UFC 137

The original main event was suppose to be a Welterweight Championship fight, but unfortunately Georges St. Pierre is injured and now the BJ Penn v. Nick Diaz takes top billing.   This main event is just as intriguing. BJ Penn is an amazing fighter who’s MMA skills are unmatched.  Nick Diaz is tough as nails and is as scrappy as they come.

They are both BJJ specialist and you can expect this fight to be entirely on their feet. Diaz has range, but Penn has power.  BJ Penn hasn’t look like his usual dominating days and I don’t think he’s has it in him this time around, but I hope he proves me wrong.  Nick Diaz will take this fight using his slap boxing style and his range to wear down Penn.  As the fight goes to the later rounds expect Penn to slow down and Diaz to turn up the heat.

My Picks:

Nick Diaz beats BJ Penn
Matt Mitrione beats Cheick Kongo
Roy Nelson beats Mirko ‘CroCop’ Filipovic
Scott Jorgenson beats Jeff Curan
Hatsu Hioki beats George Roop
Dennis Siver beats Donald Cerrone
Eliot Marshall beats Brandon Vera
Tyson Griffin beats Bart Palaszewski
Chris Camozzi beats Francis Carmont
Clifford Starks beats Dustin Jacoby
Ramsey Nijem beats Danny Downes

UFC 127

After dropping two decision losses to current Lightweight champ, Frankie Edgar, BJ Penn rebounded back by KOing future hall of famer, Matt Hughes. It seems like Penn is back at welterweight again trying to make another run for the title.

Unfortunately for Penn, Jon Fitch is standing in his way. Fitch is a force to be reckoned with in the division. Fitch’s only loss in his 20+ fights is to current champ Georges St. Pierre. Penn looks to be the Prodigy everyone knows him as but that’s what everybody says before he steps into the cage so that doesn’t mean much anymore. The big question is can he put Fitch away like he did with Hughes? I doubt it.

Fitch will be too much for Penn. His wrestling, size, and strength will be too much for the under sized Hawaiian. Penn has decent striking and his hands are fast and deadly accurate. He will need to use his striking to setup grappling control and work to get top position. As good as Penn is at BJJ being under Fitch is a bad idea as he has strong top control and relentless ground and pound.

My picks:

Jon Fitch beats BJ Penn
Michael Bisping beats Jorge Rivera
George Sotiropoulos beats Dennis Siver
Chris Lytle beats Brian Ebersole
Ross Pearson beat Spencer Fisher
Chris Camozzi beats Kyle Noke

UFC 123

Quinton Jackson vs Lyoto Machida

Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida are two fighters who’s style are completely opposites and it should make for a very interesting fight. Both fighters are coming off losses yet they’re still a threat to take the title in their division and win for them will easily put them back into contention.

Rampage’s raw strength and power that can end the fight at any point. And Shogun recently proved that as elusive as Machida is known for he can still be knocked out. Machida’s counter attack style has stifled and frustrated many opponents and Rampage will be another victim of that tactic. Like with his previous fights Rampage is either dominant for the entire fight or he finds himself struggling round by round. Machida’s hit and run tactic will no doubt frustrate Rampage, and as it goes further into the rounds Rampage will only be more gun shy and prone to make mistakes.  It’ll be a competitive fight, but I see Machida getting the nod from the judges at the end of the night.

BJ Penn vs Matt Hughes

For these two, the score is tied with each fighter having a win over each other. This is a hard decision for me to choose who will win. Not because both fighters are equally experienced and they’ve had wins against each other, but that it’s difficult to know which “BJ Penn” will show up. Is it the relentless and merciless Hawaiian with World Class Brazilian Jujitsu that will step in the cage or will it be the shy island-boy whose unwilling to tap into his full potential? If it’s the former, then that BJ Penn is favored to win against almost any opponent. The latter? Not so much.  Matt Hughes has a long career of smashing his opponent with his wrestling and ground and pound, but in his last two fights he has show he’s much more diversified. I’m sure his KO win over Almeida was a surprise to all MMA fans who have followed him. The question is how much improved is Matt Hughes compared to their last fight? Penn was easily winning the first two rounds of their last fight only to get stopped in the third due to either a rib injury or bad cardio (pick one). We know that skill-wise BJ Penn is as well-rounded as an MMA fighter can get. If Penn can tap into that potential of his he can end the fight before his cardio should start to matter. I’ve been a fan of Matt Hughes for the longest time, and as much as I like to believe that his last two fights have showed that he has improved I don’t think it’s enough to stop the Prodigy.

