UFC 131 – Houston MMA Picks

UFC 131 is this weekend! We’re back with our Houston MMA picks and have gathered a team of Houston area MMA folks to chime on on how they think the fights are going to go. Make sure you get your picks in on our FAN PICK’em CONTEST. If you win, you’ll be on our picks panel for the next UFC card AND you could win a TCD Beanie or Gi Patch!

The group is comprised of the following:

Fighters

MMA Manager

Promoters

Media

See what they think below and then feel free to chime in with your picks and predictions in the comments section.

QUICK PICKS

Omigawa
Vs
Elkins

Beltran
vs
Rosa

Poirier
vs
Young

Ring
vs
Head

Soszynsk
vs
Pokrajac

Bongfeldt
vs
Weidman

Stout
vs
Edwards
AJ Elkins Rosa Poirier Ring Soszynsk Bongfeldt Edwards
Barry Omigawa Beltran Young Ring Soszynsk Weidman Edwards
Chad Omigawa Rosa Poirier Ring Soszynsk Bongfeldt Edwards
Chris Omigawa Rosa Poirier Ring Soszynsk Weidman Edwards
Eric Elkins Beltran Young Ring Pokrajac Bongfeldt Edwards
Justin Elkins Beltran Young Head Soszynsk Weidman Edwards
Lance Elkins Beltran Poirier Ring Soszynsk Weidman Edwards
Mick Elkins Rosa Poirier Head Soszynsk Weidman Edwards
Mike Omigawa Rosa Poirier Head Pokrajac Weidman Edwards
Ragan Omigawa Beltran Poirier Head Soszynsk Weidman Edwards
Rich Omigawa Beltran Poirier Ring Soszynsk Weidman Stout


Donald Cerrone VS Vagner Rocha

Expert Who When How Why
AJ Cerrone Goes the Distance Decision Rocha is the real deal, but hasn’t been in there with anyone as good as Cerrone. Rocha will have the advantage on the ground, so it looks like we will get a good dose of Cowboy stand up.
Barry Cerrone Goes the Distance Decision Cerrone is a bad ass, period. If “mauling” was an option under how, I’d of picked that.
Chad Cerrone Rd 2 Submission Cerrone submits everyone and Rocha in my opinion is out matched.
Chris Cerrone Rd 2 TKO Cerrone will welcome Rocha to the UFC. Both like to go to the ground but I think Cerrone tries to keep it standing in this one, finshes with a TKO win
Eric Cerrone Rd 2 Submission Was very impressed with Cerrones match RNC win over Kelly @ UFC 126. This match is gonna be on the ground from beginning to end
Justin Cerrone Rd 2 TKO Shoulda been a cowboy.
Lance Cerrone Rd 2 TKO

Two decent fighters here, cerrone can pull a win by strikes or submissions…rocha likes to finish by sub.. the local pablo popvitch guys will be screaming for Rocha… sorry lads gotta go cerrone on this one..

Mick Cerrone Rd 1 KO
Mike Cerrone Rd 1 TKO Vagner Rocha is a debuting UFC fighter fresh of the heels of some impressive grappling performances at ADCC trials in the northeast a few months back. He’s also fought on some Bellator and Strikeforce undercards so he has some experience. The thing with this fight though is that Donald Cerrone is well-rounded and fairly-experienced enough to not get caught in a submission battle. He’s also got exceptional Muay Thai skills and likes to bring the fight. I see “Cowboy” taking the Floridian out in this one early.
Ragan Cerrone Goes the Distance Decision Rocha is basically a BJJ fighter and lacks the stand up of Cerrone.  The only place I see Rocha having any advantage is in his BJJ, but Cerrone won’t allow it to get there.  His range will be a factor and his power in both hands combined with kicks will keep Rocha moving backward.  Cerrone will do enough to win each round as this goes to a decision.
Rich Cerrone Rd 2 Submission Cowboy is one of the most exciting fighters to watch and he is consistently looking to end the fight.


