UFC 107 Preview and Predictions
By: Richard Burmaster
B.J .Penn (14-5) vs Diego Sanchez (21-2)
January 11th 2002 Jens Pulver won a close decision over B.J.Penn at UFC 35. That would be the last time that someone at 155lb would beat Penn.Â His next loss would not come for over 3 years when he would lose a decision to the current 205 lb champion Lyoto Machida in a heavyweight bout that he was outweighed by over 30 lbs. Â The only other fighters to beat B.J have been GSP and Matt Hughes. Each of those fighters shared large weight advantages against BJ and were able to use their size advantages to help defeat him in their natural weight class. BJ may be the best 155lb fighter ever and he is one of the few fighters ever to dominate a weight class in the way he has dominated the 155lb class.
Diego Sanchez has been on quite a roll himself. Winner of 17 straight he was on the path to a 170lb title shot till back to back loses to Koscheck and Fitch set him back. After 2 more fights at 170 he made the decision to drop down to 155lbs where he defeated Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida by decision. Those wins set him right back in line for a title shot in his new weight class.
It seems that the only advantage that Diego will have in this fight is a deeper gas tank and maybe a little bit more crazy. His antics over the last few years have been weird but he is always ready to go come fight time. BJ is simply better in all aspects of the game than Diego and while this will not be an easy fight for BJ I donâ€™t see Diego being the guy to finally overcome the 155lb king. If BJ comes into this fight in the kind of shape he has been over the last year then this will be a quick fight..This new version of BJ is a scary man for anyone in the 155lb class..
Prediction: Â BJ by RNC round 2
Frank Mir (12-4) vs Cheick Kongo (14-5)
Frank Mir has proven over time that he is one of the most talented big men to ever step foot into the cage. A two time champion whoâ€™s first run of dominance was cut short by a terrible motorcycle accident. Frank is a Black Belt in BJJ and Kenpo Karate who has submitted two of the biggest men to fight in the octagon, Brock and Tim Slyvia.
Cheick Kongo is a high level striker with not much of a ground game. He is coming off of a loss to Cain Velasquez where he was able to hurt Cain many times standing but was controlled on the ground with ease. Not many Hwyâ€™s can stand with Kongo almost everyoneâ€™s game plan has been to take him down
Prediction: Â Frank Mir via submission round 2
Kenny Florian (11-4) vs Clay Guida (25-10)
Kenny Florian is one of the most well rounded fighters in any division in the UFC. Solid wrestling base with a Black Belt in BJJ along with great standup make Kenny a dangerous opponent for anyone. He likes to take the fight to the ground and use his razor sharp elbows to open up opponents.
Clay Guida brings a solid wrestling base along with some of the best cardio in MMA. From bell to bell he maintains a furious pace that is matched by few in any sport.
This will be a tough match for Clay as Kenny is better than him at almost every facet of the game. Kenny will not run through Clay but expect clay not to mount much offense besides a few take downs.
Prediction: Â Kenny Florian Round 3 Submission
Paul Buentello ( 24-10) vs Stefan Struve (18-3)
Paul Buentello has heavy hands and underrated striking skills. He is on a two fight winning streak and has looked in much better shape over his last two fights. He has recently left ATT though not because he wanted to. His former manager was also his trainer and when Paul decided to seek new management he also lost his gym and training partners of the last 8 years.
Stefan Struve is one of the tallest men to ever compete in the UFC. Coming in at 6â€™11 he truly deserves the nickname Skyscraper. Stefan likes to use his reach in the beginning but has finished most of his fights by way of submission.
Look for Paul to try and keep the fight standing. Struve will try to clinch and use his length to his advantage.
Prediction: Â Stefan Struve by Submission
Jon Fitch (20-3) vs Mike Pierce (9-1)
Mike pierce holds a significant wrestling advantage over most of his opponents. He will not have e that advantage against the former Purdue wrestling captain Jon Fitch. Fitch has the advantage in every aspect of this fight and should be able to control this fight in every phase. Firtch
Prediction: Â Jon Fitch by decision.
In other bouts I’ll take Alan Belcher, Matt Wiman, Johnny Hendricks, Lucio Linhares, DaMarques Johnson, and Kevin Burns
This should be one of the better fight cards this year as the UFC has stacked this event with what should be some of the most exciting fights this year.