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Staff Picks for UFC 130

UFC 130 predictions:

Jim Genia’s picks are as follows.

Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Hamill

Let’s play a game called “What quality opponents has he beaten?” First up: Rampage. He may have barely edged past Lyoto Machida in his last bout, but he’s won convincingly against Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell and Ricardo Arona. Next let’s play the game with Hamill. He’s beaten… an aged Tito Ortiz. “Bad Attitude” Baracus wins this one via referee stoppage and pitying the fool.

Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson

People are making a big deal about these two guys having competed against each other at a Grapplers Quest, but everyone is ignoring the fact that Mir and Nelson have also clashed at a Dungeons & Dragons tournament, an air guitar contest and that Red Bull-sponsored “Flugtag” event where everyone tries to fly homemade contraptions off a pier. Based on their overall competition record, Mir and Nelson are even. That said, Mir takes this bout via decision with slightly superior striking.

Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne

Struve is tall. Very, very tall. Consequently, he can land jabs on opponents in the Octagon while he’s still standing in the locker room. Watch for him to TKO Browne in the second round.

Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story

When Alves is “on”, he’s scary. So scary, actually, that back in Brazil kids wear masks of him on Halloween. If Story doesn’t get this one to the ground fast, he’s going to wake up a year from now asking when his UFC 130 bout with Alves is supposed to begin. Alves by knockout in the first.

Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago

Santiago wasn’t that seasoned when he first fought in the UFC, but for the amount of ass he kicked fighting in Sengoku in Japan, he’s about as seasoned as a five-alarm chili now. Stann is great at slugging it out with folks, yet all it takes is one good takedown and Santiago will be on him like a scoop of vanilla ice cream atop a slice of warm apple pie (or some equally American metaphor). The Brazilian wins this bout via submission – probably in the third round after Stann has gotten tired winging bolos.

Miguel Torres vs. Demetrious Johnson

Johnson may have amassed a nice little 9-1 record, but that accomplishment pales in comparison to the monster 39-3 record Torres has accumulated. Really, the only danger Torres faces in this bout is getting bored and complacent, since he’s already fought about eight different versions of the kind of fighter Johnson represents. The ex-WEC champ via smashing elbows from top position in Round 2.

Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch

If Grove has trained, he should have this one in the bag based on sheer Hawaiian meanness. If he hasn’t trained, expect him to wear Boetsch down with knees against the fence en route to a decision.

Jake Berezansky’s picks are as follows.

Rampage Jackson/Matt Hamill

Ok… I know everybody says Rampage has got this one in the bag, but bear with me for a minute. Rampage is, from what I have seen as of late, very unmotivated. Hamill on the other hand has everything to gain from this fight and absolutely nothing to lose. I have personally spoken with Matt Hamill on more than one occasion, and I promise drive, motivation, will to win, or what ever you want to call it are not something this man lacks. His raw talent may not be the most impressive display in the world, but he is good. He does deserve this step up in competition, and I will be one of the few who will pick him to win tonight. I know it’s unlikely, but hey, I’m going out on a limb and saying Hamill uses his wrestling base to grind out a unanimous decision tonight. I won’t be shocked if I’m wrong though. Hamill Decision: Unanimous

Frank Mir/Roy Nelson

Frank Mir’s vegan diet may not have worked out for him, and Roy Nelson’s gut locker is as large as ever, but what I think is going to happen tonight will be one of the best displays of Heavyweight Jiu Jitsu we have seen in a long time. I’ve said Frank Mir is the best heavyweight submission artist in the game for years now, and I think he’ll prove me right again tonight by submitting Mr. Nelson with a choke in the second round. Mir Submission: Choke Round 2

Stefan Struve/Travis Browne

I’ve got to go with Jim on this one. That reach is too long, and Struve just doesn’t quit no matter what. Struve TKO round 1.

Thiago Alves/Rick Story

Thiago Alves has seemed to find some good strides against John Howard in December, but he couldn’t quite pull the trigger. Rick Story had the same problem in the same month with Johnny Hendricks. Where does this leave us you ask? With Thiago Alves pulling the trigger three or four times as he reads Rick a bedtime story (see what I did there? Clever, I know.) Thiago Alves KO Round 2.

Brian Stann/Jorge Santiago

I’m not going to lie I’m not very familiar with Jorge Santiago, so this pick is a little uninformed. With that said, I have seen some good work from Brian Stann, and this good work has been put in against seasoned UFC and WEC veterans. He impressed me with his last two wins, and I think he’ll impress me tonight too. Stann Decision: Unanimous

Miguel Torres/Demetrious Johnson

Miguel Torres is a machine, and I think he’ll wear a UFC strap in his career; tonight will be just another step in that direction. Those machete like elbows will fit nicely into Johnson’s face. As the blood leaves Johnson’s face, his will to win will not be far behind… Torres TKO Round 3

Kendall Grove/Tim Boetsch

Kendall Grove should win this on every level; however, Kendal Grove seems to be plagued with the same terrible disease as fellow Hawaiian BJ Penn. Kendal nor BJ seem to understand the importance of training. I’m with Jim half way on this one. Trained Kendal wins. Lazy Kendal loses. I’m saying he’s trained and will eek out a decision. Grove Decision: Unanimous

Let’s hear what you guys think.

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