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UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia staff picks and predictions

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The Bloody Elbow staff makes its predictions for Saturday night's UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia pay-per-view in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

To no one's surprise, the Bloody Elbow staff has unanimously chosen Ronda Rousey by armbar in the UFC 190 main event vs. Bethe Correia. As far as the rest of this card goes? Woof. It's just about split on the Shogun/Lil' Nog 2 rematch, ditto for Big Nog/Struve, but widely in favor of Soa Palelei to beat Antonio Silva and for Claudia Gadelha to take care of Jessica Aguilar.

Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected on Friday. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Tuesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he's going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.

Note 2: Everyone please welcome Michael Hutchinson, who is now formally a part of the Bloody Elbow staff and has since entered his predictions here under the name "Hutch".

Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia

Anton Tabuena: Death, Taxes, Ronda Rousey by Armbar.

Mookie Alexander: If y'all fell for that Four Horsewomen storyline as something that makes this fight compelling then I don't know what to say to you. Ronda Rousey by armbar, 1:15 of round 1

Josh Samman: It's fun imagining the shitstorm it would stir if Correia wins this fight. It's also fun imagining Ronda dish out all the embarrassing punishment that she's been promising. The problem is I don't see either of those happening, because Correia is not very good in my opinion, and Rousey just isn't a punishment kind of fighter. Hopefully she doesn't try to drag it out as she claims to want to. It's silly to not end a title fight as quickly as possible. Rousey via armbar

Fraser Coffeen: So you have a notoriously slow starter who has never once shown off grappling against a truly high level grappler taking on the fastest finisher in the UFC today and far and away the best grappler in the division? Death, taxes, and Ronda Rousey by armbar R1

Connor Ruebusch: Hey, look! I'm doing staff picks! The general consensus here seems to be that Correia isn't a challenge for Rousey, and so therefore the fight is without meaning. I can't disagree with the former, but the latter confuses me a bit. We're watching a soon-to-be-legendary champion compiling her legacy here. Not every one of Muhammad Ali's fights were as renowned as the last, but all of them contributed in some way to the aura that he was the greatest of his era, and one of the greatest of all time. Each successive Rousey fight is less about the opponent, and more about getting the chance to watch a heroic figure perform. I'm okay with that. As for a prediction, yeah it's Ronda Rousey by Submission, Round 1

Zane Simon: Rousey by armbar Round 1.

Staff picking Rousey: Tim, Rainer, Josh, Mookie, Stephie, Phil, Fraser, Hutch, Connor, Lewis, Zane, Anton
Staff picking Correia:

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio Rua

Anton Tabuena: Both are clearly over the hill, making this almost impossible to truly pick with much certainty. That said, I'll go with one that has more finishing power. Shogun Rua by TKO.

Mookie Alexander: Fraser nailed it. Whoever is less shot/less chinny wins the fight. Or we could get a double injury TKO as Shogun's knees explode on him and Lil' Nog throws out his back in the ensuing finish attempt. I thoroughly fear the worst for this fight. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by TKO, round 2.

Josh Samman: It's cool to see two guys compete at the highest level for over a decade and all, but I find it hard to get excited over this one. A quick look at recent previous outings would suggest Nogueira should win, although he's been so inactive over the last few years that it's not an easy call to make. I'll go with the underdog. Nogueira via decision

Fraser Coffeen: I really hate picking fights based on the "who is less shot" mentality, but here you go. Two absolute legends of the sport going at it at a time when I just don't know what to expect from either one anymore. Nog rarely fights these days, but when he does, he still looks pretty good, while Shogun looks bad - except when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he does not. This might be one of those Shogun is back nights, but I think Nog is the safer pick. Nogueira by decision

Connor Ruebusch: I'm picking Shogun. I don't really want to, after having been disappointed by his results so many times in the recent past, but I just don't see how Little Nog, a fighter with just as many injuries as Shogun and less innate finishing ability, can get it done here. I'll probably be disappointed again, but at least Shogun has 2015's trainer of the year in his corner to help him out on this one. Shogun Rua by KO, Round 2

