UFC 137 Preview
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- Welterweight bout: BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz. The main event of UFC 137 has had more changes than Chael Sonnen has insults for Anderson Silva. First it was GSP vs. Diaz, then GSP vs. Condit after Diaz missed a scheduled press conference which led to Diaz fighting Penn and Condit going from fighting Penn to GSP. Then suddenly, GSP injures his knee and Penn vs. Diaz is now the main event. Got it? I was really stoked for GSP vs. Diaz, but the new main event is nothing to sneeze at. This is the first time that Nick Diaz since November 2006 when he TKO’d Gleison Tibeau at UFC 86. Since that time he has gone 11-1-1 in various organizations with wins over the likes of Frank Shamrock, Paul Daley, Hyoto Sakurai and avenging the one loss against K.J. Noons. He won a fight against Takanori Gomi, but was ruled a no contest after testing positive for marijuana. BJ Penn however, has not had the same success in his last seven fights going 3-3-1 with his last fight being a majority draw against Jon Fitch. Having said that, no one doubts that Penn is a UFC legend and a sure fire Hall of Famer. This is going to be an exciting fight and do not see this going the distance. Both fighters have outstanding striking, albeit different styles of striking, but devestaing in each way. Both have impeccable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills where I think Penn may have a slight advantage. In the end, I see the majority of this fight will be standing and feel that Diaz’ reach advantage and striking will be the key to success against the Prodigy. Prediction: Nick Diaz.
- Heavyweight bout: Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione. How can I put this nicely? Um .. somebody’s gettin’ knocked out. Long time UFC vet Cheick Kongo is coming off of one of, if not the most impressive victories in MMA history with his knockout of Pat “HD” Berry back in June. The former multi time kickboxing champion looks the part and has flashed skills of being on of the most dominating figures in the heavyweight division. However, it seems like once he faces elite competition, he can’t get over the hump to get to the elusive title fight that Congo desperately wants. With a win over Mitrione, he should see a big jump up the ladder in terms of competition. Former NFL defensive tackle and TUF alum, Matt Mitrione continues his accenstion to the top of the heavyweight division with ever improving skills as seen in each of his fights in the UFC. Undefeted at 5-0, Mitrione is now working on his ground game to go with the impressive power that he has displayed as Christian Morecraft can attest to after his last fight. Unless the one they affectionately call “Meat head” takes this fight to the ground to show off his newly learned skills, I see this fight as a slugfest. Kongo is overbearing with power and if he can pin Mitrione to the cage and beat him up he could have alot of success, however, his chin has been questioned and Mitrione has the power to test it one more time. Prediction: Matt “Meat head” Mitrione.
- Heavyweight bout: Mirko Cro Cop vs. Roy Nelson. Earlier this year, Cro Cop was contemplating retirement after coming off two straight losses to via KO to Frank Mir and Brendan Schaub. However, Mirko knows the end of his legendary career and now says that he is rejuvenated and ready to make a push for a title. As for Roy “Big Country” Nelson, well, reports are that he may not be so big once he comes to the cage this time around. Working with Frank Mir for this fight, Nelson is confident he can take Cro Cop down and avoid those devestating kicks that the Croatian has become famous for. Both of these fighters are coming off of two straight losses, but unless one of these fighters comes out with a dreadful performance, I don’t think either will get cut. Prediction: Roy “Big Country” Nelson
- Bantemweight bout: Scott Jorgensen vs. Jeff Curran. This is going to be one of those “buckle up” type bouts. Both of these guys don’t nessecarily have knockout power, but are quick and fast with endless cardio. Jorgensen is technically the better fighter but Curran has more experience and has put together a very respectable career. Prediction: Jorgensen
- Featherweight bout: Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop. Hioki is making his UFC debut and is a highly rated prospect coming over from Japan. Owning a 24-4 record, the submission expert has wins over Marlon Sandro, Jeff Curran and Mark Hominick (twice). George Roop really made himself into an exciting fighter to watch with some crazy wins over Chan Sung Jung and Josh Grispi. This is a classic matchup of ground versus standup and my pick for fight of the night. Prediction: Hioki
- Lightweight bout: Dennis Siver vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Prediction: Cerrone
- Featherweight bout: Tyson Griffin vs. Bart Palazewski. Prediction: Palazewski
- Lightheavyweight bout: Brandon Vera vs. Eliot Marshall. Prediction: Vera
- Lightweight bout: Ramsey Nijem vs. Danny Downes. Prediction: Nijem
- Middleweight bout: Chris Camozzi vs. Francis Carmont. Prediction: Camozzi
- Middleweight bout: Dustin Jacoby vs. Clifford Starks. Prediction: Jacoby