SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Anthony Perosh of Australia punches Tom Blackledge of Great Britain during their light-heavyweight bout as part of UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
The McDonald-Soto fight was actually promoted to the Spike TV prelims this week. The UFC shuffled the Weidman-Lawlor squash match, remember Weidman is the 12 point lock in fantasy this week, down to Facebook fight status.
20-year-old McDonald is a bantamweight prospect being groomed for bigger fights, so this televised fight is a chance to give McDonald’s star a little more shine. In his last fight at UFC 130 in May, McDonald was content to get leg kicked and counter with the right hand. Against Soto, McDonald will need to press the action and land his power punches more cleanly to convincingly win rounds. Soto is a prospect himself, and after taking this fight on 10 days notice, he has nothing to lose. Look for the two men to trade on the feet, but McDonald’s experience inside the Octagon will carry him through to a unanimous decision. Look for Soto to get a second shot in the UFC three to four months from now after doing the UFC a solid favor here.
The pick: 10-Michael McDonald-Dec-3
How the mighty have fallen. It seems like only yesterday that Torres was top 5 pound-for-pound fighter. Then Torres’s face met the fist of Brian Bowles and his career has been up and down since. Nick Pace lost a close decision to Ivan Menjivar in his last fight, a fight I thought Pace did enough to win in. But Pace’s chief tool is submission grappling, and Torres is too long, lean and skilled in grappling—Torres swept Demetrious Johnson numerous times in an exciting scrap in his last outing. Look for Torres to use his insane 76" reach to keep Pace at a distance. Pace will likely tire after a round of failed takedowns and Torres will slowly close the noose and submit Pace by the 3rd round.
The pick: 9-Miguel Torres-Sub-3 (picking the 3rd round to "hedge" in case Torres goes to decision for a third straight fight)
(After the jump find out where to play fantasy MMA this weekend!)
Gleison Tibau -165 vs. Rafael dos Anjos +153
Fight of the night here folks. Tibau brings the sexyback to takedowns at 155. Dos Anjos brings fireworks in his hands, witness his 59 second corn-shucking of George Sotiropoulos. This fight is so even, it’s too risky to pick it higher than a 4 point lock. If Dos Anjos wins it can come by knockout or decision. For Tibau to win, it will be a closely fought top-control decision with lots of clinchwork. If Tibau makes weight on his first try, he’s the pick.
The pick: 2-Gleison Tibau-Dec-3
Danny Castillo is good. Shamar Bailey is bad. Danny Castillo may be able to crack Bailey with a good punch, but more likely he will be content to play it safe, landing his strike and backing out, as winning and staying employed in the UFC is his number one priority.
The pick: 6-Danny Castillo-Dec-3
Matt Brown is capable of winning this fight but he is a 12-10 fighter, so he is just as capable of losing. When he loses, 8 out of 10 times it is by submission. Seth Baczynski is a former Ultimate Fighter cast member on his second tour of duty in the UFC. Seth owns one of the coolest finishes of 2010. At Tachi Palace Fights 7 in December 2010, Seth had his arm broken in an arm bar, but he did not tap nor did the ref stop the fight, so Seth proceeded to use his one working arm to elbow the face off his opponent and KO’d him. Baczynski has a submission win in his last UFC fight, so that seems like a solid path to victory against Matt Brown.
The pick: 5-Seth Baczynski-Sub-2
Here’s your complete set of fantasy MMA picks for UFC 139.
10-Michael McDonald-Dec-3 9-Miguel Torres-Sub-3
Wondering where to play Fantasy MMA this weekend? Try the following 3 websites:
MMA Junkie's leagues on their forums:
JFC 81 http://forums.mmajunkie.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=43331