BJ Penn vs Kenny Florian
With the return of BJ Penn the lightweight title will be on the line as he will be defending it from Kenny Florian. On paper Penn is considered the heavy favorite, but for the last two years Florian has shown tremendous growth and improvement in his standup and ground game.
This will be Florian’s toughest fight to date. Penn is one of the most well-rounded fighters in MMA, but Florian is almost just as dangerous. When it comes to his striking, Florian’s Muay Thai is solid and will surprise Penn if he keeps the fight standing. Kenny will be utilizing his kicks to slow down his opponent, so expect Penn to shoot in for takedowns. It’s on the ground where Penn will have a big advantage. Penn’s slick BJJ is world-class and he is just as dangerous being on his back as he is on the top position. The odds are against Florian, but with the right strategy he can pull off an upset.
What does Florian need to do? Florian needs to keep the fight standing and use his menacing elbows during the clinches. A Machida tactic of hit and run would be best against Penn. Penn has the propensity of engaging his opponents and pushing the action. With good lateral movement it would set plenty of opportunities for countering. With all that said Will Kenny Florian win? I guess we’ll have to wait an find out. I like rooting for the underdog, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Florian grabs the decision or even get a KO.
Anderson Silva vs Forrest Griffin
There is really no worthy opponent for Anderson Silva in the middleweight division so moving up to 205 for competitive fights is very balsy. This is why he’s considered to be the number 1 pound for pound fighter in the world. This bout with Forrest will push Silva to his limit. Forrest is a huge 205-er. What makes Forrest Griffin different from Silva’s previous opponents is that Griffin feeds off the challenge. As the fight goes into the later rounds Griffin seems to get stronger.
Anderson Silva will have his hands full and don’t expect him to engage full force at the beginning. It’s common knowledged that the first half of the round you will see Silva running around throwing some jabs and a few kicks until he finds his range. From there you’ll see Silva picking apart is opponent. Once his opponent is hurt, Silva pounces for the kill. Looking back at at Silva’s previous fights he has trouble being on his back, but that doesn’t necessarily means it’s his weakness. It can mean that his ground game is not as strong as his standup. So Forrest should take the fight to the ground as often as he can but still remain cautious. Forrest needs to put Silva up against the fence and drag him down and get into side control or full mount that way he can avoid Silva’s long legs.
This fight has a ton of potential to be FOTY, I just hope it delivers. If Silva wins it’ll solidify him as an all time greatest fighter of all time. And if Griffin pulls the win he gets to be the first to prove that Silva needs to stay in his own weight class.
BJ Penn beats Kenny Florian
Anderson Silva beats Forrest Griffin
Kendall Grove beats Ricardo Almeida
Kurt Pellegrino beats Josh Neer
Johny Hendricks beats Amir Soddollah