Anton Tabuena: In the wise words of Mr. Riordan... WRESTLING. Stipe Miocic by Decision.
Mookie Alexander: Get real. Maldonado is going to be taken down and beaten senselessly. If Miocic loses this fight then he should seriously drop out of the heavyweight rankings and replaced by anybody. Including Ruan Potts. Stipe Miocic via TKO (doctor's stoppage) , round 3.
Patrick Wyman: Such a hater, that Mookie. But really, he's correct: Miocic should be able to land takedowns at will for at least the first few rounds, and there's no reason to think that he doesn't have the cardio to do so for five rounds if need be. I think he'll need all five, because despite his boxing skills, Miocic doesn't hit particularly hard. Miocic, lopsided unanimous decision.
Staff picking Maldonado:
Staff picking Miocic: Patrick, Mookie, Karim, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie
Mookie Alexander: Carlos is the name of Tim Burke's puppy. He's adorable. Carlos by decision.
Fraser Coffeen: So I watched TUF Brazil, which means that either I am going to do really well here or I am going to look like an idiot. Let's roll! Miranda is a fighter who does not have a massive number of fights, but he's been around the game, working as a striking coach with Nog. He's a really good technical striker with great combos. But he struggled in the semis when his opponent was aggressive, and Carlos? That guy is aggressive. He's blown through everyone here with a combination of jiu jitsu and striking. Carlos is a guy I am actively excited to see in the UFC Heavyweight division, and while Miranda has potential for the upset, I think he's overwhelmed here. Antonio Carlos Jr. by KO round 1
Staff picking Carlos: Patrick, Karim, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Anton, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Miranda: Tim, Dallas
Patrick Wyman: I've been on the Warlley train since I named him as one of the honorable mentions on my prospect report last December. He's a ridiculously talented athlete out of X-Gym with a rapidly developing and very powerful striking game, better-than-you'd-think wrestling, and the slick, vicious submission arsenal you'd expect from one of Jacare Souza's prize pupils. Alexandre is a solid striker, but he's so outmatched here physically that Alves should have his way with him. Warlley Alves, KO, round 2.
Fraser Coffeen: Nicknamed "Lyoto", Alexandre is what you expect from a TUF guy names Lyoto - a decent but downgraded version of Machida. He got here with a split decision win in the semis that I thought should have gone the other way. He also is a slow starter. Meanwhile, Warlley is a wrecking ball who has swarmed everyone on the show. If Lyoto is slow out of the gates here, he will get steamrolled. Warlley Alves by KO, round 1
Staff picking De Andrade: Patrick, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Karim, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Alexandre:
Mookie Alexander: Maia has been competitive enough against top 10 guys that he shouldn't have aged 15 years since February to struggle with the lower end of the division. Demian Maia by decision.
Patrick Wyman: Before reading the rest of this prediction, do yourself a favor and check out some of Alexander Yakovlev's work as a rapper - it's sublime. I'll wait. Now that you're back, the prediction: Maia, submission, round 1.
Staff picking Maia: Patrick, Karim, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Yakovlev:
Mookie Alexander: This is the only decent fight on the main card featuring non-TUF guys. Peralta can hit and Jason is hittable, but Jason is the more well-rounded guy and I believe if he can clean up his defensive issues and tendency to be wild that he could be a top 15 FW soon. Rony Jason via submission, round 2.
Staff picking Jason: Patrick, Mookie, Karim, DSM, Fraser, Anton, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Peralta: Tim, Dallas
Mookie Alexander: Magomedov is apparently the 2nd coming of gumby based on the armbar he survived against Tony Martin. Also, I have zero interest in watching Damm again and I expect a Magomedov win. Rashid Magomedov by TKO, round 2.
Patrick Wyman: Magomedov overcame a game Tony Martin in his debut and showed only flashes of what he's capable of. Damm is tough, but he's nowhere near the striker Magomedov is, and his takedowns aren't good enough to consistently get this to the mat against a highly skilled defensive wrestler. I expect the Dagestani to dominate en route to a comfortable decision. Magomedov, unanimous decision.
Staff picking Damm: Karim, Dallas, Stephie
Staff picking Magomedov: Patrick, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Anton, Zane
Patrick Wyman: Silverio's one of the more skilled lightweights that nobody's talking about, largely because he possesses nary an ounce of finishing ability. That's not going to be enough for Ernest Chavez to beat him. Silverio, unanimous decision.
Staff picking Chavez:
Staff picking Silverio: Patrick, Karim, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Anton, Dallas, Stephie, Zane
Mookie Alexander: I'm tempted to pick Umalatov solely for the "Thiago has another job and looks like a really shopworn fighter", but I'll be damned if I don't pick Sam the Eagle one more time. Paulo Thiago by decision.
Patrick Wyman: I'm not sure I'd pick Thiago against any other welterweight on the roster, but Umalatov is legitimately not good, and even a disinterested and past-his-prime Thiago should be able to have his way with him. Thiago, unanimous decision.
Staff picking Thiago: Patrick, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Karim, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Umalatov:
Mark Eddiva vs. Kevin Souza
Patrick Wyman: Souza beat ten shades of hell out of the talented Felipe Arantes back in August and showcased a long and versatile boxing game. Eddiva scraped out a decision over a really raw bantamweight in his last outing. Souza, unanimous decision.
Anton Tabuena: Dammit Patrick, you better be wrong about this! I think Souza has better boxing, but Eddiva's unorthodox Wushu kicks should be able to keep him at bay. He also displayed a surprisingly strong top game against a wrestler in Juambieke, and he could again use that against his striking-based opponent.... PINOY! Mark Eddiva by Decision
Staff picking Eddiva: Anton
Staff picking Souza: Patrick, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Karim, Dallas, Zane, Stephie
Fraser Coffeen: More TUF fights! This is the unofficial Bronze medal fight at MW. Abreu (or "Demente" if you prefer) is a very skilled grappler who trains with Wanderlei outside of the show. He has a slick submission game, and can control nicely on the mat. He has pretty good striking as well, though like Cristiano Marcello, he sometimes over-relies on it (but his is far better that Marcello's). I also think he should have been in the finals over Lyoto. Silva was lucky to make the semis where he was rolled over and tapped out in 1 minute by Alves. Ailva is your classic TUF non-winner - perfectly average with no glaring weaknesses or strengths. He's not winning this unless Abreu decides to stand n bang. Ricardo Abreu by submission round 1
Staff picking Abreu: Patrick, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Karim, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Silva:
Fraser Coffeen: The HW Bronze fight here. Lima (Pezao) vs. Moreira (Rick Monster). Neither guy made a huge impression on me on the show. Pezao was talked up a lot, but never showed all that much to me. Moreira is aggressive, but sloppy. I'll say Moreira overextends and Pezao finds the opening. Marcos Pezao by KO round 1
Staff picking Pezao: Patrick, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Karim, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Moreira: Mookie
Patrick Wyman: Munhoz is a guy I was really high on when the UFC slotted him into a short-notice matchup with the top contender at BW. Predictably, he got crushed by the vastly more experienced Assuncao, but Hobar is more his speed at this point in his career. The American has a long and rangy kickboxing game punctuated by high-amplitude takedowns, but he's not better at anything than Munhoz. Pedrinho, unanimous decision.
Staff picking Hobar:
Staff picking Munhoz: Patrick, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Karim, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie