Kazuo Misaki played spoiler.
The 2006 Pride Fighting Championships welterweight grand prix winner upset the proverbial apple cart in the Sherdog MMA Pick’Em fantasy game, as he upended British striker Paul Daley by split decision at Strikeforce “Tate vs. Rousey” on March 3 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Nearly nine out of 10 players -- 89 percent to be exact -- thought Daley would emerge from the welterweight showcase with a victory.
A spirited, fearless and straightforward approach highlighted by aggression and clean power punching carried Misaki to the split verdict, though he had to survive a third-round encounter with a Daley elbow and the resulting cut near his left eye.
The remainder of the Strikeforce “Tate vs. Rousey” main card treated Pick’Em users well, as the majority of them were on the money with Miesha Tate-Ronda Rousey (71 percent picked Rousey), Josh Thomson-K.J. Noons (68 percent picked Thomson) and Ronaldo Souza-Bristol Marunde (99 percent picked “Jacare”). However, the Scott Smith-Lumumba Sayers matchup at middleweight served as a speed bump for many, as 71 percent chose Smith before he submitted to a first-round guillotine choke. A majority of users were on the mark for the prelims: Sarah Kaufman-Alexis Davis (97 percent chose Kaufman), Pat Healy-Caros Fodor (68 percent chose Healy), Ryan Couture-Conor Heun (52 percent chose Couture) and Roger Bowling-Brandon Saling (96 percent chose Bowling).
Within Sherdog MMA Pick’Em, players earn points based on correct match-by-match predictions for a given event. A maximum of 210 points can be picked up in a single match.
Players are awarded 50 points for each correct pick, along with 30 additional points if they choose the correct method: decision, knockout/technical knockout or submission. If the method involves a finish, 30 additional points will be awarded to players who choose the correct round in which the finish occurs. Players are also allowed five boosts per event through which they can notch an additional 100 points for outcomes about which they feel particularly certain. However, any incorrect selections involving boosts will cost the player 50 points.
The top spot in the standings is currently held by “wskungfuclub” with 2010 points, having picked 14 of his 20 bouts correctly, with 88.9 percent success rate on boosts. The frontrunner was successful on seven of the nine fights at Strikeforce “Tate vs. Rousey.” Sherdog MMA Pick’Em will return with UFC on Fuel TV 2 on April 14.