UFC 127 Preview
UFC 127 Preview
UFC 127 doesn’t have the allure of a title fight or big heavyweights slugging it out but it does have some good “fight fan’s fights” for the MMA diehards. Guys like BJ Penn, Jon Fitch, George Sotiropoulos and Dennis Siver are all highly respected for their respective crafts. Here are some picks for the main bouts.
BJ Penn (16-7-1) vs Jon Fitch (23-3, 1 NC)
BJ Penn tried his hand back at welterweight after just couldn’t beat Frankie Edgar in two tries at lightweight and the transition started well; he knocked out Matt Hughes in 21 seconds. Interestingly enough, Penn is training with Hughes to hone his grappling as he prepares for the dominant wrestler Jon Fitch.
The pick: Jon Fitch. Penn definitely has more tools in his belt, with great boxing and BJJ, but Fitch has been unstoppable against everyone not named Georges St-Pierre, winning 20 of his last 21 fights. We know the book on Penn: he struggles against wrestlers. Fitch is boring as heck but a bad matchup for BJ.
Michael Bisping (20-3) vs Jorge Rivera (19-7)
This is being billed as the night’s No. 2 fight but few fans are particularly excited about it. The journeyman Rivera is considered an inferior opponent to Bisping in just about everyone’s eyes except Rivera’s.
The pick: Michael Bisping. “The Count” will have to watch out for Rivera’s major knockout power but this is one situation in which I agree with Bisping’s trash talk. Bisping singled out Rivera for his poor striking technique and inferior speed. Those are fair criticisms. Rivera can KO Bisping if he connects – but will he? I just think Bisping is too fast and athletic. Bisping will run around the Octagon and employ the stick-and-move to perfection.
George Sotiropoulos (14-2) vs Dennis Siver (17-7)
This is my pick to be the most entertaining of the three main fights on this card. Both George Sotiropoulos and Dennis Siver are finishers at 155 pounds, Sotiropoulos primarily via his submissions and Siver because of his kickboxing. But these are two well-rounded guys; Sotiropoulos’ boxing is underrated and Siver can submit guys on the ground.
The pick: George Sotiropoulos. Siver is the more dangerous striker but I’m not convinced he can get close enough to hurt Sotiropoulos. Siver’s 5’7” frame is just too stumpy. He gives up too much in reach to the lanky, 5’10” Sotiropoulos. I think the Aussie can survive the standup exchanges before taking Siver down at the opportune moment and submitting him.
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