My picks for UFC 74. First off, this isn't a scientific analysis and breakdown of the skill sets and records of the fighters to make comparisons and "predict" who is most likely to win. This is who I like, who I dont' like, and why.
Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Randy's 43 years old (!) and a phenomenal athlete. Gonzaga is young, strong, and promising. I'm giving Randy the edge because he likes to "dirty box" and is good all around. However, Gonzaga won his last fight against Mirko Cro Cop in the first round by nearly kicking his head off, so I won't be shocked if he wins, either.
Roger Huerta vs. Alberto Crane
IMO Crane is a "can" brought in to lose to the much touted Huerta. I expect Huerta to win, but I have no interest either way at this point. I know nothing about either fighter.
Josh Koscheck vs. Georges St. Pierre
GSP is my favorite fighter, even though he's Canadian, and I hope and expect him to win. He lost his last fight to Matt Serra (what?) and with it the Welterweight title he'd just beat off of Matt Hughes. I think he has a tendency to over train and that he's very high strung and nervous. In short, GSP is his own worst enemy and when he loses, he defeats himself.
I don't like Kos. He's a strong wrestler, but not well rounded. He's a big mouthed braggart. I just don't like him.
Kurt Pellegrino vs. Joe Stevenson
I don't know anything about Pellegrino and I like Joe "Daddy" Stevenson, so that's where my pick is for this one.
Patrick Cote vs. Kendall Grove
Cote, another Canadian, is my favorite. He's quiet and does his talking in the ring. Grove is annoying, mouthy, overly tattooed (yes, even for MMA) and also a good fighter. I like watching him as long as I don't have to listen to him! Still, Cote.
Ryan Jensen vs. Travis Lutter
Don't know Jensen, like Lutter, so Lutter it is.
Renato Sobral vs. David Heath
Babalu!!!! That's Sobral's nickname, and I really like the guy, even though he barely speaks any English (he's Brazilian). He is entertaining to watch, and man, can he lay on the Jiu Jitsu. He's had some unlucky losses and I think he's underrated. I always favor Babalu, but it helps that I don't know Heath either.
Frank Mir vs. Antoni Hardonk
Mir is one whompin' large guy and he's got some killer BJJ as well. However, since he had a severe motorcyle accident a couple of years back, he's never been the same. He's show up for his fights ill prepared more than once. In fact, not only did he have zero cardio conditioning, he was FAT. Too bad because when he's on his game he is sharp! I think he'll beat Hardonk IF he shows up prepared to fight. Commit Frank. Get fat and do the commentary, which you are also very good at, or shape up and kick some heads.
Clay Guida vs. Marcus Aurelio
I know zip about either one, and I'm not inclined to do research on them right now.
See, the problem is most of my MMA "knowledge," if you can call it that, comes from DVDs and shows on TV of fights from months and even years ago. Events like UFC 74 are Pay-Per-View only and cost $40 so I have to read the live play-by-play on the Internet as the fights happen and hope to watch them sometime in the next year. Not the most favorable way to do it, but the only way I can "afford" to be a fan.
But I still really enjoy watching UFC, Pride, WEC, and IFL events on TV whenever I can. That's my one sports indulgence, and for that I do not apologize.
And online, my major source is Sherdog.