As part of their live events, the UFC allows certain fans that attend the weigh-ins to take part in a question and answer session with a fighter not fighting on that weekend’s card. It lasts about 30 minutes, and acts to warm up the crowd before Joe Rogan, Bruce Buffer and company bring the fighters out to take the scale and get in each other’s faces.
It works like you’d imagine: they set up microphones in two of the isles and fans line up to ask questions. About eight years ago, when my son was seven, we attended a Q & A for a card held in Houston. The fighter answering questions was Team Alpha Male’s own Chad “Money” Mendes, and former WEC CEO Reed Harris was the moderator. As soon as we sat down, my son started in on me, “Dad, can I ask a question? PLEEEEASE DAD?!?”
After some contemplation, I relented and Finn took his spot in line. About then, Reed Harris announced that the person who asked the best question would win a ton of UFC gear; pretty cool. The first three or four questions were snoozers, but what got the crowd going was that as each person asked their question, they’d put them up on the big screen.
Well, right on que, each time they showed a fan asking a question, Finn would lean out so that his face was visible and throw up the devil horns hand sign. The response started as laughter, but evolved into applause. When it was finally his turn, everyone in the crowd was waiting to see what this goofy kid had to say. “Hey Chad, what do you think was your best fight?” Mendes threw the ball back to Finn, “I don’t know, what do YOU think was my best fight?”
Without missing a beat, Finn replies, “How should I know? I’ve never watched you fight.” Let me tell you that the roof came off the Toyota Center. Reed Harris ended the Q & A on the spot, and pronounced Finn the winner!
While we got a giant duffle bag filled with UFC swag, it was what Chad Mendes did that made Finn’s day: he lifted him over the railing and talked MMA, hunting and life in general with him for 15 minutes. At the fights the next evening, he found Finn and let him sit in the fighter’s section with him for a few fights, and to this day they still tweet each other regularly. Pretty damn awesome. Let’s ride!
Deiveson Figueiredo (-300) vs Brandon Moreno (+250)
The champ makes a quick turnaround and defends his belt for the second time within a month. Figueiredo made quick work of Alex Perez in November, and that’s become his M.O. of late, having finished his last four fights inside of two rounds. The guy is a killer, and can finish from any position.
Moreno, who is the winner of this week’s bad nickname contest (“The Assasin Baby”, really?) does his best work on the mat. I just don’t see him being able to get the champ on the ground without getting decked, and if he does, Figueiredo is too slick to get caught in a sub.
Play the champ in all formats. I can see playing Moreno if you need a cheap cash punt, but I won’t be.
Tony Ferguson (-165) vs Charles Oliveira (+145)
Since winning the 13th season of The Ultimate Fighter, Tony Ferguson has been a demon in the lightweight division. A 14-2 UFC record is impressive on its own, but a 12-fight win streak in the shark tank that is the 155-pound weight class is amazing. He is a powerful, rangy striker who is masterful at cutting angles. He also has plus wrestling and submissions. The guy can do it all.
He gets a tough test in grappling wizard Charles Oliveira, who has put together a seven fight win streak of his own. Although recent KO’s of Jared Gordon and Nick Lentz evidence an improving striking game, “Do Bronx’s” bread and butter remains the tap out. Unfortunately for him, nobody is better than Ferguson at using his wrestling to stay upright, and in a kickboxing match, this shouldn’t be close.
I think this goes all three, and in what should be a battle of wills, Ferguson is damn near unbreakable. So, I love Ferguson in cash. Oliveira will have his moments, so I don’t hate the idea of using him there (or even stacking).
There is a preview of my breakdown article for this week. We will have the full article on our premium side!
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