, has always looked like a fish out of water with his back on the canvas. Now that he's finally snapped his long streak of alternating wins and losses, I expect Mizugaki to start picking up some serious momentum against the middle of the bantamweight division before making yet another run at the top. Mizugaki by Unanimous Decision.
Brittany's pick: This one was more difficult than you might think, because Hellboy looks like one of those adorably misshapen puppies featured on AFV. And look at that trouser tent! But Nick Ring turned on his smolder, and I can’t say no. Nick "promise me you’ll change your nickname" Ring by overall sexiness.
Connor's pick: Nick Ring is not an exciting fighter. He does not deserve all of the wins on his record. He will probably still win this one. Nick Ring by Unanimous Decision.
Brittany's pick: This one is like choosing between Merry and Pippin, and how could anyone do that…? By choosing Merry. I don’t know about fight of the night, but I can tell you which bout is going to be the most adorable. Vaculik because Scoggins used his mug shot.
Connor's pick: This should be a showcase for Justin Scoggins, who brings a unique Karate flavor to the striking of the UFC's still-fledgling flyweight division. Given that this is his debut, however, I'm going to guess that he doesn't look as good as most are expecting. Octagon jitters will see to it that he takes a bit longer than usual to get the finish. Justin Scoggins by TKO, round 3.
Bruno Santos vs. Krzysztov Jotko
Brittany's pick: I know what you’re thinking. "This one should be obvious! Look at Jotko’s picture!" However, Santos looks like every bad dream I’ve ever had. Also, Jotko was very handsome as Peter’s shadow. Jotko for his stunning performance in Peter Pan.
Connor's pick: I don't know a damn thing about Jotko. I know only one thing about Santos: he takes opponents down and grinds them out with stunning regularity. Also, I'll never actually hope for a fighter to get cut from the UFC... but I won't be disappointed if I never have to spell Krzysztov Jotko's name again. Bruno Santos by Unanimous Decision.
Brittany's pick: Garcia, because black is beautiful.
Connor's pick: Tristar fighters are like Dagestani fighters: when in doubt, pick them. The results are just usually a lot more boring. Alex Garcia by Unanimous Decision.