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15th Jul 2015

UFC San Diego: SportsJOE picks the winners so you don’t have to

Sans Giblert


There might be a distinct lack of Gilbert “Giblert” Melendez, but UFC Fight Night 71 still has plenty of intriguing match ups to offer.

Nothing separates our MMA writers at this juncture. Their records look like this:

Bourbon Ben Kiely: 85-60

Darragh The Quizmaster Murphy: 85-60

Frank Mir (17-9) v Todd Duffee (9-2)

BK: The delightfully unpredictable heavyweight division supplies us with the headline bout. When the big boys start swinging, anything can happen.

While Mir certainly has more tools in his arsenal, namely his ability to rip a man’s arm right out of its socket, having the record for most UFC heavyweight fights comes at a cost. I feel his chin may have deteriorated from all those wars and Duffee has the speed and the power to capitalise on this weak spot. Duffee via KO (round one)

DM: Is there any fighter whose fights are more impossible to predict than Frank Mir? He’s undeniably going to go down as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time but his last three fights have all looked so different.

Maybe three years ago, I would have had a bit more confidence in Mir’s ability to withstand the power of Duffee and take the man with the superhero physique to the mat but I don’t see that happening in 2015.

Duffee simply doesn’t do decisions or submissions, having experienced neither, and if this fight is going to end by knockout then there’s one guy who I’m a lot more confident in picking. Duffee via KO (round one)

Frank Mir generic

Josh Thomson (20-7, 1NC) v Tony Ferguson (19-3)

BK: Tricky veteran Thomson should provide Ferguson with the toughest test of his career. However, Ferguson is a bigger hitter and his condor-like wingspan should see him win the striking battle.

If this becomes a wrestling match, then you’ve got to give the edge to Thomson, but I have faith in El Cucuy fighting smart and continuing his ascent through the lightweight division. Ferguson via decision

DM: This actually isn’t a bad fight and Thomson is right up there among the most exciting lightweights in the world but, like I said when I last picked El Cucuy to win, I see a title shot in Ferguson’s future.

Thomson might be able to take the fight to the mat but I think Ferguson is one of the best fighters off his back at 155lbs and won’t let The Punk rest for a second.

I also give the striking edge to Ferguson as his long limbs make for some unorthodox Muay Thai. Ferguson via submission (round two)

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 06:  Tony Ferguson celebrates after defeating Abel Trujillo in their fight during the UFC 181 event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

Holly Holm (8-0) v Marion Reneau (6-1)

BK: Holm didn’t really live up to the hype with that split decision victory in her promotional debut against Raquel Pennington. While I think we have yet to see the best of the 18-time world champion boxer in terms of striking, I think Reneau’s ground game poses her huge problems. Reneau via submission (round 2)

DM: If we’re going on her octagon debut, then you wouldn’t be filled with confidence in the ability of Holly Holm because, even in victory, she never looked comfortable. But you do have to take into account the nervousness of fighting in the UFC for the first time.

I see Holm improving against Reneau and picking her apart on the feet en route to a decision but could be made to eat my words if Reneau gets inside and test the grappling of The Preacher’s Daughter. Holm via split decision

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 28:  (L-R) Holly Holms and Raquel Pennington exchange punches in their women's bantamweight bout during the UFC 184 event at Staples Center on February 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Scott Jorgensen (15-10) v Manny Gamburyan (17-9, 1NC)

BK: If Jorgensen manages to beat Gamburyan, it will be the biggest scalp of his UFC career. I think that says it all, really. Gamburyan via decision

DM: Remember when Scott Jorgensen beat Takeya Mizugaki and Brad Pickett on his way to a WEC Bantamweight title shot? Yeah, that’s not the Scott Jorgensen we have in 2015.

He’s had one of the most disastrous falls from graces in recent memory, going 2-6 in his last eight fights and I think he gets ragdolled by The Anvil. Gamburyan via submission (round two)

Manny Gamburyan generic

Kevin Lee (10-1) v James Moontasri (8-2)

BK: Moontasri is a phenomenal, but he is extremely inconsistent and has yet to find the right balance between taking risks and being effective. Lee is a great wrestler with oodles of strength and I feel he is genetically engineered to frustrate fighters of Moontasri’s ilk. Lee via decision

DM: I love watching James Moontasri fight but he’s shown me nothing in terms of reliability and I don’t see any areas in which he beats Lee.

Moontasri struggles to find his range and throws strikes regardless which can often lead to being caught off balance, something that will only aid in Lee’s ability to take him down and grind him out.

While I won’t resort to using the term “oodles” like Ben, I don’t see Moontasri having the guard to trouble Lee and I see this one being a bit of a bore but going the way of The Motown Phenom all day long. Lee via decision

Kevin Lee UFc

Alan Jouban (11-3) v Matt Dwyer (8-2)

BK: This has Fight of the Night written all over it. Both fighters will be content to stay standing and slug it out on the feet. Dwyer has never seen the end of a fight and I don’t see that changing against a Muay Thai practitioner like Jouban.

I’m leaning towards Jouban because I feel he is a technically better and an overall more dynamic fighter, but all it takes is for the other knockout artist to land flush to change the course of this one. Jouban KO (round one)

DM: Matt Dwyer is quite simply out of his depth here. He looked terrible against Albert Tumenov and looked great against William Macario who himself is terrible.

Jouban meanwhile is one of the most exciting strikers in the welterweight division and I don’t see Dwyer having anything in terms of resistance for the vicious tornado that is Jouban’s stand-up. Jouban by TKO (round one)

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 28:  Alan Jouban celebrates his win over Richard Walsh in their welterweight bout during the UFC 184 event at Staples Center on February 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)