Lewis Mckeever: Don't have it in me to ever pick against Shogun. The latter half of Shogun's career may have been riddled with injuries but so has Lil Nog's, and he looks about 90-years-old. I'm with Shogun until the bitter end. Shogun Rua via TKO, Round 1

Zane Simon: I guess I'm picking Nogueira, just because I'm not 100% certain how shot he is. I know how shot Shogun is, and it's very. Even if he does well, he's probably going to get hurt by the first hard shot that lands. That's not good. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by TKO, Round 1.

Staff picking Nogueira: Rainer, Josh, Mookie, Fraser, Zane
Staff picking Shogun: Tim, Stephie, Phil, Hutch, Connor, Lewis, Anton

Fernando Bruno vs. Glaico Franca

Phil Mackenzie: If there's a consistent trend in TUF finales, it's in, er, consistency- in the finale which features someone with a grinding approach against someone with a bit more flash, the grinder comes out on top virtually every time. Often, they can display a bit more dynamism while doing it, but it's a lesson in how it's fundamentally easier to layer aggression over stability than vice-versa in the short term. Franca probably has the brighter future in the sport, but Fernando Bruno by unanimous decision

Connor Ruebusch: Bruno's a big, powerful grappler with solid takedowns and serviceable striking. He doesn't combine these things as well as he could, but he's got a very solid foundation to work with. Franca's kind of the exact opposite. As wild as he is dynamic, Franca may have greater potential than Bruno, but he's just not there yet technically. Fernando Bruno by Unanimous Decision

Zane Simon: I realize that there's a lot of good reasons to pick Bruno and that he has the more consistent game. The kind of game that wins fights in the UFC. But, I've been interested in Franca since I watched tape of him pre-show. He's a fantastic athlete that I think really will get a lot better with time and it's not like Bruno is an awesome finishing machine or a real physical force. I feel like this is one of those times where one guy go through TUF by being the dominant athlete in the house, and the other guy got through by having the patient, put together game that didn't need any tuning from bout to bout. But at the end I think the better athlete with the more dynamic skills takes this one. Glaico Franca by Decision.

Staff picking Bruno: Rainer, Mookie, Phil, Connor
Staff picking Franca: Tim, Josh, Stephie, Fraser, Hutch, Zane, Anton

Dileno Lopes vs. Reginaldo Vieira

Fraser Coffeen: It's a TUF final, so you never can know for sure, but Lopes seems a pretty notable step above the field this year. Dileno Lopes, submission, round 1

Phil Mackenzie: This is definitely one of the funner fights on the card. Lopes is basically a bit cleaner everywhere and Vieira is going to throw himself at him. Dileno Lopes by submission, round 2

Connor Ruebusch: Really solid fight here, for all that it lacks in name recognition. Vieira is consistently in fun fights, but that's sort of his problem: with the exception of a single decision win, Vieira either finishes or gets finished. Against competitive opposition, his fights always feel like a coin flip. Lopes, on the other hand, is just as much of a finisher, but without all of the recklessness inherent to Vieira's game. Expect to see some beautifully timed knee-tap takedowns, a bit of brutal ground and pound, and a relatively quick submission. Dileno Lopes by Submission, Round 2

Zane Simon: Dileno Lopes has been a top prospect forever. I really expect him to shine in this fight and show that he should have been in the UFC much sooner. Dileno Lopes by decision.

Staff picking Lopes: Tim, Rainer, Josh, Mookie, Stephie, Fraser, Phil, Hutch, Connor, Zane, Anton
Staff picking Vieira:

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Stefan Struve

Anton Tabuena: There's a lot of question marks with both men, and heavyweight means anyone can just land big and win, but this definitely should be Struve's fight to lose. He's taller, heavier, faster, and younger. Nog has considerably slowed down and while he can find that chin, Struve should be able to pick him apart and finish him on the feet. Stefan Struve by TKO.

