The octagon travels to Memphis , TN for an event that will be headlined by a Lightweight clash that could determine the future of the division. Different from the past few UFC events, UFC 107 will have a direct impact on the title picture of a few different divisions.
In a battle of heavyweights, Paul Buentello returns to the octagon after a three and a half year absence to fight up start, Stefan Struve. When comparing the skills, it appears that Struve is a more well rounded fighter, which gives him the overall advantage. However, Buentello has heavy hands and if he connects with a few power punches, he could get the victory. Essentially, Struve needs to fight smart and be very cautious if he trades punches with Buentello. It might be a wise decision for Struve to attempt to take the fight to the ground and work on getting a submission, but again, he would need to avoid the power punches from Buentello. Obviously, Buentello will try to keep it standing and if he does, he has a legitimate chance to win the fight. For a winner, Iíll pick Stefan Struve for a few different reasons. Most importantly, Struve is more well rounded, which I think is a main key to victory in any fight. Struve, who is only twenty one years old has a lot of time to continue to improve and has shown some potential so far in his UFC career so it should be interesting to see if he could eventually make an impact in the UFC heavyweight division.
Jon Fitch vs. Mike Pierce should be a very good welterweight match up and itís a very evenly matched contest. Fitch, who I still think is one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC has rebounded from a loss to Welterweight champion, George St. Pierre with wins against Akihiro Gono and Paulo Thaigo in his last two fights. Pierce, who is undefeated in his UFC career is a tough test for Fitch and he has a chance to make a name for himself if he can defeat Fitch. As far as where the fight takes place, I expect this one to showcase almost every element of MMA with action standing and on the ground since these are two well rounded fighters. Itís tough to pick a winner since both fighters are evenly matches, but Iíll pick Jon Fitch to get the win because he has an overwhelming experience advantage in the fight.
Kenny Florian vs. Clay Guida is a fight that Iím really looking forward to and it could steal the show. Before I discuss the particular elements of the fight, I want to make a few general statements about the Lightweight division as a whole in the UFC. Most people will still say that the 205 division is the most stacked division in the UFC, but the Lightweight division has a lot of depth as well in terms of the talent in the division. Penn, Shancez, Florian, Guida, Diaz, etc. put on great fights every time they step inside the octagon. I think the main reason many MMA fans, more specifically, the causal MMA fans put the 205 division at the top of the UFC is because they donít have the patience to watch a fifteen minute lightweight match up where a lot of technique and skills is displayed. The 205 division by nature is perfectly suited for the causal fans because the fighters have KO power like the heavyweights and they have the speed to keep the action moving during a fight. Itís sad that so many band wagon fans donít realize how much technique is involved in the fifteen minute grappling battles that are often seen in the lightweight division. Hopefully, as the sport continues to get more exposure, the causal MMA fans will realize how much skill is involved with the ground game in MMA. Okay, the rant aside, Florian vs. Guida should be very entertaining. I expect Guida to push the pace as he usually does and weather Florian can handle the pressure is the main key to the fight. I expect Florian to attempt to counter Guidaís flurry of strikers with punches of his own and I wouldnít be surprised if this one is a slug fest. If the fight stays standing, I think Guida will have an advantage because he seems to have the strength advantage in this fight. However, if he goes to the ground, I think Florian will have the technical advantage so where the fight takes place is another major element to the fight. Iíll pick Guida to get the victory probably with a decision win, but this is such an evenly matched fight that I wouldnít be surprised if Florain wins the fight.
The heavyweight bout of Frank Mir vs. Cheick Kongo is one that Iím actually not expecting much from, but who knows? It could be an entertaining fight. Both fighters were dominated by their opponents the last time they were inside the octagon so this fight could be an attempt to rebound in the UFC. Mir defiantly has the technique advantage here and an advantage on the ground, but Kongo has very good striking and I wouldnít be surprised if he was able to KO Mir. I expect Mir to utilize kicks to set up for a take down, but that will be a tough task considering Kongo is one of the bigger fighters in the heavyweight division. Iíll pick Mir to get the win here because I think he will be able to use his technical skills to win the fight. Speaking of Mir, heís said repeatedly that he wants a rematch with Brock Lesnar, who is currently sidelined and itís not known when or even if Lesnar will return to the UFC. Assuming Lesnar does return, Mir has a lot to prove before he gets a rematch with Lesnar. Most importantly, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez , and Minaturo Nogueira could all be considered in line for a title shot when Lesnar returns to the UFC. You also have to consider Mirís previous fights with Lesnar. In the first fight, Mir was dominated before Lesnar made a rookie mistake and Mir was able to use a submission to win the fight. The second fight, Mir was completely destroyed so itís not as if both fights were close fights. When you consider the second fight, you have to wonder if the first fight was a fluke? Regardless, it would be interesting to see what Mir would be differently in a third fight against Lesnar.
The main event is BJ Penn vs. Diego Sanchez for the UFC Lightweight title. Depending on how you look at the fight, Sanchez could very well be the biggest threat to Pennís title since Penn defeated Joe Stevenson nearly two years ago to win the title. Sanchezís very aggressive style could throw Penn off of his game plan. I see this fight being one sided no matter result. I could see Diego overwhelming BJ with strikes in the second or third round to get a TKO victory or itís very possible that BJ systemically uses his world class Ju Jit Su skills to methodically wear Diego down and get a submission win in the third or fourth round. As for a winner, I'll pick Diego Sanchez to win the title, but considering how good BJ is on the ground, it's very possible he could use a submission to retain the title.
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