UFC Fight Pass/TUF Finale Picks: Mousasi vs. Munoz, Miocic vs. Maldonado

By Josh Nason, Wrestling Observer

We now begin the 2 events/1 day era of the UFC with 22 fights in roughly 12 hours. Kudos to you if you plan on watching every single one live. For any fan, that is a lot in one sitting.

For this weekend's picks, we took five of the best fights from both cards for our panelists to pick.


Mike Sawyer (44-15 - .745): ToughTalkMMA, co-host of Tough Talk

- Josh Nason (44-15 - .745): Wrestling Observer behind-the-scenes guy, WON on Twitter

- Front Row Brian (42-17 - .711): MMA newsbreaker, Twitter personality

John Pollock (41-18 - .694): Fight Network personality, Live Audio Wrestling host

Dave Meltzer (40-19 - .677): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

Todd Martin (40-19 - .677): Weekly FFD guest | LA Times | Sherdog

Mike Sempervive (38-21 - .644): Wrestling Observer Live co-host | Big Audio Nightmare

- Steve Juon (37-22 | .627): Wrestling Observer MMA reporter, AngryMarks founder

- Lance Storm (35-24 | .593): former pro wrestling star, FFD guest, Storm Wrestling Academy founder

Oliver Copp (34-25 | .576): Combat sports insider, co-host of Tough Talk


UFC Fight Pass - Berlin, Germany

UFC Fight Night 41

Mark Munoz (13-4) vs. Gegard Mousasi (34-4-2)

Munoz's rise to the top of the division has slowed in recent years with a 1-2 mark. While those two losses are to the current middleweight champion and current No. 1 contender, he was knocked out in both of them. At 36 years old, he's closer to the end than the beginning.

Mousasi has something in common to Munoz: both lost to Lyoto Machida in their last fight. The defeat snapped a seven game unbeaten streak. After being out for nearly a year due to a knee injury, this is Mousasi's second fight in four months -- a good sign.

Munoz: Pollock, Juon, Martin, Storm
Mousasi (Vegas Favorite): Nason, Meltzer, Copp, FRB, Sawyer, Sempervive

Francis Carmont (22-8) vs. C.B. Dollaway (14-5)

Carmont saw an 11-fight, five year win streak snapped at the hands of Jacare Souza in February. He's done well against the lower tier of the division, but Souza was a big step up in competition. Dollaway had a nice first round KO of Cezar Ferreira in March, his third win in his last four fights. This will be an interesting test for two fighters that need to do something to stand out.

Carmont (Vegas Favorite): Nason, Pollock, Copp, Juon, FRB, Sawyer, Storm
Dollaway: Meltzer, Martin, Sempervive

TUF Brazil Finale - Fox Sports One

TUF Brazil 3 Finale

Stipe Miocic (11-1) vs. Fabio Maldonado (21-6)

Originally slated to face Junior dos Santos, Miocic has to settle for late injury replacement Maldonado, fighting above his normal weight class. Miocic stepped up in his last two fights with decisions over Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga. If Miocic is a future title contender, he needs to dispatch Maldonado quickly and hopefully get his shot at JDS again.

After losing three straight, Maldonado has won his last three by decision against the lower tier of the 205-pound division. The 34-year-old will stand in there and slug, so it's doubtful this will go the distance. Expect someone to be looking up at the lights at the end of the night.

Miocic (Vegas Favorite): Nason, Meltzer, Pollock, Copp, Juon, FRB, Sawyer, Martin, Storm, Sempervive

Demian Maia (18-6) vs. Alexander Yakolev (21-4-1)

After wins over Stun Gun Kim, Rick Story and Jon Fitch brought him to relevance at welterweight, the 36-year-old has lost consecutive fights to Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald to bring him back down to earth. He welcomes Mike Pierce injury replacement and UFC debuting Yakovlev. The Russian has won three straight and has never fought outside his home country. He is coming off a November decision win over former Octagon vet Paul Daley.

Maia (Vegas Favorite): Nason, Meltzer, Pollock, Copp, Juon, FRB, Sawyer, Storm, Sempervive

Rony Jason (14-4) vs. Robbie Peralta (17-4-0-1)

The 30-year-old Jason is coming off a gift KO win over Steven Siler, one that was irritatingly stopped early by the ref. The past TUF Brazil champ has won four of his five UFC scraps with three finishes. Peralta is coming off a 3rd round KO of Estevan Payan in December, but hasn't won two in a row in five UFC bouts.

Jason (Vegas Favorite): Nason, Meltzer, Pollock, Copp, Juon, FRB, Sawyer, Martin, Storm, Sempervive

Dave will be covering the entire day of fights. Pray for his sanity, people.

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