Everyone stop what you’re doing, it’s time for Quick Picks!
Alert the media, I went 5-0 this week on the PFL 5 card. Ring the bell, sound the alarm and send in the clowns! It was a perfect performance, and I almost hit all five manners in which fights would end. I went four for five, the only thing I had wrong was I picked Vinny via submission and he won via TKO. Not too shabby. Overall that moves me to 26-12, and I feel like that’s not too bad overall. This time, for Quick Picks, it’s the UFC 227 main card, and I’m hoping to run the table yet again.
Check out the last episode of Quick Picks here.
Last Event Record – 5-0– PFL Week 5
Total Record – 26-12
Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland
Thiago Santos (17-6) is a beast standing and has finished a lot of fights. In fact, he’s won four of his last fight and won them all via stoppage. His power is pretty impressive. He lost in his last outing, however, and was stopped himself. Dave Branch took him out in just over 2 minutes, and you wonder if that rattled Thiago’s self-confidence ahead of this fight.
Kevin Holland (13-3) is making his official UFC debut after winning on the Dana White Contender Series. He has a tough draw in his debut, facing off with Santos. An advantage Holland does have is a five-inch reach advantage. His 81-inch reach could be utilized to keep Santos at distance, but things will get scary if Santos can close that distance, which he’s done well in the past.
I like Holland, he has a lot of potential, but this isn’t a good first fight for him. This fight marks a massive step up in competition for Holland as he’s bounced around the regional scene prior to this. I think it is just a matter of time before Santos catches him with something and swarms on him. I’m going with Santos via TKO.
JJ Aldrich vs. Polyana Viana
JJ Aldrich (6-2) is a decent fighter who is being highlighted on the main card for reasons that are not quite clear to me. She’s won four of five heading into this fight, but she remains vastly unknown and a surprising addition to a PPV main card.
Polyana Viana (10-1) is on a six-fight winning streak heading into this fight. She has a lot of talent and is especially good with submissions. It seems as if she can get you on the mat, she can get herself a submission. She’ll be looking to get the fight to the canvas here, and if she does, she holds a solid advantage.
Both fighters are getting a big break here on a high-impact card. I expect Aldrich to do what she can to keep the fight standing, but Polyana will get the fight to the canvas and when she does, expect a submission victory for the 27-year-old Brazilian.
Cub Swanson vs. Renato Carneiro
Cub Swanson (25-9) is a fighter with a ton of big-fight experience and stand up prowess. He is a tough out for anyone in the division and has been working with TJ Dillashaw which should sharpen his already dangerous standup. He finds himself a massive betting underdog in this fight, and I’m not sure why. One thing is for sure when Cub is +350, I’m going to be betting him. There’s nobody at 145 who is that much better than he is.
Renato Carneiro (12-1) is a talented featherweight who trains with some good UFC fighters at Team Constrictor. He is 4-1 in the UFC, winning two of those via split decision. He was stopped via submission by Brian Ortega, as was Cub Swanson. Eight of his twelve wins have come via decision. He’s a slick submission guy though, and that seems to be a blind spot for Cub from time to time.
I think Renato has a lot of skills, and his submissions are pretty solid. Truth be told, I’m not sure why he’s such an overwhelming favorite. I believe he’s the biggest favorite on the card. All that being said, I’m still going with Cub Swanson. Renato is going to have to deal with Cub’s boxing and that’s not going to be a task he’s well equipped for. I’m going with Cub via TKO.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo
Demetrius Johnson (27-2) is the GOAT. I mean what can you say about Demetrious? He’s looking to defend his title for a record 12th consecutive time which is mind-boggling. He also has the added benefit of already having starched Cejudo, which can only serve to boost his confidence. I will never pick against Demetrious Johnson, and that applies to fights with Garbrandt or Dillashaw as well.
Henry Cejudo (12-2) is a talented former Olympic wrestler who has improved his hands in recent fights. He enters this fight having won back to back fights over Wilson Reis and Sergio Pettis. He looked great in those fights, but he’s only three fights removed from getting knocked out by Johnson in under three minutes. That’ll be a factor.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. DJ is the GOAT and there are no fighters, 135 pounds or lighter who I’d pick over him. He has the cardio, the standup, the submissions, the quickness and desire to be unstoppable. He finished Cejudo once, he could well do it again, this time via submission.
TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt
TJ Dillashaw (15-3) is a freak inside the Octagon. His standup is great, his wrestling top-notch and his cardio is endless. He’s a gifted fighter and holds a knockout win over Garbrandt in their last outing. It was only nine months ago. Garbrandt was granted an immediate rematch, but injuries have pushed the fight back to this event. Dillashaw doesn’t like Cody, and he relishes in the opportunity to finish him yet again.
Cody Garbrandt (11-1) looked unbeatable against Dominick Cruz, only to be stopped in his next fight with Dillashaw. This has been a very intense feud, with the former friends turned enemies literally at each other’s throats. Cody has the power to end this with one shot. In their first encounter, he floored Dillashaw with a punch that nearly ended the fight. If there had been 20 more seconds in the round, we’d have a different result and a different champion.
I love this fight, and I can’t wait to watch it go down. This is a matter of whoever lands the big shot first wins. I don’t think we’ll need judges, but we might need doctors. These two want nothing more than to crush the other. I like Garbrandt to finish things here, and set up a compelling third encounter. Garbrandt by KO.