UFC on ESPN 11: Where I Was Right, Where I Was Wrong

Ever since the UFC came back from the lockdown due to COVID-19, I have been picking matchups with an absurd level of accuracy. UFC on ESPN 11: Blaydes vs Volkov was a reminder that all hot-streaks eventually come to an end. To be fair, if going eight for twelve is an off night, I’ll take it. 

Let’s see what I got right as well as what I got wrong.

What I Got Right

  • “Blaydes is a takedown technician, which could lead to major issues for the striker, Volkov… The smaller cage favors the grapplers, so expect Curtis Blaydes to go to work with an early takedown that transitions to ground-and-pound.”
    • Curtis Blaydes scored 14 takedowns in this contest. Blaydes was able to take Volkov down at will, until his gas tank began to fade late into the fight. It was an overall dominant performance by the Elevation Fight Team heavyweight.
  • Emmett vs Burgos – “This has fight of the night bonus written all over it.”
  • Emmett vs Burgos was awarded Fight of the Night, with many saying it is one of the best fights of the year. Emmett weathered the storm of some early adversity with a knee injury in the first round to stand and bang with Burgos. 

 

  • “The Colorado native “Rocky” Raquel Pennington is one of the flat out toughest women on the planet… Rocky is too tough to top in this matchup, lock it in.”
  • Raquel Pennington showed why she is one of the strongest fighters in the women’s bantamweight division. Rocky outstruck Marion Reneau by 37 strikes in the unanimous decision.

 

  • “I would not be surprised to see Muhammad push the pace on Good’s lungs and try to drag him into deep water.”
    • This was a tight matchup that went the distance. Belal Muhammad and Lyman Good traded strikes at a near even clip of 84 versus 82 total landed. The difference was the takedowns, to which Muhammad scored two key takedowns in the third round.
  • “Miller is as tough as an old leather boot, and he is going to need that toughness against the surging prospect Roosevelt Roberts… Miller will be the toughest test of Roberts young career.”
    • Jim Miller made his record-tying 35th UFC appearance and is a legit BJJ blackbelt. Miller used his ground wizardry to lock up an armbar halfway into the first round.
  • “Call me a Colorado homer, but I like Torres as the slight underdog here.”
    • Volume. Volume, volume, volume. Tecia Torres landed 111 total strikes to Brianna Van Buren’s 37 in a Unanimous Decision win.
  • “Marc-Andre Barriault gets the nod for the pick in this matchup”
    • Barriault was a beast in the clinch and landed 82% of his head shots en route to a second round TKO.
  • “Although it is a tight matchup that can go either way, I like the overall tools that Robertson has to offer.”
    • Robertson may have been outstruck, but her grappling was like a wet blanket. Robertson now owns the record for the most submission victories in the history of the women’s division in the UFC. 
  • “Hubbard is a very tough and talented fighter that trains with a group of killers in Denver. Hubbard is a former world champion in LFA, also. He’s got a lot of cage time. That is a huge advantage against a guy who has just five pro fights… (Rohskopf) may have bitten off more than he can chew against Hubbard.”
    • Austin Hubbard literally punished Max Rohskopf so badly that he broke him mentally and Rohskopf quit on the stool and did not answer the bell for the third round. Hubbard gave him a “re-evaluate your life” type of beating in there.

What I got Wrong

  • Emmett vs Burgos “I will offer that action on the fight finishing by KO/TKO is a safe play.”
      • Had Josh Emmett not sustained the knee injury, it is a strong likelihood that one of his two knockdowns against Shane Burgos would have shut the lights off. With 256 combined significant strikes, a KO/TKO prediction was not far off. 
  • “Give me moneyline action on Roberts.”
    • Roberts has been active and looked impressive against Brok Weaver a couple weeks ago. Roberts is long and lean, falling in line with the new wave of successful MMA fighters. The 26-year-old ran into as seasoned of a vet as it gets with Jim Miller, who is tied for the record for the most UFC appearances at 35.
  • “(Green) has won just one of his last six fights. Hammer the odds on Guida all night long. Guida is known for his relentless pressure and cardio, expect him to use it here.”
    • Rolled the dice on this one and hit snake eyes. Bobby Green dominated Clay Guida, landing 63 more total strikes. 
  • “Hammer the odds on Frank Camacho. He’s an island scrapper that is taking on a week-of short notice debutant.”
    • Couldn’t have been more wrong about this one if I tried. Newcomer Justin Jaynes took just 0:41 in the first round to knock out Frank Camacho. 
  • “If this contest hits the ground, it’s all Roxy. As for the pick, like the song says, “Roxanne, Roxanne, All she wanna do is party all night!”
    • Lauren Murphy was the better overall fighter in the cage that night. She was also physically stronger and was able to secure takedowns while stuffing the shots of the blackbelt Roxanne Modafferi.

Pick Results

  • Overall: 66.67% (8/12)
    • Hit
      • Blaydes
      • Emmett
      • Pennington
      • Muhammad
      • Torres
      • Barriault
      • Robertson
      • Hubbard
    • Miss
      • Roberts
      • Guida
      • Camacho
      • Modafferi

The UFC bounces right back on June 27with a stacked card featuring Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker in the main event. Factory X’s Youssef Zalal was also just added to the card.

-Jordan Kurtz is a founding member of Comments From The Peanut Gallery and The MMA Plug and can be followed on Instagram at @CommentsFromThePeanutGallery and @TheMMAPlug303

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