Chris 27-9 (75%)
#5 Michael Bisping vs. #8 Tim Kennedy:
Are you not entertained by the trash talk leading up to this fight?
Bisping and Kennedy will finally be able to go at it tonight once and for all. I see this being a good fight, and I give Kennedy a chance, but I don’t think this fight is as close as the oddsmakers see it.
Kennedy has the power and striking ability to end the fight, but I just don’t see that happening with someone as defensively proven as Bisping.
Kennedy is also a solid grappling, but Bisping has very impressive takedown defense. If Kennedy is able to take Bisping down, the problem from there will be keeping Bisping on his back. Bisping should be able to keep the fight standing and do what he does best, use his footwork to set up his jab and combinations.
In the end, I could see Bisping wearing Kennedy out in the later rounds and finishing by TKO, but Kennedy has ridiculous cardio and should be able to withstand the pace of Bisping and head to the judges’ scorecards.
Favorite: Bisping (-200) Underdog: Kennedy (+170)
My Pick: Bisping
Kyle Noke vs. Patrick Cote:
Team Canada dominated “The Ultimate Fighter: Nations” and should continue to do so here. While Cote doesn’t appear to be at his peak any longer, he has faced and defeated much tougher opponents than Noke.
This fight should be a fun one and have a good mix of grappling and striking, and while Noke is the more well-rounded guy, I see Cote being able to keep it on the feet for a majority of the fight and use his boxing to pick Noke apart.
If Noke gets this fight to the mat Cote could be in some trouble and while I’m not 100 percent sold on Cote here, I think he’ll be able to pull out a victory.
Favorite: Noke (-200) Underdog: Cote (+170)
My Pick: Cote
Elias Theodorou vs. Sheldon Westcott:
This one’s a bit tricky; due to the fact Westcott finished both of his fights in the TUF Nations house by first round submission, we don’t know the extent of his skill set.
Both of these men are solid grapplers, Theodorou showed he has a good wrestling base with a relentless pace and can wear his opponents out with superior cardio. As for Westcott, he’s definitely the more dynamic and explosive of the two and also has a strong top game, but is a Brazilian Jiu-Jistu based fighter.
This one should come down to who can get the takedowns. I could see Westcott finishing this one, but i’ll play it safe and go Theodoru by decision.
Favorite: Theodorou (-175) Underdog: Westcott (+150)
My Pick: Theodorou
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Chad Laprise:
These two are Tristar teammates and both have completely different skill sets. Mercier has terrific grappling as he was a member of the Canadian National Judo team and is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As for Laprise, he is obviously the better striker here and was one of the better strikers on TUF Nations.
In order for Laprise to win this battle of undefeated fighters and win the TUF Nations Welterweight tournament he desperately needs to keep this fight standing, which I don’t believe he will be able to do.
Mercier should be able to get the takedown and find the submission early in the bout.
Favorite: Aubin-Mercier (-155) Underdog: Laprise (+135)
My Pick: Aubin-Mercier
#6 Dustin Poirier vs. Akira Corassani:
I believe this is a complete mismatch. Yes, Corassani is a solid Featherweight, but I don’t believe he has anything for Poirier who is one of the best fighters in the division.
Poirier’s striking has looked outstanding in his last two fights, picking apart both Erik Koch and Diego Brandao and he also has some slick submissions in his arsenal.
Poirier should dominate in this one.
Favorite: Poirier (-1100) Underdog: Corassani (+720)
My Pick: Poirier
K.J. Noons (-130) < Sam Stout (+110)
#5 Sarah Kaufman (-255) > Leslie Smith (+212)
Ryan Jimmo (-600) > Sean O’Connell (+450)
George Roop (-150) > Dustin Kimura (+130)