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UFC 195: Stephie's main card picks plus free Kountermove game

Bloody Elbow's Stephie Haynes gives her UFC 195 main card picks with a mini breakdown for each bout. Bonus: Free Kountermove cash game!

The first card of the New Year is tomorrow night and I'm pretty sure the UFC custom designed this event for me. Anytime Robbie Lawler fights, I will assume that Joe Silva had me in mind when he set the card. Anywho, the fights look great on paper, so hopefully they will translate well in reality.

As with all the big UFC events, Crazy Aaron from Kountermove has once again gifted Bloody Elbow readers with a free cash game. I have done a mini breakdown of the main card that will aid you in making your winning fight team, since I do have the best picks/predictions record on the site for two years running. Kountermove pricing is included in the predictions and the link to the free game will be posted at the end.

We hope you enjoy your fight day with all of us at the best fantasy MMA site around (and we were the first ones too!),

Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit

Kountermove pricing: Lawler $5400 / Condit $5000

This is one of those times where I choose with my heart. If Robbie Lawler is fighting, I don't care who it is, he's winning. That said, if I'm choosing a winner not based on my fandom, I still have to go with Ruthless. His rise to the top and ability to keep the other wolves at bay is pretty damned impressive. He's durable, and can make a second wind look like a fresh start. His fight with Rory Mac was an excellent example of his ability to take a licking and keep on kicking.

Condit has always been a crowd pleaser and is very high on my list of faves, as well. His striking is exceptional and very diverse. He's also got that comeback kid element going for him, too. All that said, he's had a bumpy run and his level of opposition hasn't been as strong as Lawler's. He's also been fairly inactive, with only one fight to his credit in 2015. That was an impressive win over Thiago Alves, but if we're honest with ourselves, we should probably recognize that Alves is likely on the downside of his career.

My pick: Ruthless via UD

Stipe Miocic vs. Andrei Arlovski

Kountermove pricing: Miocic $5300 / Arlovski $4300

Joe Silva is obviously trying to crush my spirits by matching up all my favorites. Arlovski is on one of the best career resurgences since Robbie Lawler, and is on a crazy hot streak right now, but two of those wins were fights I'd like to pretend never happened. He still packs serious power, and has proven to be very durable despite a run of losses via knockout.

Miocic has looked great, even in his loss to Junior dos Santos. He gave Hunto quite the beating and put it to Roy Nelson, as well, proving he has no problems putting away opponents that likely outweigh him by 30-40 lbs on fight night. This time, he'll be facing an opponent where everything on a physical plane is "virtually identical," to use the infamous words of Mike Goldberg. I think the key here is going to be speed and cardio, and that edge most certainly goes to Miocic.

My pick: Miocic via TKO

Albert Tumenov vs. Lorenz Larkin

Kountermove pricing: Tumenov $5000 / Larkin $4600

If you're a fan of striking festivals, this bout should be just what the doctor ordered. Larkin has looked quite impressive since his move to 170 and has made plenty of necessary adjustments to continue his run toward the welterweight strap. He has a very nice striking style and packs fantastic power. He's improved his ground game and takedown defense, and seems to have really rounded out his overall skillset.

Albert Tumenov is a Russian striker who also packs incredible power and apparently wants to take down all the touted strikers in the welterweight division, as evidenced by his odd callout of Larkin. I feel that he has the strength advantage here and the more durable chin.

My pick: Tumenov via TKO

Brian Ortega vs. Diego Brandao

Kountermove pricing: Ortega $4900 / Brandao $4700

Brian Ortega has a very slick ground game and he has good power in his hands. He's a natural athlete with great instincts. He's unbeaten, aside from that pesky NC due to a popped post fight test, and seems to have added some new facet to his skillset with each outing.

Diego Brandao is a great fighter who suffers from emotional dysfunction in his fights. He has excellent KO power and great ground skills, especially his top game, but doesn't always make wise choices in his fights. The fight IQ issue has shown itself before, but he is with Jackson-Wink, and on a two-fight streak, so maybe their tutelage is firmly taking hold.

My pick: Brian Ortega via sub

Tony Sims vs. Abel Trujillo

Kountermove pricing: Sims $5400 / Trujillo $4200

Abel Trujillo is a strong athlete with excellent power. His problem lies in his ground game (or lack thereof). Thing is, that power he packs is pretty hefty, so if one of those lands, it's definitely going to be a lights out scenario for Sims.

Sims has shown to have very good striking technique and flashes of power, as well, but not of the caliber of Trujillo. His level of opposition is slightly below Abel's, also.

This is my coin toss fight, as both guys are what most would refer to as a "mixed bag." Coin flipped.

My pick: Abel Trujillo via TKO

Now that I've given you my picks and predictions, it's time to get to the good stuff, Crazy Aaron's free tourney for Bloody Elbow readers. Before I link you guys, I wanted to give you some standard information about Kountermove.

Players use a $25,000 artificial salary cap to draft 5 fighters from the card before each event begins. Eachfighter has a salary designated by Kountermove -- salaries range from $3,000 to $8,000. The winners are determined based on how the fight plays out rather than simply a fight's outcome (pick'em format). Kountermove calculates a fighter's fantasy score based on the number of strikes, takedowns, submissions, dominant positions, and rounds won. Scoring data from the fights flows into the site in near real-time, so players can monitor their teams as the event happens. The data used in calculating a fighter's score is provided by UFC's official stats provider, FightMetric.

The site was started with the idea that MMA in general must market "up and coming" fighters to become a truly mainstream sport. "There are many great fighters out there that no one knows about because so much of marketing in MMA is geared toward the top fighters" said Aaron Ard, a co-founder of, "we wanted to create a game that would create interest and engagement in preliminary fights as well as the headliners." Statistics are bearing this out; over 85% of Kountermove players' teams have at least one fighter competing on the preliminary card. No Kountermove player has won a major tournament without a preliminary card fighter on their team.

Here's the link to the $100 tourney:

You can follow Kountermove via their Twitter account, @Kountermove

Disclaimer: Kountermove is not an advertiser on Bloody Elbow, nor are we being paid to advertise the contest. They offered to provide Bloody Elbow readers with the free tournament and are fully responsible for the contest and any associated prize payouts.