Brand-name products are overrated — we’ve got a better Sweet 16 right here (Dick Vitale not included).
- Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua 1 (#3) defeats Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann (#30) with 82 percent of Maniac votes
- Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje (#19) defeats Anthony Pettis vs. Benson Henderson (#14) with 70 percent of Maniac votes
- Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry (#43) defeats Clay Guida vs. Diego Sanchez (#11) with 51 percent of Maniac votes
- Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung 1 (#27) defeats Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen 1 (#6) with 56 percent of Maniac votes
A minor upset for Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje. a moderate one for Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung, and another massive one for Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry, which keeps itself alive as the sole sub-32 seed on the right-hand side of the bracket.
Nothing kills enthusiasm quite like repetition, so we’re going to be changing things up a bit. For the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, each post will feature two match ups instead of four. That’s because now that only the worthiest of contenders remain, we’d like to think long and hard on who you push and who you condemn to a metaphorical early grave. If you’re up to it, we’d also appreciate you doing your best to infect others with your opinions … from a safe distance.
Match 1: Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald 2 (#1) vs. Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon 1 (#48)
Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald 2 isn’t our top seed for nothing: it’s been ludicrously dominant in the tournament so far, amassing 557 cumulative votes in its favor compared to just 38 against. No. 64-seeded Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice and No. 32-ranked Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier may be classics, but they didn’t stand a chance.
Though not quite the lowest seed still in the running, Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon 1 has certainly been the Little Fight That Could, taking out No. 17 Fedor Emeliananko vs. Mirko Filipovic and No. 16 Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes 2 by respective margins of six and 12 votes.
This may be one Goliath too far for Miller and Lauzon, but UFC 155’s brightest star has its fair share of charms, including the grappling that Lawler vs. MacDonald lacks and a heroic comeback effort from “J-Lau.” Can the Cinderella run continue?
Who wins Match 1?
Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II
Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon I
12 votes total
Match 2: Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit (#9) vs. Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (#25)
Robbie Lawler’s and Carlos Condit’s nicknames have proven prophetic. Their clash “Ruthlessly” ran roughshod over No. 56 Joe Lauzon vs. Jamie Varner in the opening round with 82 percent of the vote and not even Conor McGregor’s and Nate Diaz’s No. 24-seeded star power were enough to topple a “Natural Born Killer.”
Cartoonish levels of violence can get you far in this game, as Don Frye and Yoshihiro Takayama have amply demonstrated. The underrated classic that is No. 40 Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama fell under the force of eight million point-blank right hands, and this legendary donnybrook then became the first fight to down a top-eight seed by beating out No. 8-ranked Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2.
The name of the game here is density. Lawler vs. Condit had its legendary fifth round, but the first four, while entertaining in their own right, fell well short of the standard that finale set. Frye vs. Takayama was only one round and had its own dull patch or two, but was so chock-full of brutality that it looked fit to burst at the seams. What’s y’all’s view on pacing?
Who wins Match 2?
Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit
Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
10 votes total
Also, to reiterate, spread the word, share socially … do whatever grassroots / viral “Get Out The Vote” campaign needed to ensure your favorite fights advance to the next round. Complaining in the comments section about seeding and whatnot will not impact the results and will just make you look like an unappreciative dick.
Same time tomorrow, Maniacs.
Be sure to also check out our March MMAdness archive — which includes the entire bracket — to catch up on the tournament right here.