MMA  > General MMA  > UFC 145 Breakdown / UFC Picks. THE ESSAY
April 21, 2012, 10:57 AM
I???m not going to go through this card fight by fight, because frankly, this card isn???t very interesting.
If Jon Jones pops a hammy or Rashad cuts himself in warm-ups, this card is going to be an all-time stinker. Even the Semi-main is more of a setup for McDonald to begin his climb up the welterweight ladder???s top rungs than anything else.

Let???s look at the fights I care about.

Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero

Two of the lesser fighters to win TUF, Mac???s had an up and down career, but I???m not as down on him as some. EE is one guy who just needs to mature, maybe get a stronger coach/boss to make him buckle down.
I like Danzig in this fight, for no reason other than EE will stand and bang if the crowds happy, even if he???s losing. Danzig can pile up points for 15 minutes and not get flustered doing so.

John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani

Makdessi is coming off his first loss in MMA, not to mention a 22-0 as a kickboxer. Njokuani can throw, don???t be caught just looking at that record. I think the only time this hits the floor is when someone crumples to it. I like Njokuani to clinch John against the cage and knee his liver to pate

Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs

Speaking of heavy hands, let???s double the weight! The winner here could. Be looking at getting the Mir/Cain loser. I like Browne here, but Griggs- long term- might be the better fighter.

Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell

Schaub is interesting to me, he???s fought a bunch of crap guys (TUFX) but keeps improving, he???s like Lesnar without the name, late to the sport, active- almost to a detriment, but works his rear off. Rothwell is a solid uppercard gatekeeper, and a win for either guy keeps them off Fuel. I have to think Dana is hoping Rothwell gives Schaub a highlight. Rothwell???s never going to be more than a fallback fight for a top 6 guy that just lost, but he???s solid enough to ensure someone don???t string 5 wins without breaking a sweat.
I think Schaub uses his footwork and pick Ben apart the full 15 minutes.

Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills

Only here to give Rory a highlight reel.
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April 21, 2012  11:26 AM ET

Jon Jones (c) vs. Rashad Evans

This is a hard matchup to me, but I do think had they fought when they were first supposed to in 2006, then Evans wins. Jones??? biggest weakness had been his inexperience, and now its 3 fights later. Inexperience isn???t really a factor since then.
The most deciding factor to me is Greg Jackson. He???s been in both skulls, he???s brought both to the mountaintop. Not to say he could make me into Pride Wandy, but when he chooses one fighter over another, I got to go with him. Normally, when guys fight one Jackson fighter, the next Jackson fighter beats him. There???s something there.

Rashad???s advantages

He???s more compact, so if he gets inside, and Jones doesn???t throw him? Those elbows and fancy kicks go away.
Jones has an aura around him, and every fighter respects him. Even Rampage. Evans is the first guy that will see him as human and a human he hates. That gives Rashad a mental edge.
Rashad???s been with Jackson since the beginning, he???s seen a TON. Mike Van Arsdale is a quality guy, and new ideas sometime help. Another thought is CampJackson is HUGE and both main coaches work with multiple fighters. Is 80% Jackson > 100% MVA?
I think Rashad also hits harder- one punch-wise.

April 21, 2012  11:28 AM ET

Jones??? advantages

Greg Jackson, as noted above
A variety of attacks, spinning/flying/twisting palm thrust? If the kicking off the cage strike happens again, you can almost bet its Jones, over any other 205r that can do it.
Length. Jones has no problem sitting outside and picking Rashad apart.
Evans has to best HIM. Jackson fighters excel at stealing rounds, Jones and Evans no different. But flashy moves and high hit counts do sway the judges more often than not.

The largest advantage Jones has, is Rashad is a SLOW starter.
If he comes out as normal, he???s going to be down 10-9 before he gets going, not a huge deal in a five-rounder, but its better to be up than down.
The second scenario is Rashad comes out bustingass to hurt Jones early and often. Evans has a welterweight???s cardio, but not as good as Jones. That adrenaline dump could cost Evans.
I???m taking Jones in the 4th, but at 410? I???d drop 20 bucks on Evans and maybe another 20 on Evans by DEC

I will say, If they rematch, I???m thinking Evans will learn enough to find a hole.

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April 21, 2012  11:29 AM ET

Thats the Brain, People.

???Follows me on the tweeter, and set your DVR to recod tommorrows show.???

The FULL Brain is at

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April 21, 2012  12:27 PM ET


April 21, 2012  08:38 PM ET

When's the next UFC on Fox?

its in just a couple weeks i think

April 22, 2012  12:50 AM ET

When's the next UFC on Fox?

Cinqo de Mayo


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