Fight Picks – UFC 178: Sean Sheehan vs. Patrick Sheehan


In the UFC 178 edition of “Sean Sheehan Vs” I take on photographer and my very own brother Patrick Sheehan as we predict all of Saturday night’s fights.

Every UFC event myself and my opponent will break down the reasoning behind our main fight picks and will give quick picks for the undercard.

I’ll kick things off with my pick for the main event of the weekend’s festivities.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso

Much of the promotion for flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson’s latest title defence against Chris Cariaso has been done around the statement “anything can happen in MMA” with TJ Dillashaw’s win over Renan Barao cited an example of its validity. This fight could very well to turn out to be like Dillashaw vs. Barao – but it probably won’t. What’s more likely is that it’s similar to TJ Dillashaw vs Joe Soto where Soto put on a valiant effort but was losing throughout and was finished late. Cariaso has a similar tight defence to Soto and throws nice combinations. Johnson, though, is quicker, has better technique and more knockout power. This should be an easy night of work for Mighty Mouse.

Sean’s pick – Johnson via TKO/KO

Cariaso is coming into this title fight with a split decision win over Louis Smolka and another decision in his last two whereas the champion, Demetrious Johnson, has come from a more impressive unanimous decision over a strong (juiced up) Ali Bagautinov and an outstanding knockout win over Joseph Benavidez. I don’t see Cariaso, or anyone else in the division for that matter, having enough guile or imagination to stop the fast and furious champion.

Patrick’s pick – Johnson via TKO/KO

Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez

When looking at this fight it’s really hard to gauge the difference in quality between these two considering they have fought different opponents in different organizations for the past number of years. What we can look at, though, is how they’ve fared lately. Both men have been on a streak but have done so in different manners. Cerrone has bashed his way though Edson Barboza, Jim Miller and more without too much damage. While Alvarez has had two ferocious five round wars with Michael Chandler in his last four fights and was forced to pull out of their planned trilogy with concussion only a few months ago. I think that’ll be the difference. Alvarez has a fantastic chin but it can’t last forever and if Cerrone lands one of his high kicks it could be curtains.

Sean’s pick – Cerrone via TKO/KO

The reigning Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez will be looking to make a good first impression in his first UFC fight here against the always tough Donald Cowboy Cerrone – although it could be a baptism of fire. Cerrone is tough early and will try to halter the wrestling game of Alvarez with his low kicks to the thigh. I think that’ll play against him though and Alvarez will catch a leg and put him on his back at will throughout the bout to take the win.

Patrick’s pick – Alvarez via decision

Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier

There may be two fights scheduled to take place before Conor McGregor takes on Dustin Poirier but make no mistake about it, this is the main event. Both men come into this fight on fine form with a title shot looming in the near future. The fight will be a frantic one. We know what McGregor does; and that’s exert pressure. The Dubliner will try to take the centre of the cage early and batter his opponent from all angles. Poirier, though, is no punching bag. The American is as tough as nails and will want to answer back just as hard. There is no question McGregor is the better striker both from a power and technical standpoint – that’s not to say Poirier isn’t efficient in both, because he is. I expect “The Diamond” to feel McGregor’s power early and jump on a takedown; whether he can get it or not will decide the winner of this fight. McGregor has very good takedown defence and even if he’s put on his back I’d fancy him to get out and up pretty quickly. The biggest hole I see in either man’s game is Poirier’s defensive frailty on the feet where he takes too many shots in fights, a lot of which are left hooks – McGregor’s forte. I think it’ll be a cagey first round but the pressure will tell in the second and McGregor will clip Poirier with a left and finish him on the floor soon after.

Sean’s pick – McGregor via TKO/KO

In the peoples main event Conor Mcgregor will face his toughest opponent yet in the shape of formidable Louisiana native Dustin Poirer. On paper this fight looks 50/50 with both men extremely proficient both on the feet and in the grappling. With that being said, however, looking at McGregor’s unpredictable mix of explosive boxing and smooth arsenal of kicks matched with the fact that Poirier has been knocked to his knees in his previous 2 fights I think “The Notorious” can take him out here early. I dont see the McGregor freight train being stopped anytime soon.

Patrick’s pick –  McGregor via TKO/KO

Yoel Romero vs. Tim Kennedy

In a card packed from pillar to post full of pick ’em fights, this may be the hardest to choose. Tim Kennedy is a hard-nosed American who puts it on his opponents every second. His usual optimum method of victory is doing enough on the feet before blanketing and frustrating his foe for fifteen minutes. He won’t blanket Yoel Romero though. The Cuban is an Olympic wrestling silver medallist who will be nion impossible to hold down for extended periods. On the feet, it’s about even. Kennedy loops his punches while Romero, who’s still relatively new to the game, has unbelievable natural power and is a threat until the very last bell. You never know the bounds of Kennedy’s ability to make a fight slow and monotonous in his favour but, at a push, I’ll pick Romero to pull out the win.

Sean’s pick – Romero via TKO/KO

Another close, hard to make prediction here. Kennedy has shown quality striking of late which is unpredictable, technical and precise. Against Romero, that could see him have the advantage on the feet. However with Romero being an Olympic medalist he will probably will look to take it to the ground. The problem is, though, that Romero has not always adapted his superb wrestling base into his mma fights. This fight depends on who gets their way on where the fight is fought – for me, it will be Kennedy.

Patrick’s pick – Kennedy via TKO/KO

Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes

This fight will come down to how Cat Zingano performs after 18 months out of the cage following firstly, a serious knee injury and then the unfortunate death of her husband. On form, this should be an easy enough fight for Zingano. Amanda Nunes is an improving fighter with nice boxing but she hasn’t beaten anyone near the level of the UFC’s top 5. Expect Zingano to mix in her takedowns and jiu-jitsu with exciting Muay Thai attacks when standing. Nunes could be catching her at the right time but all the murmurings are that Zingano is in good shape coming in here.

Sean’s pick – Zingano via decision

Both of these fighters have knockout power which should make for a frantic fight. Even though she is coming back from a long time out of the cage I still see Zingano as the more progressed woman. The American has beaten superior opponents including a demolition of the strong Miesha Tate in her last fight. I think Zingano will just have too much for Nunes over the 3 rounds

Patrick’s pick – Zingano via TKO/KO


Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Sean’s pick – Cruz via decision
Patick’s pick – Cruz via submission

James Krause vs. Jorge Masvidal
Sean’s pick – Masvidal via TKO/KO
Patrick’s pick – Masvidal via decision

Patrick Cote vs. Stephen Thompson
Sean’s pick – Wonderboy via TKO/KO
Patrick’s pick – Wonderboy via TKO/KO

Brian Ebersole vs. John Howard
Sean’s pick – Howard via TKO/KO
Patrick’s pick – Ebersole vis decision

Kevin Lee vs. Jon Tuck
Sean’s pick – Tuck via decision
Patrick’s pick – Lee via decision

Manny Gamburyan vs. Cody Gibson
Sean’s pick – Manny via submission
Patrick’s pick – Gibson via submission


Fight of the night – Cerrone vs. Alvarez

Performance of the night – McGregor and Romero

Bet of the week – Donald Cerrone via TKO/KO at 5/1

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

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