Welcome, friends, to yet another edition of Sexiness vs. Deadliness, the best and most scientific fight prediction competition in the world. In this feature, I and a female acquaintance of mine make picks. Mine are based on my knowledge of the fighters and my long experience watching the sport. Hers are based on who looks better in a swimsuit.
My opponent for the last three editions was my girlfriend Brittany, and she's back once again by popular demand to pit her taste in men against my taste for blood. Before we begin, let's recap the results from our last event, UFC 169. My performance wasn't exactly an impressive one--you could compare it to Nick Catone's performance on that same card. It didn't look good, but I got the win, with 7 of 12 fights picked correctly, to Brittany's 6. That means that the total scores heading into this event are...
Sexiness: 27-19 (59%)
Deadliness: 30-16 (65%)
So I'm holding onto my lead, and my dignity, but only just. UFC 170 could make or break me as an analyst, and boyfriend. Let's do it!
Ernest Chavez vs. Yosdenis Cedeno
Brittany’s Pick: As someone who holds a Bachelor’s degree in art (I know, right? Might as well be a degree in "how to be homeless"), I am affronted by Cedeno. The Panther is trying to pass those shorts off as pink when they are clearly puce. He’s also trying to pass his haircut off as "socially acceptable". I think not. Chavez, on the other hand, not only sports a very respectable buzz cut, but also has the most adorably small nipples I’ve ever seen. Ernest Chavez, by the nips.
Connor's pick: This is it, folks! The reason you bought that Fight Pass subscription! Prepare for war! In any case, this fight should be relatively fun, but I can't muster any excitement for it, nor can I shake the feeling that neither of these fellas is ready for the big leagues yet. Yosdenis Cedeno by Unanimous Decision.
Erik Koch vs. Rafaello Oliveira
Brittany’s Pick: I am not impressed with Oliveira’s sexiness performance or his nickname, but Koch looks like that smug bastard Daniel Tosh, which automatically makes him loathsome in my book. Rafaello Oliveira by virtue of the fact that I would love to see even a Daniel Tosh lookalike get his ass kicked.
Connor's pick: I genuinely feel bad for Oliveira, who Joe Silva is using as absolute fodder, first feeding him to Edson Baroza, and now to Erik Koch, a pair of killers engineered to beat fighters of Oliveira's caliber and skillset. I'd be very surprised if this one went the distance. Erik Koch by KO, round 2.
Zach Makovsky vs. Josh Sampo
Brittany’s Pick: Makovsky’s nickname should change from "Fun Size" to "Samwise". He’s adorable, but I worry that he might hurt his hands on Sampo’s face, which appears to be carved from wood. Dude looks like Grandmother Willow. Also, the prominent vines of his arms are freaking me out… I mean veins! Zach Makovsky not only by his face, but also by those muscles I just noticed above his knees. Mmm...!
Connor's pick: I'm all about Makovsky after that performance against Scott Jorgensen. He's more patient, more experienced, and more well-rounded than Sampo, and that should be more than enough to get him the win here. Makovsky by TKO, round 3.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Cody Gibson
Brittany’s Pick: While I’m not typically into that Abercrombie and Fitch look, Blue Steel gets me every time. Gibson, because he’s a merman, dad. Merman!
Connor's pick: As if to emphasize just how dumb the matchup of Munhoz and Assuncao is, this excellent fight comes right before it on the undercard. Sterling and Gibson are both solid prospects, though Sterling has the advantage of a slightly better resume and a very solid camp in Serra-Longo behind him. That should tip the odds in his favor. Aljamain Sterling by Submission, round 3.
(P.S. Watch this Sterling highlight, and enjoy every wonderful minute of the soundtrack, which was apparently written and recorded by Aljamain himself. Surely a man capable of such epic bars is destined for greatness).
Raphael Assuncao vs. Pedro Munhoz
Brittany’s Pick: Hey Pedro, is that your hair, or did someone dip your head in hot fudge? Somebody sprinkle some nuts on this man; Wreck-it Ralph looks hungry. Munhoz, because I secretly hope it is hot fudge.
Connor's pick: The UFC must hate Raphael Assuncao, because they seem determined to throw irrelevant fights at him until he's too old to challenge for the title. He's the clear number one contender in my book, and Munhoz is a solid prospect that deserves a far easier introduction to the UFC. Who knows what the thought process was behind this pairing. Raphael Assuncao by Unanimous Decision.
Alexis Davis vs. Jessica Eye
Brittany’s Pick: I like that Davis has that withering, imperious look about her, but Eye is showing more skin. Also, staring into Davis’ apparently bottomless bellybutton is like gazing into the void… and the void gazes back. Jessica "I’m gonna give her the" Eye by her superior utilization of feminine wiles.