Mookie Alexander: The only way for this fight to end is on a sad note. So basically that means Stefan Struve by flying knee KO, round 1.

Josh Samman: Not sure how Nogueira is an underdog here. Struve is fighting one of the most accomplished BJJ fighters of all time, at a camp that has struggled with their grappling recently. Besides that, when I think of Struve I think of someone getting knocked out. And not his opponent. Big Nog via submission

Phil Mackenzie: There have been a lot of times when we've said that Big Nog has nothing left in the tank and he's proved us wrong. If there's anything left, he should be able to walk up to Struve, punch him through his porous defense and knock him out. But... I really, really don't think there's anything left. Nog looked unimaginably terrible against Roy Nelson in a fight where all he had to do was put Nelson on the back foot, punch into the clinch and fight like normal and he just couldn't. Struve, conversely, looked like Struve last time out for better or worse, and I've got to pick the person who I think can still physically compete to some extent. Stefan Struve by TKO, round 1.

Connor Ruebusch: Everything about this fight is already depressing, so I may as well pick the most depressing outcome possible: Stefan Struve by Submission, Round 1

Zane Simon: I guess Struve. He should win this. But it's heavyweight so Cthulu only knows. Stefan Struve by submission.

Staff picking Nogueira: Tim, Rainer, Josh, Stephie, Fraser, Lewis
Staff picking Struve: Mookie, Phil, Hutch, Connor, Zane, Anton

Soa Palelei vs. Antonio Silva

Anton Tabuena: Yeah, I wouldn't pick Palelei just a couple of years ago, but Bigfoot doesn't look like Bigfoot anymore. Soa Palelei by KO.

Mookie Alexander: It's not that I think Palelei is that good, it's just that Bigfoot looks completely shot physically. Can't you just envision this fight ending with Soa mounting Bigfoot and instead of bloodying him up like Cain did, he just puts Silva to sleep instead? I can. Soa Palelei via hulk smash, round 1.

Josh Samman: I like the Australian here. He's got 22 wins, all by finish, and 18 of them by KO, against a guy whose last five losses have all been by knockout. Sounds like a showcase fight to me. Palelei via KO

Phil Mackenzie: I'm done picking Silva. Would he beat Soa in his prime? Almost certainly, just like he'd beat Mir and just like he did beat Arlovski. However, since coming off TRT he's looking like the worst fighter in the UFC- an enormous, fragile, barely-moving target for punches who probably shouldn't even be allowed to step in there. Soa Palelei by KO, round 1.

Connor Ruebusch: Another surefire bummer here. The only thing worse than a Palelei KO would be any result that convinces Bigfoot Silva to keep putting his worn-out body through this kind of punishment. Soa Palelei by KO, Round 1

Zane Simon: Just like above, Palelei should by all accounts get the win here. Silva looks shot and fragile. Palelei is limited, but he's huge and powerful and does what he does well for the round he does it. Soa Palelei by TKO, Round 1.

Staff picking Palelei: Rainer, Josh, Mookie, Stephie, Fraser, Phil, Connor, Zane, Anton
Staff picking Silva: Tim, Hutch

Jessica Aguilar vs. Claudia Gadelha

Mookie Alexander: By no means am I short-selling Aguilar here, especially since I think she'd tool #3 ranked Rose Namajunas (how the hell is she #3 anyway?), but Gadelha is the only fighter who has been remotely competitive with the champion. Heck, she has a case for having actually deserved the win over Jedrzejczyk. I've got Claudia because she's the better fighter at this stage in their respective careers. Claudia Gadelha by unanimous decision.

Josh Samman: I've watched Aguilar fight at the highest level for a long time now. It's cool to see her finally get her shot at proving she's the best. She's fighting a tough girl, but I think she's faced tougher. Aguilar via decision

Phil Mackenzie: Two similar, well-rounded fighters. In general I think that Gadelha just holds small but significant advantages in size, power and youth. Gadelha was already competing with Jedrzejczyk on the feet for portions of her bout, and her TDD is pretty iron-clad. She can likely play a sprawl and brawl game and maybe pick up late takedowns to seal rounds. Claudia Gadelha by unanimous decision.