My picks:

Lyoto Machida beats Quinton Jackson
BJ Penn beats Matt Hughes
Gerald Harris beats Maiquel Falcao
Phil Davis beats Tim Boetsch
Joe Lauzon beats George Sotiropoulos
Karo Parisyan beats Dennis Hallman
Edson Barboza beats Mike Lullo
Mark Munoz beats Aaron Simpson
Tyson Griffin beats Nik Lentz

UfC 118

For this UFC I find myself more interest in the non main event fights. The fight I’m looking forward is the Florian vs Maynard bout. These two fighters have very different styles that will make for a very interesting fight. Florian is a tactician on his feet and on the ground. He is very cerebral and he takes the fight where he knows he has the advantage. Maynard is a strong and powerful wrestler that can wear out the most durable fighters. He gets better and better every time he steps in the cage. With a win over the current champ, Frankie Edgar, Marynard is guarantee a title shot if he manages to get pass Florian. In this fight Maynard will need more than his strength and power to win he will need to stifle Florian’s striking and take the fight to the ground and pound away with his top position, and with his strong wrestling background he has the tools to do it. It’s easier said than done. Kenny Florian has phenomenal striking and a slick ground game. If Florian can stay away from the clinch and avoid the takedown Maynard will be in trouble.

I always thought the argument about Boxing vs MMA is stupid, and it still is. These are two different sports and trying to compare them to each other makes no sense. But with James Toney fighting Randy Couture tonight hopefully people will see the difference. Both of these fighters are legends in their respective sports and when these two athletes compete against each other the fighter who fights outside their forte will undoubtedly be in a losing proposition. Randy Couture has 13 years of experience compared to the 7 months of Toney’s the chance of Toney winning this fight is infinitesimally small, but it’s that chance that people find intriguing.

Seeing Penn lose to Edgar in April shocked me. Not because Edgar was a huge underdog, it was the game plan he brought with him. Known for his amazing BJJ Penn never even tried to attempt to utilize such an important skill set that made him feared by so many fighters. That loss has woken the demon inside him and I hope we will see a BJ Penn that wrecked havoc in the lightweight division. As for Edgar his strategy worked for him last time and I don’t think he should change it, but he should expect Penn to take the fight to the ground. And if the fight does go to the ground I don’t see Edgar escaping from the tangles of BJ Penn. But another win against the Hawaiian will surely establish his last win as no fluke.

My Picks:

Randy Couture beats James Toney
BJ Penn beats Frankie Edgar
Kenny Florian beats Gray Maynard
Marcus Davis beats Nate Diaz
Joe Lauzon beats Gabe Reudiger
Mike Pierce beats Amilcar Alves
Dan Miller beats John Salter

UFC 112

The Middleweight and Lightweight kings are back in the octagon defending their titles. For the first time, UFC will be holding their first event in Abu Dhabi in an outdoor arena. Fighters will be fighting in the open environment, so let’s hope it doesn’t rain.

Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia

Anderson Silva was slated to face fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort, but due to a shoulder injury Demian Maia has stepped up to take his place to fight for the title.  I think Maia makes a more dangerous opponent than Belfort. Maia’s BBJ is world-class and is second to none in MMA. Silva’s ground game is underrated and he’ll prove that this Saturday. Maia’s only advantage is taking the fight to the ground, but that’s easier said than done when the Champ is considered the best striker in all of MMA. It’s not to say that it’s an impossible task as other fighters in the past have managed to take Silva down such as Dan Henderson and Travis Lutter. In reality there is no perfect game plan against Anderson Silva. Maia will have to close the distance to even attempt a take down, and even then, that’s where the Champ is the most dangerous with this Thai clinch and knees. I see this fight ending in a boring decision with Maia evading the striking prowess of Silva or a devastating KO by the hands or knees of the Middleweight champ.

