UFC Glasgow: SportsJOE picks the winners so you don't have to
We could get used to this "event every second day" stuff.
The UFC have certainly left us spoiled as they bring the octagon to Scotland for the first time in what will be their fourth show in less than a week.
With three Irishmen on the card, there's a lot more interest from us than there was for the TUF 21 Finale and Fight Night 71, both of which were turned out to be great events, and we can't wait to see Paul Redmond, Paddy Holohan and Joseph Duffy compete once more.
Our MMA writers' records thus far look like this:
Darragh The Quizmaster Murphy: 90-61
Bourbon Ben Kiely: 89-62
Michael Bisping (26-7) v Thales Leites (25-4)
DM: Given the performances that he's put in since 2010, it's flippin' difficult to pick against the Thales Leites 2.0 but I find myself doing just that.
I think that Bisping's striking is simply too technical to get hurt by the Brazilian and he has underrated takedown defence so I'm not too sure that Leites can drag the Brit to the ground.
It wouldn't surprise me to see Leites maybe taking the first round with forward pressure but I think he'll gas in the second round and there's nobody with a better gas tank at 185lbs than Michael Bisping who will be able to kickbox his way to a unanimous decision. Bisping via decision
BK: Leites has been in phenomenal form since returning to the biggest stage in mixed martial arts. He's yet to taste defeat in his second stint.
On the other hand, this could be the best version of the Count we have ever seen. His boxing appears to be crisper, his gas tank seems like it has gotten bigger and grappling is often overlooked.
Besides, Bisping only loses to guys that are ranked higher than him, that's the rule, right? Bisping via decision
Ross Pearson (19-8, 1NC) v Evan Dunham (15-6)
DM: Whatever happens, you know this is going to be the best fight of the night and should be a lot closer than Pearson's 4/9 favouritism would suggest.
If Pearson can get on the inside then he has the power to trouble Dunham at close quarters but I fear for The Real Deal if he fails to do so early.
Dunham is as hard-nosed as it gets at lighweight and if he manages to get the fight to the mat then Pearson could get caught with a submission but my hunch is that Pearson establishes his striking earlier and lands a right hand that drops Dunham before the referee steps in and prematurely stops it. Pearson via TKO (round two)
BK: No idea why Dunham is such a heavy underdog here. If he can avoid getting clocked and score a few takedowns he can easily sneak a decision.
However, I have faith in the illustrated man utilising his striking prowess to end this one early, but it is a lot closer than the oddsmakers would have you believe. Pearson via TKO (round two)
Joseph Duffy (13-1) v Ivan Jorge (26-4)
DM: I'm writing my picks first so will leave Ben the obligatory honour of referring to Duffy as the last man to beat Conor McGregor.
I couldn't have been more impressed with Irish Joe in his octagon debut but it didn't surprise me, having been wowed by his performances in Cage Warriors and I think the hype train keeps on rolling against Ivan Jorge.
Ivan Jorge simply doesn't have the striking chops and I see him diving in on desperate takedowns pretty early against the Donegal fighter but Duffy should get it done early with his boxing that is going to be a massive cause for concern among UFC lightweights. Duffy via TKO (round one)
BK: First he annihilated the Librarian, now the Donegal native's going to pulverise the Batman. The UFC seem to be handing the Irish UFC star nerds to tear apart. Heavy hands, thunderous combinations, supreme grappling and jiu-jitsu, Duffy's got it all. I would be shocked if this lasts the full 15 minutes. Duffy via submission (round one)
Joanne Calderwood (9-1) v Cortney Casey (4-1)
DM: A more likable fighter than Joanne Calderwood you're quite simply not going to come across. But damn, JoJo has some vicious striking.
The soft-spoken Scot faces late replacement Cortney Casey and should have more than her wherever the fight goes.
