When epithets attack
Managed to hear naught about "UFC: Vera Vs Jones" before viewing the delayed telecast on Aussie free-to-air channel ONE tonight. Prior to each human cockfight...I'm kidding, folks, only an ignoramus would use that term. Prior to each athletic-commission sanctioned, strictly refereed bout between two expert mixed martial artists, I jotted down my predicted victor and gave a brief explanation. Here's how I fared -
* Alessio "Legionarius" Sakara versus James "The Sandman" Irvin
PREDICTION: Sakara by KO due to Irvin being energy-drained from cutting too many pounds.
RESULT: The expected outcome in unexpected fashion. The fight was halted after a dazed James complained of what he thought was a poke in the peeper. The replay revealed it to be a clean shot dead on the eyeball and Alessio was awarded the knockout.
* Cheick Kongo (not his actual surname, his dad is Congolese) versus Paul "The Headhunter" Buentello
PREDICTION: Excellent strategist Kongo over slugger Buentello.
RESULT: No surprise here. More controversy, though, as Cheick drove an illegal knee into the face of his downed opponent and had a point subtracted. Then Paul badly dislocated his little finger and tried in vain to wiggle it into the socket. Eventually, the ringside doc had to do it.
* Junior "Gypsy"* Dos Santos versus Gabriel "Big Nose"^ Gonzaga
PREDICTION: A close call, with Gonzaga getting the nod by virtue of his superior kicks and jiu-jitsu.
RESULT: Wrong! While throwing a kick, Gabe was nailed with the kind of punch that causes you to forget the colour of orange juice.
^I'm sure these nicknames sound scarier in Brazilian.
* John "Doomsday" Howard versus Daniel "Ninja" Roberts
PREDICTION: Not very familiar with either combatant, I gambled on the experienced Howard to beat UFC newcomer Roberts.
RESULT: Lucky. John was in danger from submission attempts and such right up to the moment where he floored Daniel, then hammered his gaga competitor until the ref intervened.
* Brandon "The Truth" Vera versus Jon "Bones" Jones
PREDICTION: I went with the hype derided by Vera and the unorthodox striking of Jones (who, incidentally, had an age, height, weight and reach advantage).
RESULT: The pair appeared evenly matched, trading hits and asking questions of each other's sprawl defence and guard...until Jon landed an elbow to the noggin that transported Brandon to The Twilight Zone.
I reckon 4/5 is decent punting, though you could argue that I failed to pick the lone upset. Except that politeness won't permit you.