BJ Penn vs Frankie Edgar

BJ Penn has truly focused on his career establishing himself as the best Lightweight fighter of all time. Penn has defended his title 3 times with ease. And on Saturday he will be facing a fighter with fast hands and great wrestling, Frankie Edgar. Edgar is one of the few fighters in MMA that mixes this quick crisp boxing with his wrestling very well.  But the same can be said about BJ Penn about his boxing and BJJ. The only thing that Edgar brings to the table on Saturday is his fast hands. As of late, Penn’s stand-up has been giving all his opponents trouble, and it’s where he wears down his foes and finishes them off on the ground. So fast hands won’t be enough to take the belt from the Prodigy. Edgar will need a game plan that forces Penn to pick up the pace in the fight and draw it out into the championship rounds. I haven’t been sold on his “improved cardio”. If Edgar can avoid the ground game and push the pace for the first few rounds he can capitalize on a very tired BJ Penn in rounds 4 and 5.  Unfortunately the only person with the skill-set that can implement that plan is currently holding the Welterweight title. I see this fight ending via TKO or submission with Penn licking his glove and the belt still around his waist.

My Picks:

Anderson Silva beats Demian Maia
BJ Penn beats Frankie Edgar
Renzo Gracie beats Matt Hughes
Terry Etim beats Rafael Dos Anjos
Mark Munoz beats Kendall Grove
Paul Taylor beats John Gunderson
Matt Veach beats Paul Kelly

UFC 107


BJ Penn will be defending his Lightweight title this Saturday against Diego Sanchez. Diego is no slouch and he always comes in with great intensity. Diego’s career as a welterweight was more than impressive, and now that he’s down to the 155lbs division he has earned his shot at the title. Penn is arguably one of the best MMA fighters in the sport, but the lack of consistency of his fights makes it difficult to place him among other great fighters such as Fedor, Anderson Silva, and GSP which they all have dominated their division. As for Penn this would be his only second title defense.

Penn’s last fight with Kenny Florian showed how versatile and how great of a fighter he actually is. Penn was seen to have poor condition and only relied on his skills and experience to win fights. It took a devastating loss to GSP to make him realize his woes and his win against Florian showed what he learned from it.

Since dropping down to the lightweight division Diego’s ability to finish fights haven’t been prevalent. But with his outstanding cardio and ability to keep the fight at a frantic pace makes him so dangerous. Many think that Diego’s pace will wear Penn out in the later rounds and is the X factor that may give him the win.

There’s something about BJ Penn that makes his opponents change their fight game completely. Kenny Florian is a tactical fighter with devastating striking and good BJJ, but when he fought Penn he looked so timid.  In fact, he look liked a TUF fighter trying to survive his first UFC fight. Diego always pushes the fight, but will he do the same when fighting Penn? It’s something that we have to wait and find out. If we look at Diego’s record his only losses came from the welterweight division against two fighters who are the top 5, and they were decision losses.

For Diego to win he will need to take the fight to Penn. He needs to back Penn up and use his flurries of punch to keep Penn moving back. Diego will also need to take Penn down whenever possible. Penn’s BJJ is world-class and he can be dangerous on his back, but as long as Diego is able to avoid Penn’s rubber guard and dish out some damage he will earn points in the eyes of the judges. Diego should use his proven cardio to keep Penn on defense as much as possible. A countering strategy against Penn is a losing one.

Penn can win the fight easily if he’s able to control and dictate the fight. It’s his stand up that sets up his finishes. Penn’s heavy hands makes his opponents shy and it’s where Penn is able to take them to the ground where he is most dangerous. It is the top position is where Penn will end the fight.

If the same BJ Penn that fought Kenny Florian is back again, then Diego will have his hands full. If Penn comes in better than he did against Florian then Diego is in huge trouble. This fight is a great test for both fighters. A win for Penn places him closer to greatness and questions about his cardio is a thing of the past. A win for Diego Sanchez would prove that the lightweight division is where he belongs and would give him the opportunity to dominate the division and be placed among fighters like GSP and Anderson Silva.

My Picks:

BJ Penn beats Diego Sanchez
Frank Mir beats Cheick Kongo
Jon Fitch beats Mike Pierce
Clay Guida beats Kenny Florian
Paul Buentello beats Stephan Struve

Alan Belcher beats Wilson Gouveia
Matt Wiman beats Shane Nelson
Johny Hendricks beats Ricardo Funch
Lucio Linhares beats Rousimar Palhares
Edgar Garcia beats DaMarquez Johnson
Kevin Burns beats TJ Grant

UFC 101


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.