Demian Maia VS Mark Munoz

Expert Who When How Why
AJ Maia Goes the Distance Split Decision Demian Maia has been really close to the mountaintop and come up short. Munoz is trying to travel up that same mountain. Should be a really good fight, but I think Maia’s big fight experience will get him through.
Barry Munoz Goes the Distance Decision I think Munoz will be able to dictate the pace and location of the fight. I also think it’s going to be a boring fight.
Chad Munoz Rd 2 TKO This is the same scenario as Einemo and Herman.  Yet, Maia has the world class BJJ to pull it off. However, I think he lacks the physical attributes needed to control a very dominant Munoz.  Munoz could finish with a tko at anytime but I suspect he will unload in round 2 when he gets his confidence and has worn on Maia a bit.
Chris Maia Rd 3 Submission Hate to pick against a wrestler, but Maia is slick, and Munoz will be vulnerable to submission when he tires.
Eric Munoz Rd 2 TKO Mark Munoz, aside from Anderson Silva, is probably one of my favorite Middleweights to watch in the UFC.
Justin Munoz Goes the Distance Split Decision I think this fight will be the closest of the night.  A lot of back and forth with Munoz getting the split decision.
Lance Maia Goes the Distance Decision Munoz is more likely to finish with a strike, where bjj aficionado maia has more chance of finishing with a sub… maia’s recent wins are by decisions…
Mick Maia Rd 2 Submission
Mike Munoz Goes the Distance Decision It’s not going out on a limb to say that Demian Maia could be the best jiu-jitsu practitioner in mixed martial arts. He catches his opponents very well, especially in transition, which is where a lot of wrestlers like Mark Muñoz spend their time. He’s also improved his hands but so has Muñoz, who’s known primarily for his ferocious ground and pound. The key here is whether Muñoz is able to posture up well enough to deliver some meaningful shots on Maia if it does get to the ground. I don’t know though… When you have two world-class grapplers facing off, the result is usually oddly a methodical boxing match. This is a close one but I’m guessing Muñoz edges this one out by a takedown or two.
Ragan Maia Rd 2 Submission Munoz brings world class wrestling and a lot of power (see the Dolloway fight).  Both fighters have experienced flash KO’s.  If Munoz can avoid Maia’s takedowns and submission attempts, he can use his striking to capitalize.  BUT, Munoz won’t be able to avoid that.  Maia will finally get Munoz to the ground and win via submission.  He has cleaner strikes and a perfect ground game.
Rich Munoz Rd 2 TKO Munoz will be able to decide where the fight takes place with his wrestling..


Dave Herman VS Jon Olav Einemo

Expert Who When How Why
AJ Einemo Rd 2 Submission Einemo is a blast from the past. Been a while since he was in the cage, but this guy was a real beast back in the day. Great striking and jiu jitsu.
Barry Herman Goes the Distance Decision Herman wins this because Einemo will have too much ring rust.
Chad Herman Rd 2 TKO Einemo will be looking for a submission to defend Herman’s ground and pound.  However, I predict his submission game will not be enough to handle the bigger and stronger wrestler, Herman.
Chris Herman Rd 1 TKO Too tough of a matchup for Einemo after taking 4+ years off. Herman will GNP his way into a 1st round TKO
Eric Herman Goes the Distance Decision Going with the more experienced fighter here, and who wouldn’t picked someone nick-named “Pee-Wee”?
Justin Herman Goes the Distance Decision A long time coming for Herman.  I actually think this fight will be a snoozer with a UD coming down for Herman.
Lance Herman Rd 2 TKO

really?? um… cant say im too fussed about this fight, herman has a longer record with many of his wins over lacklustre opponents

Mick Herman Rd 2 KO
Mike Herman Goes the Distance Decision A lot of people haven’t heard of these guys but this is a sleeper fight. Einamo hasn’t fought in five years but he was a stallwart at the ADCC back in the day so he’s got the grappling pedigree. Herman is a 26 yr. old prospect with a 20-2 record and success at Bellator and in Japan. He’s been stalled due to contractual issues but he’s got the talent to make some moves. Einamo could be a dynamo in this fight but the more likely outcome is with the American getting the victory, courtesy of youth and activity.
Ragan Herman Rd 1 TKO Herman has all of the skills, standing and ground.  Einemo has been out of action for a long time and is not getting any younger.  Herman has stayed busy in the cage and that will be a factor.  Herman has CRAZY power and very solid in every facet of MMA.  This should be an easy TKO/KO win for him.
Rich Einemo Rd 1 Submission Olav has great ground skills and has worked on his standup game.


