J-Mac's UFC 106 picks
November 19, 2009
I'm back in Las Vegas for another couple of weeks to finish off a training camp and it has been going well down here. It's like last time I have the ability to train with a lot of top-notch guys. There's a bunch preparing for upcoming fights, such as Martin Kampmann, Mike Pyle and Tyson Griffin. Gray Maynard and Yoshihiro Akiyama have also been around at Xtreme Couture.
It's totally different and refreshing. When I'm at home training, any time I take even a one-minute break, I'm thinking about what I'm going to do for my next five-minute round. But here, we just show up and train. You do your warm up and then you get to work sparring, then drills and then conditioning.
It takes the thinking out of it you just work hard and do your best. Two weeks away from a fight, that's exactly what I need. I'm not looking to learn new things, I'm just trying to get into the best shape I can possibly be.
On Wednesday, I watched the WEC after practice. Usually the WEC has lots of great fights, particularly because the smaller guys can go, go go. And they're passionate. And because they don't have the power of the bigger guys, they hit each other with a lot more shots.
Well last night, I was totally disappointed. It's the first time I remember watching the WEC and thinking those fights weren't very good. The McCullough fight was bad and the Garcia fight was bad.
As for the main event, I'm a big fan of Jose Aldo and a big fan of Mike Brown. I'm not sure who's going to beat Aldo at this point. He's so fast and so powerful at that weight. He looks like a smaller version of Anderson Silva standing. I know they're trying to get Urijah Faber back in line to fight for the title, but I'm not sure he'd do any better against Aldo. We were thinking of buying tickets to the show; I'm certainly glad we didn't.
But I am going to the fights on Saturday night. I've jumped back and forth on whom I think's going to win the Tito-Forrest rematch. I thought at first Tito was going to win, then I thought Forrest was going to win, now I'm back to thinking Forrest is going to win.
I thought maybe it would be bad for Tito to be away from the ring for so long, he's got two new babies and is getting older. But we're going to see him for the first time healthy and extremely hungry having not fight for a long time. He'll have a lot of time to prepare.
Meanwhile I really think Forrest is on a bit of a slide. The fight against Anderson took a toll on him mentally. I just don't see him being quite as aggressive. I see Tito putting him on his back and grounding out a victory or even stopping him by TKO.
Anthony Johnson vs. Josh Koscheck
I personally think Johnson will be too big for Koscheck. I think Johnson will make weight this time, learning his lesson from losing his bonus last time (last month when he fought Yoshiyuki Yoshida. And with one training camp going right into another, he should be able to make weight. Koscheck is a great wrestler, but Johnson is a huge welterweight and I see him TKO'ing Koscheck.
Phil Baroni vs. Amir Sadollah
My first thought is, it surprised me to see this fight on the main card. Baroni is back in the UFC, coming off a loss outside the UFC. And he's fighting Amir, a guy with only a couple pro fights and he lost his last one. My second thought is, if Baroni doesn't knock out Amir in the first minute and a half, I think Amir will win. Because otherwise, I believe Baroni will run out of gas.
Luiz Cane vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
I'm going to go with Cane. He really impressed me in Montreal when he fought Steve Cantwell. I really thought Cantwell might be the next big thing in the light heavyweight division, but Cane came out and picked him apart. So I say Cane by TKO.
Marcus Davis vs. Ben Saunders
Marcus Davis, for sure. I don't think Saunders is at that level yet to fight those guys. We've seen that with his fight against Swick. I just think Davis has too much experience for him. He'll win that one.
Kendall Grove vs. Jake Rosholt
I think Grove should be able to take Rosholt. He looked improved against Chris Leben, but I'll pick Grove to use his reach and keep the fight standing.
Jason Dent vs. George Sotiropolous
I'm going to pick Sotiropolous because I think he's really good. He impressed me on the show and in the fights he's had in the UFC. I'm going to pick him to beat Dent pretty easily.
Jason 'The Athlete' MacDonald is a Canadian mixed martial artist. He lives in Red Deer, Alta., with his wife Kelly and four children, boys Tristin and Keel, and girls Jett and True. He blogs regularly for Sportsnet.ca.