My Picks:

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

UFC 94


I’m here in Las Vegas. I just saw the weigh ins and was at the autograph session. Wanderlei, Kenflo, and Thiago Alves were there signing. I took some pictures with my cell phone. I sent them over to my buddy over at MMA-Extreme hopefully he’ll post them up soon.

This is an amazing event with an awesome fight card.I can go on for days on each match up, but I’ll just focus on the GSP vs. BJ Penn fight. This fight is one of the most anticipated fight in a while. BJ Penn is re-focused on his MMA legacy and wants to win this fight badly. Penn’s talent is ranked right up there among the best in the world. But GSP is very well-rounded and Penn’s raw skills are not enough to defeat GSP. Penn will need to come with the right fight plan to take on the Welterweight King. Penn will need to utilize his stand up skills and set it up for the takedown. Penn will have to use this BJJ to control GSP on the ground. This will help him control the pace and reserve his energy. If history is any indication BJ Penn hasn’t shown any decent stamina in his fights. If BJJ is able to bring GSP down he can win via submission or by decision. The Candadian has the edge in this fight because he holds the win in their last meeting. GSP will need to bring a fast and furious pace and stay away from any takedowns, and he will need to utilize his kicks and jabs to setup takedowns of his own. The Champ will need to wear Penn down with some ground and pound. He probably won’t submit Penn and will have to take the fight to the later rounds and force a stoppage by the ref. In the end, it comes down to who has the better takedowns in this fight will likely win.

My Picks:

George St. Pierre beats BJ Penn
Thiago Silva beats Lyoto Machida
Jon Jones beats Stephan Bonnar
Don Hyun Kim beats Karo Parisyan
Clay Guida beats Nate Diaz
Jon Fitch beats Akihiro Gono
Thiago Tavares beats Manny Gamburyan
Chris Wilson beats John Howard
Christian Wellisch beats Jake O’ Brien
Matt Arroyo beats Dan Cramer

UFC 84: Ill Will


Another UFC event is upon us. UFC 84: Ill Will has BJ Penn defending his Lightweight title against former champ Sean Sherk. For the past few months Penn and Sherk have been vocally attacking each other. Sherk is coming off a steroid accusation suspension which is the fuel for Penn’s harsh words. BJ Penn is considered one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world with an amazing Brazilian Jujitsu background. Sherk is a long time veteran who’s built like a tank and has uncanny conditioning that is unmatched in his division.

BJ Penn is a wizard on the ground, and his stand up is underrated. In fact he has an excellent stand up game. Penn’s in-your-face style makes all his fights exciting. Whether it’s on the ground or standing up he will hurt you. Sherk has equally good stand up, but his forte is his wrestling. Sherk is known to take down his opponents and grinds them into a pulp. It may not be the most exciting fight, but it gets the job done. I think this is a great match up for both fighters. If Sherk is able to get the takedown Penn’s dynamic ground game will force Sherk to be more active and make it less of a lay and pray fight for him. Sherk may not best Penn’s ground game but it’s made up by his ability to go in sixth gear in all 5 rounds. Recently, Penn’s known for his poor condition lasting about two rounds tops before gassing. If Sherk can weather the storm he can pull an upset and beat the Hawaiian sensation.

Other fights on the card includes Tito Ortiz vs. Lyoto Machida, Wanderlei Silva vs. Kieth Jardine, Thiago Silva, and Rameau Sokoudjou. It’s been a while since Tito fought and this weekend he’ll be fighting the rising dark horse that is Lyoto Machida. Machida is currently undefeated and has a knack at beating opponents almost on an effortless level. There’s something in Machida’s fighting style that just neutralizes his opponents. A win for Tito will boost him up the rank in the divison and a lost would mean an imminent road to retirement.

My picks:

Penn beats Sherks
W. Silva beats Jardine
Gouveia beats Reljic
Machida beats Tito
T. Silva beats Mendes
Salaverry beats Palhares
Sokoudjou beats Nakamura
Clementi beats Etim
Yoshida beats Koppenhaver
Jason Tan beats Hyun Kim