I meant to write a UFC 169 prediction post on either Friday night or Saturday morning, but never got around to it.
— Major props to the “California Kid” (the, uh, 34-year-old “California Kid”), Urijah Faber. He just fought Michael McDonald 47 days before last night, and took last night’s fight against Bantamweight champion Renan Barao on three weeks notice. Think about how monumental that is for a moment. Faber’s fight camp, “Team Alpha Male”, based in California, is among the best in the UFC. He also has one of the best walkout songs ever. Couldn’t find one from the UFC, but here’s one from his WEC days from July 2009:
— Herb Dean stopped the main event fight too early. In real time, you can’t blame him, but in the replay, it’s easy to tell that Faber was guarding himself and had given Herb Dean the thumbs up. As always, hindsight is 20/20. Conclusion: Renan Barao is a monster, although Faber had plenty of game left. Too bad this fight couldn’t have gone on longer. What could have been.
— Speaking of monsters, Jose Aldo… you could tell who was the champion and who was the challenger in his fight against Ricardo Lamas. Aldo is 27 and hasn’t lost a fight since 2005. He was 18 back then. Once again, think about how monumental that is for a moment. To me, even though I dislike the term, he should be heralded as the number 1 pound for pound fighter in the world. He turned Lamas’s left leg into raw ground beef with those quick, swift leg kicks of his. He slowed down in the championship rounds, but all three judges scored the contest 30-27 for a unanimous decision victory.
— Speaking of Lamas, I think he’ll be around for a while. He showed some heart. Even though he landed some nice shots on Aldo, he was too damn slow for the most part. Aldo stuffed takedown after takedown attempt and checked his leg kicks all night.
— Alistair Overeem dominated Frank Mir. In the first round, the fight was basically over when the two were in the clinch and Overeem drilled him with a high knee kick. Looking back at the replay, it looked like Mir was going for a sweep, but that damning knee caught him and he looked like he didn’t know where he was for the remainder of the fight. Major props to the “Reem”; he purposely cut down on his muscle mass to improve his cardio and he was so quick.
— Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo was quite the war. A standup war. Varner was dominating the fight until, out of nowhere, Trujillo caught him with an overhand right and knocked him out. Two words: instant classic.
Super Bowl XLVIII Prediction: I would be remiss if I didn’t immediately mention my lack of a damn to give over this year’s Super Bowl. I mean, the damn exists, as I’ll be watching this evening, but the excitement isn’t there. I’m not a huge Peyton Manning fan nor do I care for the Seattle Seahawks. Looking at this game objectively, I imagine the Broncos will have a lot of success at stopping the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch and should be able to control the clock on offense with a heavy dose of Knowshon Moreno and a horde of Peyton Manning audibles. At the same time, I don’t believe Russell Wilson has tossed the football for over 250 yards in months. The Seahawks’ offense has been pretty pedestrian as of late, to be honest, so I expect Wilson to put up some solid numbers against Denver’s lackluster pass defense. Though I do think the Broncos will win if the weather remains consistent in the low 40s. 26-20 Broncos. Omaha.