The 2012 Bang MMA Draft Rounds 16-44

Here we go, the rest of the 2012 Bang MMA Draft happens tonight. The warrooms have reassembled and are ready to go. We’ll be giving you the round-by-round summary along with some quick commentary. I’m guessing we’ll have a new set of picks every minute or two. All of this leads up to next Wednesday when the three panels will reveal their cards, featuring their brand new rosters.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
16 (46) Jussier da Silva FLW 16 (47) Frank Mir HW 16 (48) Dong Hyun Kim WW
Good pickups for all three. BFC and UFC are in the building stages of two divisions no one else has touched. SF bolstering a WW that will likely be a little weaker compared to the other two orgs.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
17 (49) Gegard Mousasi LHW 17 (50) Alan Belcher MW 17 (51) Patricio Freire WW
BFC gets a steal in Sasi, a top 10 LHW. Belcher’s a scrapper and Freire could be an up and coming WW, a depth pick.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
18 (52) Rashad Evans LHW 18 (53) Travis Browne HW 18 (54) Tyron Woodley WW
Suga is a steal this deep in the draft. I’m still a little surprised that no one else has gone after light heavyweights. It’s a deep enough division for all three to have top talent. Browne and Woodley are more depth picks. Browne probably could have been held off on since the UFC seems to be the only promotion that will have a HW division.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
19 (55) Melvin Guillard LW 19 (56) Rick Story WW 19 (57) Antonio Banuelos BW
Three more great picks. Guillard doesn’t have boring fights. Story is on a recent slide, but had a ton of potential to make a run. Banuelos is a top 5 BW and most haven’t heard of him. SF making it clear they are working on being the new WEC.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
20 (58) Diego Nunes FW 20 (59) Zack Makovski BW 20 (60) Dennis Siver FW
BFC and UFC make a move into the territory SF has been carving out, stealing two top FW and BW talents. Dennis Siver isn’t a bad pickup at 145, but the SF panel says Nunes was next on their board. Gotta love pick sniping!

