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Fantasy Bantamweight Tournament

MMALinks


With the brief lull in MMA action, what better time to get the crazy debates going with some fantasy tournaments in each of the weight divisions.  We will be looking to crown "The Don’s Fantasy Champions” in seven weight classes.  While we know that the UFC will never go back to a tournament format or co-promote with any other organization, our minds and keyboards are not bound by such politics.


Over the next seven days we will look at each weight division and hold 8 man fantasy tournaments in each class.  We will seed the fighters one through eight in a bracket formula and look at who will win each fight and why. 


These types of predictions/projections usually spark great debates among the MMA fans.  First of all it’s difficult to decide which eight fighters will participate and then choosing winners really causes the fun and debates begin…  so bring it on!!!

The seedings are based primarily on rankings from our good friends at MMAWeekly.com with a few minor variations in several weight classes.


The quarter- and semi-final bouts would be three rounds with the final bout being a five round affair.  The seedings are in parenthesis below.

 

Today we will start with the Bantamweight division and the seedings/match-ups are as follows:

 

(1)  Dominick Cruz  vs.  (8) Brad Pickett

(4)   Joseph Benavidez  vs.  (5) Miguel Torres

(3)  Scott Jorgensen  vs.  (6) Damacio Page

(2)  Brian Bowles  vs.  (7) Urijah Faber

 

Round 1 Match-ups:

 

Cruz vs. Pickett – A tougher fight than most would anticipate as Pickett has solid stand-up and ground skills.  In the end it would be Cruz taking over in the later stages of the bout with his solid wrestling and lightning fast unorthodox striking game.

 

Cruz over Pickett by unanimous decision.

 

Benavidez vs. Torres – A rematch of one of the shockers of 2010 when Benavidez dominated Torres en route to a submission victory.  Despite the dominance in the last fight Benavidez would be hard pressed to repeat such a performance.  This time Torres would use his reach and length advantage to keep the ultra-tough Benavidez at bay and maintain a viable threat if the fight hits the ground. Look for a different outcome in this one as Torres takes the decision win.

 

Torres over Benavidez by unanimous decision.

 

Jorgensen vs. Page --  This one would be all-out action between two dynamic bantamweight contenders.  Both fighters are well-rounded with finishing capabilities but it’s Jorgensen who seem to have refined his game a little more at this point in their careers by staying extremely active.  Another barn-burner decision in the bantamweight fantasy tourney with this one tilting toward Jorgensen.

 

Jorgensen over Page by split decision.

 

Bowles vs. Faber – This would likely be the marquee match-up in the first round featuring two former champions.  Faber’s dynamic in-your-face style would be difficult for Bowles to handle.  With Faber dropping to bantamweight, Bowles would not enjoy the strength advantage he normally has in the 135 pound division as Faber was strong even at the featherweight level.  Once again, no finish but a hard fought evenly matched fight with Faber earning a narrow decision.

 

Faber over Bowles by unanimous decision.

 

Round 2 Match-ups:

 

Cruz vs. Torres – A classic match-up here between the current and former bantamweight champions.  A tough call on this one as Cruz has the speed and takedown defense to nullify the striking and clinch game.  Torres had trouble with the striking game of Benavidez in their match-up and Cruz has a longer reach and comes from more angles which should frustrate Torres.  In a tough pick, we will go with Cruz by razor thin decision.

 

Cruz over Torres by split decision.

 

Jorgensen vs. Faber – Another great bout in the bantamweight division as the up and coming Jorgensen takes on Faber, the face of the departing WEC.  The drop to bantamweight could give Faber the advantage he needs to get back to the top of the mountain.  Jorgensen is a tough well-rounded fighter but Faber should have the strength and experience to out-duel Jorgensen in a great fight.

 

Faber over Jorgensen by unanimous decision.

 

 

BANTAMWEIGHT FANTASY FINALS:

 

Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber --  These two met at featherweight early in Cruz’ career with Faber picking up a relatively easy victory.  A lot has changed since then and this would not be an easy "W” for the California Kid this time around.  They are now fighting in Cruz’ bantamweight domain and Cruz has improved by leaps and bounds since that last scrap.  There is also bad blood between the camps that would also fuel the fire of this top-notch match-up.  I have gone back and forth on who wins this one and why but the choice here will be Faber by imposing his will over a five round fight and keeping the pressure on Cruz which will slow down the quickness which is Cruz’ primary weapon. In a fight that could truly go either way, I like Faber by another narrow decision to capture The Don’s Fantasy Bantamweight Title.

 

Faber over Cruz by split decision to win The Don’s Fantasy Bantamweight Title.

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