(9) Jay Capistrano vs. (4) Jaycy Ashleana
Now when we be making our picks, we don’t put too much stock in what others might be picking or doing, unless it be affecting the spread or the odds. But it be worth noting that only five of the seventeen 1M pools had Capistrano picked to be arriving here in this situation, and only six had picked Jaycy. While we continue to be weeping into our oaties about the thinness of our wallet, these two were getting here on merit. Capistrano comes into the third round having allowed only 1.5 total points from his opponents so far. That be it. 1.5 total points. Given that this comes from the most recent winner of the ART and an only recently former renegade baron with several defenses to his name, this be all the more impressive an accomplishment. Now Jaycy had a much more difficult time getting past her first round opponent, Mallory Maeda, squeaking by after a neck-and-neck struggle. But her last round were as impressive as Capistrano’s, holding the Ilnaren wunderkind, Doran, to a single point.
In other words, these two be on fire. Catch us on different days of the week, and our picks would likely change. Today, we think it’s going to be Jaycy.
(4) Gatito vs. (10) Myria Graziano
We keep saying this about Gatito, but as a first-timer to this here tournament it be hard to see him as anything other than the surprising newcomer, time and again pitted against veterans of the tournament. Graziano, meanwhile, continues to make mincemeat of opponents as if she done won this tournament a couple times before (she has). Despite our best efforts to convince Graziano to lose by not picking her, here she be in the third round again, making Madness look easy (it’s not). Gatito meanwhile continued to show skill against another difficult opponent, besting Anubis Karos by jumping out to an early lead and then just building on it until the fight were over.
So once again we find ourselves wondering if the newcomer has what it takes to beat the old-timer or if the Madness veteran is looking to make another run on the top spot. For us? We’re calling this one for Graziano. But we can’t help feeling like we’ll be kicking ourselves in a few hours.
(1) Hope Naharis vs. (5) Ebon Ilnaren
This be one of the few match-ups in this here tournament that we expected to see. Basically the only thing that be going right in our 1C pool. And it be an exciting matchup at that. Naharis has been demonstrating her absolute dominance in the Arena in recent months (really, can we write anything more about what she be doing without sounding like a complete gob?). Meanwhile Ilnaren has a long history of solid performances in the Arena that date back to... well, his last run at this here title just last year. Before this fight will be settled, Naharis will be facing the formidable Rachael Blackthorne to see whether she’ll be holding onto her OL title. It be hard not to think that what happens in that fight will affect the momentum of whatever happens in this one.
But without knowing which way that one will go, we gotta go with our gut, and our gut says it’ll be Naharis.
(11) Suturi vs. (10) Runt
Och, mates. Words cannot describe the chaos we expect this fight to be. Iffin this here tournament were to crown a champion of chaos, we would expect one of these two to be a top seed. Suturi’s dynamic in the ring proved impressively effective against dapper lad Sheridan Driscol. Truth be told, we’re not sure how we would score against her either. Now as for Runt, we’re told the bloke (iffin that be even enough of a word for him) brought in a massive cheering contingent that nearly brought down the Outback’s rafters. Feel for Matt Simon and his team having to deal with that mess. Again.
But somehow from these two fighters we’ve got to pick ourselves a winner. Chaos may reign supreme, but as we always say, in the ring, size do matter. Runt.
Truly, this Madness has not disappointed with its surprises. We just wish we’d been better at guessing them.
Bet at your own risk and see you at the fights.
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