Matt and Bruce make our picks for tomorrow night's blockbuster UFC event. Because we are experts. Or maybe just because we like making predictions.
(If it's not obvious enough, all photos come from the folks at Heavy.com
MAIN EVENT: Heavyweight Title Match
Brock Lesnar v. Shane Carwin
BRUCE: Let's see, Lesnar won the title by overwhelming Randy Couture. Then he beat Frank Mir to re-unify the title. Then he nearly died from mono. Lesnar has had quite a turbulent UFC career. Following Fedor's loss last week, Lesnar is ranked by many as the top heavyweight in the world.
I'm sure Shane Carwin would disagree. I'm sure that “interim” in front of his title pisses him off. I'm sure Carwin wants nothing more than to beat Lesnar the way Werdum beat Fedor last weekend.
With all that being said who am I picking? You hate to pick against Lesnar, but the guy nearly died last year. No matter how good his conditioning is, respiratory illnesses linger. If Carwin can stretch the fight out to 4 or 5 rounds, I think he can be the man to hand Lesnar his first UFC title loss and reunify the UFC heavyweight title.
WINNER: CARWIN by split decision
MATT: Lesnar has a lot of haters, but this one feels just as epic as they’re making it out to be, especially in light of Fabricio Werdum’s upset of Fedor last Saturday. Part of the reason it seems so huge is that there is almost no way to predict what will happen.
Shane Carwin uses his wrestling pedigree to keep fights standing, whereas Brock Lesnar uses his to ground and pound. Meanwhile, Lesnar has never been rocked on his feet and Carwin has never been in trouble on the ground. We assume Carwin might not be as strong on the ground, and we assume Lesnar might not be as good on his feet…but we don’t know the truth in either of these cases. In a matchup of the UFC’s two biggest and strongest heavyweights, it’s the weaknesses (the as-yet-unknown weaknesses) that will determine a winner.
I think Carwin has more than a puncher’s chance – he’s basically hitting people with bowling balls. I can easily see him catching Brock with one good shot (just as Brock did with Couture) and making short work after that. But I think it’s more likely that Lesnar’s explosive takedowns put this fight where he wants it to be. Carwin has not made it past the first round in any fight, so Lesnar has more proven cardio, and that could be the difference.
WINNER: LESNAR by TKO in 3rd round.