Connor's pick: Jessica Eye's gameplan for this fight is to pretend that Davis is actually Brent Brookhouse, and then beat the snot out of him for ruining her reputation by forcing her to lie repeatedly about something that people probably wouldn't have cared that much about if she'd just been honest. Personally, I think it'll work. Jessica "Bloodshot" Eye by NC.
Stephen Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker
Brittany’s Pick: Whittaker has abs like tidal waves, and Thompson’s fleshy body is the beach. Also, Thompson looks hella petulant, like Whittaker just sent him to his room without dessert. Whittaker, by two weeks grounding.
Connor's pick: This is a hell of a matchup. Whittaker has solid hands, but he's used to guys rushing into his wheelhouse to trade with him. Wonderboy won't do that. Instead, this will be a battle of range, with Wonderboy playing his usual game and, in the process, forcing Whittaker to do something he's not comfortable with: come forward and be aggressive. Stephen Thompson by TKO, round 2.
Mike Pyle vs. TJ Waldburger
Brittany's pick: Toss a ruffled shirt and a pair of pants on Mike Pyle and he's ready for a bodice-ripper cover shoot. TJ "the Dark Horse" Waldburger, on the other hand, is the horse the UFC deserves, but not the horse it needs right now. So they'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our horse. He's a silent steed. A watchful stallion. A Dark Horse. Waldburger, by 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Connor's pick: Both Waldburger and Pyle are opportunistic grapplers, but Pyle excels in the exact phase of the fight that's consistently been Waldburger's bane. In the pocket, Pyle's old man strength cannot be denied. Mike Pyle by KO, round 2.
Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia
Brittany’s Pick: I know MacDonald’s unofficial nickname is the Canadian Psycho, but I think I’d be willing to risk being murdered for some time alone and a chance to see him in a clear plastic poncho. Unfortunately for Maia, he was forced to let the air out of his pecs to meet the welterweight limit. They just look sad. Rory MacDonald by lengthy lecture on the album Hip to be Square.
Connor's pick: It's a long shot, and I can't quite shake the feeling that I'm picking foolishly, but I see Demian Maia taking this one in a close but clear decision. Obviously MacDonald is the better striker, but Maia's thirst for head juice is too powerful to be dissuaded by a mere jab, and you know he's going to start trying to squeeze MacDonald's melon off the moment this fight hits the ground, and he doesn't even care how sexually suggestive that sounds. Demian Maia by Unanimous Decision.
Cormier vs. Cummins
Brittany’s Pick: What is it about the UFC’s photography that makes half the fighters look like they have Squidward noses? Cummins' schnozz dominates his face in much the same fashion that Cormier will likely dominate him. But in terms of sexiness, I prefer an oversized nose to almost certain death, which is the only promise contained in Cormier’s penetrating gaze. Cummins, because you know what they say about big noses.
Connor's pick: This fight is absurd, and absolutely should not be happening. Therefore, instead of analyzing the matchup, I'm just going to make barrista jokes. Patrick Cummins has served cappuccinos stronger than all of his previous MMA opponents combined. Suggestions that Cormier will have a considerable strength advantage are misplaced--Cummins can French press over 300 pounds. Cummins' efforts to sell this fight are quite Grande, but I think he's telling Tall tales, and it's unlikely that he'll even last Venti seconds against Cormier. Still, I'm going out on a limb, and picking Patrick Cummins by KO, round 1.
Just kidding--that was another barrista joke. Cormier by Grisly Murder.
McMann vs. Rousey
Brittany’s Pick: Connor assures me that McMann is pretty and has a nice smile, but in this photo she bears a striking resemblance to Miss Trunchbull from the classic Danny Devito film Matilda. Based on this picture alone, McMann’s strategy will be to put Ronda in the Chokey and make her eat a chocolate cake--the entire confection! I also hear she has a mean hammer throw. Rousey, by comparison, is very pretty, excluding what looks like a tear drop tattoo under her left eye, which I’m pretty sure means she’s killed a man. I’ll have to check with the Diaz brothers to confirm. Rousey, because I’m afraid she’ll armbar me if I choose otherwise.
Connor's pick: Now that Megumi Fujii has retired, Sara McMann holds the title for "most terrifyingly sexy arms in MMA." I mean, those lady pythons are seriously... wait, what's that? I'm not doing the sexiness pick for this one? Oh, then Ronda Rousey by Armbar, round 3.
For further siliness, as well as occasional fight analysis and fighter/trainer interviews, check out Heavy Hands, the only podcast that focuses on the finer points of face-punching. Don't miss our latest, a technique-focused interview with Zach Makovsky, who looks to continue his winning streak on tonight's card. Now available on both iTunes and Stitcher.