Connor Ruebusch: Gadelha isn't as clean a wrestler as Aguilar, but she makes up for that technical deficiency with physical force and sheer will. Gadelha is also just a more natural mixed martial artist than Aguilar--every aspect of her game apart from her stellar jiu jitsu is pretty crude, but she understands perfectly how and when to apply that limited skillset, whereas Aguilar always seems to be working through memorized patterns on the feet. I'll take the smoother fighter any day. Claudia Gadelha by Unanimous Decision

Zane Simon: I honestly think most of the grappling will be a wash, but I think Gadelha has a huge edge in raw physicality and punching mechanics that Aguilar can't match. And Gadelha isn't so green that she's not going to know what to do with Aguilar's stifling pressure. Claudia Gadelha by decision.

Staff picking Aguilar: Tim, Rainer, Josh
Staff picking Gadelha: Mookie, Stephie, Phil, Fraser, Hutch, Connor, Zane, Anton

Neil Magny vs. Demian Maia

Anton Tabuena: Zhoozhitsoo. Demian Maia by Submission.

Mookie Alexander: This is, on paper, a really bad matchup for Magny. That loss to Sergio Moraes was only two years ago and he looked pretty bad. Magny's best win to date is probably Hyun Gyu Lim, who is probably going to max out his potential as a lower-end top 15 guy. Not all win streaks are created equally and Magny's is good but nothing stands out as a signature win. His pace and his kickboxing could really be troublesome for Maia. Granted, if Maia does as much as take Magny down and insta-mount like I would think he's capable of doing, Magny is as good as screwed. Thinking it over, Maia is totally winning this based on his BJJ, underrated wrestling, and strength, but I picked Magny on my podcast earlier this week so I'm not going to chicken out of my original statement. I'm going to go down with the ship making a prediction I am very certain I'm going to regret. Neil Magny by decision.

Josh Samman: Magny has looked pretty awesome lately, and I would find it hard to see him as the underdog here, were it not for who he is facing. Maia is a step up in competition sure, but when you've won seven fights in a row it's about damn time for a step up. I think this one will be close, but will take the proven grappler in this one. Maia via smothering decision

Phil Mackenzie: Aw man. I really like Magny. He's tall and gangly and he throws tons of jabs and he's organically constructed a distance kickboxing game over time. I love all that stuff. But, he hasn't historically been impossible to get to the ground, and Maia is an incredibly good wrestler if he gets in on you. Maia's tank isn't phenomenal, but he took a clear 5-rounder over Ryan LaFlare, and if he shows up in that kind of shape again I think he probably takes at least 2 out of 3, especially given Magny's tendency to go to the ground in every damn fight, even when he really, really shouldn't. The big question is- does Maia still show up in shape? Because at some point relatively soon, he won't be able to. Demian Maia by unanimous decision

Connor Ruebusch: Tough matchup for Neil. Magny, like Bethe Correia at the top of the card, is still a little too naive for this level of competition. He trains in every aspect of MMA, and therefore he can't seem to keep himself from using every aspect of MMA in every fight. It doesn't matter that he's facing one of the best grapplers to ever enter the sport; Magny will almost certainly grapple with Demian Maia, and willingly. Watching the young fighter compile his winning streak has been a blast, but I think Maia's specialty will prove too much for Magny's forced well-roundedness. Demian Maia by Unanimous Decision

Zane Simon: Man, I can't believe I'm picking Magny here. Two things really get to me though. One, if Magny freezes Maia at all on the ground, he can probably ride out rounds without getting subbed. Maia is awesome and all, but he just isn't a hyper aggressive sub hunter. Second, Maia's gas tank seems like a concern. If Magny can survive rounds and get Maia to fade I think he can turn things around late and get a stoppage. It might not happen, I don't think Magny wins a decision, but I'm taking Neil Magny by TKO, Round 3.