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
21 (61) Tatsuya Kawajiri FW 21 (62) Rick Hawn LW 21 (63) Daniel Straus FW
Kawajiri could be a good sleeper this late. He’s got a great track record and though he’s probably past his peak, he’s on a four-fight win streak and is still a top 10 fighter at FW, although he has trouble winning the big fight. Hawn is a great looking prospect, although you’re only going to get one run out of him. Straus is a reach here and if it weren’t for his Bellator FW tournament win last week, he’d be picked a little later. Back-to-back tournament finals are nothing to sneeze at though and he’ll have a chance to get to the next level in a growing FW division in SF.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
22 (64) Jorge Masvidal LW 22 (65) Cain Velasquez HW 22 (66) Dustin Poirier FW
The UFC gets the pick of the round in the former UFC HW Champ. Masvidal seemingly has been running hot and cold, but he’s still a very talented LW who could move up to welterweight. Don’t forget, this is a guy who was able to outbox KJ Noons to get his title shot at El Nino. Despite a loss the other day, Poirier is still a major talent in the FW division and will be on his way back up the ladder.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
23 (67) Bart Palaszewski FW 23 (68) Paul Daley WW 23 (69) Chan Sung Jung FW
BFC adds great depth in Bartimus, he can run with anyone at the top of the division. An insider on the UFC panel tells me no one really wanted Semtex, but they took the best guyavailoble on their board. Personal issues are playing a part here. Wonder how that may affect Anthony Johnson’s standing. SF looks like their setting up a rematch, taking fan favorite Chan Sung Jung. The Korean Zombie has proved himself to be worthy of a title shot.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
24 (70) Charles Oliviera FW 24 (71) Miguel Torres BW 24 (72) Mark Bocek LW
Despite a recent skid, Oliveira is a young, hungry prospect with some scary submission skills. Ask Eric Wisely how a reverse calf slicer feels, not sure too many people have felt that one in MMA competition. 2011 was a rocky year for Torres, but the UFC giving a veterat a deserved second chance here. Bocek is another guy working his way back up the LW ladder and is a great pickup for depth in SF.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
25 (73) Diego Sanchez LW 25 (74) Mark Munoz MW 25 (75) Scott Jorgensen BW
The Filipino Wrecking Machine is a steal down here. The middleweight division has kind of been neglected so far and the UFC makes a great move. Diego Sanchez is far from done and can still compete at the top of the LW division. Jorgensen is another depth pick for SF in teh BW division. A one-time challenger for Dominick Cruz’ WEC belt, Young Guns is another guy who will be in exciting fights every time out.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
26 (76) Dan Henderson LHW 26 (77) Thiago Tavares LW 26 (78) Tarec Saffiedine WW
Again, the ignoring of the bigger fighters allows for a huge name to slip. The hall of famer may be a champion again soon, proving that 40 is the new 30. Tavares is guy who needs to throw in some consistency to prove he’s ready for the top of the division, but brings a sick sumbission game. Saffiedine is a reach to me, although sources on the SF tells me half the panel is high on the young Belgian. They aren’t shying away from his lack of KO power, seeing a future for the grinder.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
27 (79) Jason High WW 27 (80) Marius Zaromskis WW 27 (81) Evan Dunham LW
Depth picks all of these. High looks ready to break through to the next level. Zaromskis has had a lower profile recently, but is still a force at 170. Dunham, once the next big thing at LW, is back on the road to title contention. It’s a rough division to have a slip-up or two. Some good matchups awaid in SF.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
28 (82) Cub Swanson FW 28 (83) Ivan Menjivar BW 28 (84) Marcos Galvao BW
Cub’s been a streaky fighter, but he’ll push almost everyone at 145. Menjivar has looked good since returning from retirement. It’s like he hit the restart button on his career and has looked great ever since. Another Tristar product.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
29 (85) Charlie Brenneman WW 29 (86) Michael Bisping MW 29 (87) Jordan Mein WW
The Spaniard is a great pick-up. More depth to the WW division for BFC with a few grappling showdown potentials. You can’t deny the Count’s talent as the UFC seems to becoming the home of the MW division. SF continues to look to the future in taking WW prospect Jordan Mein. He’s a few fights away from the next level, but has a promising future ahead. He’s a serious vet at 22, with 31 fights already under his belt.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
30 (88) Brad Pickett BW 30 (89) Stipe Miocic HW 30 (90) Erik Koch FW
One Punch is one of the most fun fighters to watch across any division. Miocic will help round out the HW division well, with a powerful wrestling base, he’ll give trouble to most of the division. Koch gives SF another top level name at FW. He shot to the top of the UFC division to be next in line for Jose Aldo. Will he still recieve a shot in SF? If not, he’s got plenty of time to prove he’s ready at just 23.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
31 (91) Joe Lauzon LW 31 (92) Jacob Volkmann LW 31 (93) Pat Healy LW
An all lightweight round. J-Lau continues to remain just outside the top of the division while both Volkmann and Healy have put together impressive win streaks as of late. Both could be sleepers.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
32 (94) TJ Grant LW 32 (95) Jon Fitch WW 32 (96) Josh Thomson LW