Calderwood readily admits that she didn't feel herself when she suffered her first career loss in April and I think she comes out with a point to prove in front of her hometown crowd. Calderwood via TKO (round 3)
BK: We're going to see a very different JoJo in Glasgow than we did in her Octagon debut. Casey is a bit of an unknown quantity and while her record is promising, she has never faced anyone on Calderwood's level.
We should finally get to see JoJo's stellar Muay Thai skills at work here, which should give the Glaswegian support something to cheer about. Calderwood via TKO (round two)
Leon Edwards (9-2) v Pawel Pawlak (11-1)
DM: This is tricky because I believe Pawlak is more well-rounded than the English fighter but that Edwards possesses much better striking than Pawlak.
Pawlak is more of a grinder and could very well drag this into a dog fight but I like Edwards' more technical stand-up and see him just eking out a decision by keeping Pawlak at bay with straight punches. Edwards via decision
BK: Anything could happen in this one. both fighters have the power to end this one early, but Edwards is more dynamic,more athletic and is far sharper in the striking department.
Pawlak could frustrate the English fighter with his grappling, but I just don't think he has to physicality to make that happen. Edwards via TKO (round two)
Stevie Ray (17-5) v Leonardo Mafra (12-2)
DM: I must admit that Stevie Ray didn't fill me with confidence in his octagon debut as he seemed to struggle to get comfortable in the first round against Marcin Bandel but his superior grappling showed in the second and he got the sub.
He's matched with an entirely different prospect for UFC Glasgow as he goes up against the hard-hitting Leonardo Mafra but I think that Ray has the ability to stand with the Brazilian and I think, although they might be leagues apart in terms of BJJ ranking, I feel that Ray can actually dominate any grappling exchanges just based on his sneakiness on the mat. Ray via decision
BK: It would really be disastrous if the first fight of the first ever Scottish main card ended with a Scot being defeated. Luckily, I don't think this will happen.
Although I don't think Ray has the skillset to make any serious waves in the lightweight division, i think he has enough weapons in his locker to come out on top in this tight match up. Ray via decision
Paddy Holohan (11-1-1) v Vaughan Lee (14-10-1)
DM: Paddy Holohan has his work cut out for him in his fourth trip to the octagon against a wily veteran in Vaughan Lee.
Don't let the relatively unimpressive record of the Birmingham fighter fool you, Lee is a challenge for every up-and-comer now that he's dropped to flyweight but I can't see any area where he really bosses Holohan around.
If we see the same Hooligan that we saw against Sampo and Howell then he should have no problem giving Lee fits on the feet with his unorthodox and creative striking.
A lot of people give Lee the advantage in the grappling but I don't know if I agree with that because Holohan is so tricky on the mat that I see him being able to deal with everything thrown at him. Holohan via decision
BK: There's no sugar-coating this. On paper, this is a very tough fight for the Hooligan. Don't sleep on Lee because of his patchy record, he has the ability to cause serious problems for the Dubliner.
I give Holohan the slight edge on the ground but his high-risk game leaves him wide open for the veteran to capitalise. Lee via decision
Paul Redmond (10-5) v Rob Whiteford (11-2)
DM: After a full training camp, Redser will quite simply be a different animal than the fighter we saw against Mirsad Bektic in his octagon debut.
Redmond was unable to initiate his tremendously active ground game against Bektic because of his opponent's smothering style combined with an almost impossible weight cut.
But Whiteford doesn't possess the relentless wrestling style of Bektic and I don't see the Scot being able to deal with the sheer volume that is thrown by a fully fit Redser. Redmond via submission (round 2)
BK: Redmond was really thrown to the wolves in his promotional debut. Misrad Bektic is one of the top young prospects in the UFC, and it took some serious cajones for the Dubliner to step in at such short notice and take him on in a new weight division.
However, with a full camp behind him, we should see the Redmond that was one of the most exciting fighters to watch in Cage Warriors. He's got the ground game and the heavy hands to set it up. While it will be a difficult task taking on a more than competent Whiteford in the lion's den, I think Redser up to the task. Redmond via submission (round three)