Staff picking Maia: Tim, Rainer, Josh, Phil, Fraser, Hutch, Connor, Lewis, Anton
Staff picking Magny: Mookie, Stephie, Zane

Rafael Cavalcante vs. Patrick Cummins

Mookie Alexander: Feijao is either going to nuke Cummins or we're going to get a much uglier version of Feijao/Bader but with the same outcome of Feijao losing. I'm siding with the latter choice. Patrick Cummins via unanimous decision.

Josh Samman: I really like coffee, so I've got to keep picking the barista. Cummins via decision

Phil Mackenzie: I've got some worries about this one- once again there's a bit of a tendency to draw comparisons between what Bader could do and what Cummins can do- this happened in the OSP fight. But Ryan Bader is a beast (he really is), and Cummins just isn't quite there yet. On the other hand, Feijao is a huge flake who can look awesome one fight and unutterably awful the next. He generally looks a bit physically better when he's in Brazil, and Cummins' chin is a big question mark so Rafael Feijao by TKO round 2.

Connor Ruebusch: Cummins isn't Bader, and Feijao isn't OSP. Then again, Cummins isn't King Mo either, but neither is he Dan Henderson. Two supremely unpredictable fighters meet in a supremely unpredictable fight. Go figure. Patrick Cummins by Split Decision

Zane Simon: If Feijao can land a huge shot early that stuns Cummins, he can totally win this fight. But, Cummins is an aggressive takedown machine with a penchant for landing a lot of ground and pound. He's not great at controlling people, but he does damage. Honestly, I just don't trust Feijao to not get rinse&repeat takedowned over and over. I don't think he has the same athletic gifts or counter wrestling that OSP does (and OSP doesn't have a ton) that lead to me picking OSP in that fight. So, Patrick Cummins by decision.

Staff picking Feijao: Stephie, Fraser, Phil
Staff picking Cummins: Tim, Rainer, Josh, Mookie, Hutch, Connor, Zane, Anton

Warlley Alves vs. Nordine Taleb

Phil Mackenzie: Based on his performance against Mini-Rockhold, I have some concerns that Alves might be one of those guys who struggles mentally when he doesn't have massive athletic advantages. However, he did at least show a good chin and stayed pretty aggressive. Taleb isn't the athlete Jouban is, but he's got a solid distance striking game and could conceivably outwork Alves if he doesn't come in on point. However, without much power, he has to avoid getting taken down for 3 rounds while dodging big punches from the Brazilian as well. Warlley Alves by unanimous decision

Connor Ruebusch: Despite not deserving the win over Alan Jouban, Alves did prove his toughness in that bout, against one of the toughest up-and-comers in the game. For a guy who was used to dominating his opponents, that says a lot about his potential. And now he finds himself against yet another fighter who can't match him athletically. Taleb is smart, and he's got a great coach in his corner, but I'll be surprised if he ekes this one out. Warlley Alves by Submission, Round 3

Zane Simon: At some point in the future, when Alves faces a stupid tough dude with a fundamentally sound game and good athleticism, he's going to get a real test. Hell, he already did with Alan Jouban. But Taleb's not that guy. He's got the fundamentally sound part down, and he's super well rounded, but he's just not the same freak athlete that Alves is. And Alves isn't bad anywhere. Unless Alves just didn't figure out anything from his gas-to-coast performance over Jouban he should have this fight handled. And even if he didn't learn, he might finish it early. Warlley Alves via submission, Round 2.

Staff picking Alves: Tim, Rainer, Josh, Mookie, Stephie, Fraser, Hutch, Connor, Zane, Anton
Staff picking Taleb:

Iuri Alcantara vs. Leandro Issa

Anton Tabuena: This really is Alcantara's fight to lose. He should have better striking, and he should be faster and more athletic as well. Iuri Alcantara by TKO.