Kenny Florian VS Diego Nunes

Expert Who When How Why
AJ Florian Rd 2 Submission Florian will be looking to make a statement at 145 lbs. Nunes is the guy who wants to draw out a fight for 15 minutes, but Florian will be in attack mode, and catch something along the way.
Barry Florian Rd 2 TKO Ken Flo “finishes fights”. No reason to think he won’t do that here.
Chad Florian Goes the Distance Decision These two submission specialists will likely nullify one anothers ground game.  Kenny’s experience, cage control, and superior striking will lead to a decision.
Chris Florian Rd 2 Submission Kenny is just so dangerous I think he will catch Nunes.
Eric Nunes Goes the Distance Decision Ben Stiller, errr, Kenny Florian has his work cut out for him. Diego Nunes has gone to decision in 6 straight matches. If Kenny cant control and submit Diego, this will be the 7th straight decision for Nunes.
Justin Florian Rd 2 Submission Kenny is a stud who cant seem to win in big fights however this is not a big fight for him.  I expect him to walk through Nunes.
Lance Florian Rd 2 Submission this is a tough call…nunes just took out mike brown, and has a stomping record… but can you ever count out ken flo… ken was a real one dimensional animal who actually got reasonable at muay thai… ive got him down for going back to his roots with a sub, or nunes will ko him I reckon…
Mick Florian Goes the Distance Decision
Mike Florian Rd 3 Submission Florian will be making his featherweight debut here in his quest to eventually catch up to Jose Aldo. If the cut to 145 isn’t too brutal on the Bostonian, he could be a real force at featherweight and the fight with he vs. Aldo would be the biggest UFC fight at this weight. Before that, he’s got to get past 16-1 Diego Nunes ….and he will. Look for Florian to out-strike Diego early and wearing him out until he slows enough for the inevitable submission.
Ragan Florian Rd 3 TKO For the first time, Florian will be the bigger fighter.  He has had trouble in the past with the bigger wrestlers that have dropped down in class, but this will be different.  Florian has great BJJ, Muay-Thai, and crazy elbows.  He will also enjoy a big reach advantage and will use that to work that lil’ Nunes over.
Rich Florian Goes the Distance Decision KenFlo has great all around abilities and he may finally have found the right weight class where he can be the  stronger fighter.


Junior Dos Santos VS Shane Carwin

Expert Who When How Why
AJ Dos Santos Rd 2 KO I think this could mirror the Lesnar-Carwin matchup. I don’t know if anyone can beat Shane Carwin in a one round fight. Anything over 5 minutes is out of his comfort zone though. I think JDS survives the storm of round 1 and knocks him out in the second.
Barry Dos Santos Rd 2 TKO I think Dos Santos’ speed will be too much for Carwin. Dos Santos has a decent ground game as well…good enough to get the fight back to it’s feet if he wants.
Chad Carwin Rd 1 TKO Junior will not be able to handle Carwin’s initial rush and pressure.  Look for Carwin to pin Junior against the cage in the first moments of the bout followed by a tko stoppage.
Chris Carwin Rd 2 TKO I know I will be the only one picking Carwin, but if he comes in shape he can control it. He’s BJ Penn of the Hwt class regarding cardo though, if he’s not in shape Junior will wear him out.
Eric Dos Santos Rd 1 KO Dos Santos is the best boxing heavyweight period. If Carwin hasn’t changed his game at all, he is going to get knocked out real fast.
Justin Dos Santos Rd 3 TKO I think this fight will look similar to the Lesnar vs Carwin fight.  I think Shane will gas after a solid first round and then Junior will pour it on in the third.
Lance Dos Santos Rd 1 TKO hmm… well carwins looking in better shape, im sure his cardios got better, and he learnt a lot from the lesnar loss… i either think this will end in the first round, or drag on horribly

so i went jds tko..

Mick Dos Santos Rd 2 KO
Mike Dos Santos Rd 2 TKO The winner of this one of likely going to get a crack at Cain Velasquez’s belt in Houston this coming October so this is a big one. Both guys are heavy-handed strikers with Carwin perhaps being stronger while JDS should be the more technical boxer.

Their ground games should nullify each other should it get there – though it is unlikely either fight will want to go to the mat. I suspect dos Santos will use his technical ability to pick Carwin off from the outside. Carwin will try to be more aggressive and bully his opponent but that may be his downfall. “The Engineer” is the more likely of the two to be in danger of punching himself out and running out of gas. For that reason, I’ve got to go with the Brazilian for the TKO and the title shot.

Ragan Dos Santos Rd 2 TKO Carwin is a wrestler with a solid chin.  Junior has probably the best stand up in MMA and will use his boxing and movement to strike and avoid Carwin.  Junior’s takedown defense is solid and he has great jiujitsu if it does get to the ground.  Once Junior gets past the first round, the fight will be his.  Carwin has been working on his card, but it won’t be enough.
Rich Dos Santos Rd 1 TKO JDS has to many weapons at his disposal . He is younger and faster and may have the best boxing in the HWY division. Carwin has great power but I think he has achieved all he is capable of in the UFC.