UFC 111 Preview and Picks
The UFC returns to the octagon on Saturday with UFC 111. One of the stronger cards in recent memory that includes welterweight champion George St. Pierre against Dan Hardy, and an interim heavyweight championship bout between Shane Carwin and Frank Mir.
St. Pierre is coming off a dominating unanimous decision victory over Thiago Alves at UFC 100, and is looking to defend his belt for a 5th time. Hardy has blown through the UFC, going undefeated in his 4 UFC fights with notable wins over Mike Swick, Marcus Davis, and Akihiro Gono. With the way that St. Pierre has owned the welterweight division, Hardy is one of the few credible welterweights left for GSP to fight. The co-main event is a bout between former Heavyweight champ, Frank Mir against the number one contender, Shane Carwin. The original bout was supposed to be Carwin against Lesnar, but due to Lesnar’s health issues that fight was put off and an interim belt created so that the winner of this fight will fight Lesnar to unify the belts. I am personally extremely excited about this fight as the UFC heavyweight division is probably the best it has been in a long time. With Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Shane Carwin, Junior Dos Santos, and Cain Velasquez all filling out the upper echelon of fighters in the division, the next few years should be very entertaining.
Here are the picks:
Georges St-Pierre (19-2) -800 vs. Dan Hardy (23-6) +550
A little hard to be unbiased here as GSP is undoubtedly my favourite fighter, but there is really no way I see him losing this fight. Many people will bring up the fact that GSP was knocked out by Matt Serra and Hardy is known as a striker, I think this point is really a stretch. While Hardy does have a polished striking game, he is not known for his knockout power. GSP will have monstrous advantages on the ground, in the wrestling department and arguably in the stand up. GSP had no problem striking with BJ Penn and Thiago Alves who are both arguably better at the stand up then Hardy. This leaves Hardy
with no way to win the fight. Barring an absolute miracle, I’ll take GSP by submission in round 2.
Frank Mir (13-4) -170 vs. Shane Carwin (11-0) +140
Great matchmaking by the UFC here to put together this fight. Mir is a large heavyweight with improved striking and a vicious ground game. Carwin is man that cuts weight to make 265 and has shown tremendous power in his hands. This should really be a clash of styles. If the fight gets to the ground the advantage has to be to Mir, but in the stand up department I would give the edge to Carwin. It should be noted that Gonzaga had Carwin rocked before Carwin put him away with one punch, and this defence may encourage Mir to stand and bang with him. This fight will come down to where it takes place, on the ground or standing up. Ill take the upset here, Shane Carwin TKO round 1.
Kurt Pellegrino (14-4) -265 vs. Fabricio Camoes (10-4-1) +205
I’m a big fan of Camoes. He fought the always game Caol Uno to a draw at UFC 106, Ill take the upset here again. Camoes by decision.
Jon Fitch (21-3) -525 vs. Ben Saunders (8-1-2) +325
Saunders is a replacement for the injured Thiago Alves. He is taking this fight on a few days notice. For those of you looking for some value a small bet on Saunders could pay off. He is a very tall welterweight with a very strong Muay Thai background. He has shown the ability to finish fights in the clinch. That being said the safe money is on Fitch who is the consensus number 2 welterweight in the world. Ill take Fitch by decision.