BFC and SF loading up on lightweights. THe UFC steals another one in Jon Fitch. No matter what you think of his fighting style , Fitch wins fights. Grant has looked good since dropping to lightweight. Thomson is a vet who is the last guy to give El Nino a run back in December 2009. All his losses have been to top 10 guys, so not a bad pickup at all.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
33 (97) Ronnys Torres LW 33 (98) Khabib Nurmagomedov LW 33 (99) Yuri Alcantara FW
Two international prospects and a guy that hasn’t lost since October 2009. Alcantara is the pick with the biggest upside right now. On a 12-fight win streak and 2-0 in the UFC, Alcantarta is rocketing up the FW ranking. Khabib is on an impressive 17-0 run and is about to make the leap in competiton at LW. Torres has been tearing through Brazilian promotions since being released from the UFC in 2010. A 10-1 record says he’s another guy ready to break through.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
34 (100) Josh Koscheck WW 34 (101) Johnny Bedford BW 34 (102) Mike Pierce WW
Don’t sleep on Kos, depsite his recent loss to Johny Hendricks, he’s still a top 10 welterweight and has the opportunity to make one more run at the belt with a possible changing of the guard at the top. Bedford has had a rough go since getting the call up to the UFC, but is a rising star in the BW division. Mike Pierce is a depth pick for SF’s WW division. He’s hard rough go’s against the top of the division, but his wrestling is a great test for any one at 170.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
35 (103) Douglas Lima WW 35 (104) Takeya Mizugaki BW 35 (105) Marlon Sandro FW
Lima and Sandro both Bellator tournament finalist, Lima won his and ran into Ben Askren. Mizugaki has had a very mixed performance since coming over to the US, but despite a 4-4 record in the UFC and WEC, he’s still a top 15 BW.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
36 (106) Jeremy Stephens LW 36 (107) Claude Patrick MW 36 (108) Alexis Vila BW
I really like the Stephens pick. Despite a loss the other night, he’s a great scrapper with power and grappling ability. Patrick is another submission artist shooting up the ladder. Vila may not be in the game too much longer, but an Olympic wrestler with KO power is always an attractive fighter.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
37 (109) Allen Omer FW 37 (110) Brian Foster WW 37 (111) George Sotiropoulos LW
Omer’s a great young German prospect with a strong submission game. He’ll have plenty of new tests at FW. Foster’s an interesting pick, a little high I’d say but a solid WW. G-Sot may be on a skid as of late, but he’s still got a ton of talent and a developing striking game.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
38 (112) Mike Richmond FW 38 (113) Dennis Hallman LW 38 (114) Mitch Gagnon BW
Richman is a surging FW, Hallman is not allowed to pick his own fight shorts, and Gagnon will be a future force at BW.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
39 (115) Steven Siler FW 39 (116) Bryan Baker WW 39 (117) Rafael dos Anjos LW
Siler is another young FW with a great mat game and TUF experience. UFC sources tell me Baker is the guy they wanted two rounds ago, but a mixup on the pick slip netted them the wrong guy. Dos Anjos will be in every fight, may rely on the ground game too much in the bigger fights though.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
40 (118) Alexander Gustafsson LHW 40 (119) Josh Barnett HW 40 (120) Mike Pyle WW
Rising star Gustaffson won’t have too much problem getting a title shot in the new BFC. The War Master has a chance at redemption in the new UFC. Pyle has to prove that he can beat the top of the WW division, here’s his chance.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
41 (121) Stanislav Nedkov LHW 41 (122) Rafael Assuncao BW 41 (123) Thiago Alves WW
Nedkov is on a tear with some scary power. Assuncao was a top 10 fighter for a long time, only losses came to others in the top 10. Still a dangerous submission artist with the muai thai skills to survive a stand up war. And speaking of dangerous power, The Pitbull ladies and gentleman.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
42 (124) Mauricio Rua LHW 42 (125) Mike Russow HW 42 (126) Joachim Hansen FW
Two huge names in their division and an up and comer. Russow gives depth to the new HW division. Shogun is Shogun. What else needs to be said except that I never thought he’d slide this far. Hansen is another great fighter not many American fans have heard of, but that can bring it in any fight. Has had 2 memorable fights with Shinya Aoki… who’s still on the board.

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
43 (127) John Dodson FLW 43 (128) Antonio Silva HW 43 (129) Shinya Aoki LW
Dodson is a title contender since dropping to flyweight. BFC doing a great job at cornering that division. The UFC picks themselves a Maoi statue. and Strikeforce may have tipped their booking had a bit. Will we get Aoki-Hansen III?

Pick Bellator Class Pick UFC Class Pick Strikeforce Class
44 (130) Sean Santella FLW 44 (131) Chris Weidman MW 44 (132) Mark Hominick FW
Santella is a great prospect at flyweight with serious wrestling and submission skills. He’ll get the opportunity to develop his striking game. Weidman is another guy making huge jumps up the ladder. He could be the next big thing at middleweight. Mr. Irrelevant is Hominick. The former title challenger is on a three-fight skid since getting his face rearranged by Jose Aldo, but the Machine is far from done.

That is it. It is all over. We will reveal the cards these new promotions book in just 6 days on another Bangcast special. Until then, discuss Bangers.

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