Phil Mackenzie: I had hopes for Iuri when he went to Jackson's- it seems like exactly the kind of place where they'd polish up his wild style without neutering it in any way, and they'd work on his cardio and defensive wrestling. Instead he looked... bad, and like his brother I'm worried that his athleticism is waning. Issa isn't defensively sound so it seems more than possible that Iuri can get to him early with big punches or an opportunistic sub, but I also remember Alcantara having a competitive grappling battle with the much smaller and less aggressive Wilson Reis. Leandro Issa by unanimous decision

Connor Ruebusch: My gut says Alcantara, because Leandro Issa isn't the type of fighter who usually beats him. But neither is Issa a fighter who gives up easy, and his 77% finish rate gives him a very real shot against Alcantara on the ground. And if Issa throws enough volume and keeps the pressure on throughout the fight, he could make Iuri look an awful lot like his little brother Ildemar did a few weeks ago. Iuri Alcantara by Unanimous Decision

Zane Simon: Issa's wins are looking less impressive with time. Jumabieke Tuerxun isn't exactly a staple of UFC talent and Ulka Sasaki is looking more and more like a bust than a true talent. Which means, that despite a short run of good showings, I'm just not sure how I think Issa stacks up with Alacantara. On the flip side for Alcantara, he may have lost to Frankie Saenz, but Saenz is a really solid wrestle/grappler with a very complete game and decent hands. Issa doesn't quite have the skill set. He's a fantastic grappler, but that really puts him skill for skill with what Alcantara does best. And then Alcantara's probably the more powerful striker and stronger wrestler. So, while I think Alcantara is declining and Issa is at his best, I don't think that's quite good enough to get the win here. Iuri Alcantara by decision.

Staff picking Alcantara: Tim, Rainer, Josh, Mookie, Stephie, Fraser, Hutch, Connor, Zane, Anton
Staff picking Issa: Phil

Clint Hester vs. Vitor Miranda

Mookie Alexander: This card is so deep that Vitor is on the prelims! Clint Hester by TKO, round 2.

Josh Samman: A Brazilian nicknamed Lex Luthor is cool, but I've got to root for Clint here. I'm not sure how a fighter that's 4-1 in the UFC, with his only loss a fight of the night, is on the Fight Pass prelims. I think this is a tough fight for him, but expect him to win it with some tricks we haven't yet seen from him yet. Hester via decision

Phil Mackenzie: I didn't pick Miranda to win his last fight, and even if he did win I'm not convinced that it was a particularly replicable victory. While Hester is a bit wild at times, he's also got huge physical advantages in strength and power and if he doesn't get headkicked I think he probably wins this one handily. Clint Hester by TKO, round 3.

Connor Ruebusch: I never thought I'd say this, but Clint Hester should be the more well-rounded fighter here. Clint Hester by Unanimous Decision

Zane Simon: If Hester just tries to sit on the outside and pick single shots against Miranda he might lose (maybe). I think that would make it a coinflip as Hester's athleticism and power would go against Miranda's skill, but Hester should be the better fighter everywhere else and as long as he doesn't just let Miranda tee off on him, should get the win. Clint Hester by decision.

Staff picking Hester: Tim, Rainer, Josh, Mookie, Stephie, Fraser, Hutch, Connor, Zane, Anton
Staff picking Miranda:

Guido Cannetti vs. Hugo Viana

Phil Mackenzie: Hugo Wolverine is a solid mid-tier action fighter who has been hurt by infrequency and going up against incredibly talented and surging prospects. TUF LatAm fighters have been stepping up their game recently, but I'm still not going to pick Cannetti. Hugo Viana by unanimous decision.

Connor Ruebusch: What Phil said. Hugo Viana by Unanimous Decision

Zane Simon: Unless Cannetti has a really surprising bag of tricks that we haven't seen from him in his career so far, he doesn't look like the kind of athlete or technician that beats Hugo Viana. Sideburns and Aviators all the way. Hugo Viana by decision.

Staff picking Cannetti:
Staff picking Viana: Tim, Rainer, Josh, Mookie, Stephie, Fraser, Hutch, Connor, Zane, Anton