MMA NERD FIGHT: Kevin Lee vs. Edson Barboza edition

Rick Monsey & Dante Morgan

In this edition of MMA NERD FIGHT, Rick Monsey and Dante Morgan give a prediction for the main event of UFC Fight Night 128 between Kevin Lee and Edson Barboza.

The rules to this are simple:

  • We predict a winner and a looser for each fight and give a quick explanation behind the picks.
  • There’s obviously a chance we would pick the same winners on occasion. Well in this competition there are no split decisions.  To avoid a tie, we will also forecast the way the fight will end, for example, “third round by decision”.
  • The person who gets the most picks right wins bragging rights.

Well folks, let’s get on with the show!

This week competitors are:

  •  Rick “the Alaskan” Monsey: Regular com contributor and occasional co-host for the “MMA Talk for Pro Wrestling Fans” podcast.
  • Dante Morgan. MMA fan since the days of T-Rex and Stegosaurus used to fight no hold barred in the steamy jungles of Patagonia.

Edson Barboza vs. Kevin Lee

Rick’s PICK

WHO:        Kevin Lee

HOW:        Decision

WHEN:      After Round 5

WHY:                  This: Edson Barboza was stringing together a series of impressive victories until he faced Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The fight with Khabib was back in December but the memory of Barboza getting dominated on the ground is still fresh in my mind. Barboza is a dynamic striker with some of the most exciting knockouts in MMA.  His kicks are some of the most dangerous in MMA today.  That being said, while Barboza’s takedown defense is good it’s not going to be enough if Kevin Lee catches one of Barboza’s kicks.

Kevin Lee is coming back from a loss himself.  But Lee was clearly not at full strength when he faced off against Tony Ferguson. Lee had staph infection visibly displayed on his chest. Even with that illness, Lee looked good up until he was caught in a submission from Ferguson. Lee will not have to worry about that now that he’s facing Barboza.

With a full training camp, Lee will be healthy and ready for all five rounds if that’s what it takes.  Lee’s takedowns will be in full effect as he works for a submission against Barboza.  Hopefully, after the win Lee can position himself for a fight against Eddie Alvarez.

Dante’s PICK

WHO:        Kevin Lee

HOW:        Submission

WHEN:      Round 2

WHY:                  This fight had me scratching my head for a prediction. Kevin Lee is brash, tough and very skilled on the ground.

Barboza has next level striking. I mean his kicks look like they land with force and high voltage electricity. They are both coming off losses and interestingly enough, Barboza has never been in a main event. Neither has he fought 5 rounds. A lot of intangibles here leaving many sub plots and questions.

As much as I would like to see one of those freakish and flashy kicks or knees land on Lee’s dome, I’m picking Lee by submission.

Lee is not my cup of tea but man does that guy have an impressive submission game. Once Lee gets the fight to the ground, he is very quick to advance position. It’s a very controlling style with multiple variations of guard passing and choke attempts.

The first round will remind Barboza of his last fight with the man handling he got served by Khabib. Barboza’s striking game can’t take flight when he is concerned about takedowns. The second round will see Barboza get swallowed up by the grappling prowess of Lee and will make for a short night. I’m hoping we see some razzle dazzle that Barboza is famous for.

NOW READ THIS: MMA NERD PREDICTION: Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson edition

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