UFC 101 Preview: Silva-Griffin, KenFlo-Penn Odds and Predictions

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UFC 101 Preview: Silva-Griffin, KenFlo-Penn Odds and Predictions
(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

UFC 101 is about to hit and there are two huge fights about to happen.  Here is the when and where:

  • UFC 101 Date: Saturday, August 8th, 2009
  • UFC 101 Location: Philadelphia, PA at the Wachovia Center
  • UFC 101 Time: 7:00 PM ET
  • UFC 101 TV: Live on Pay-Per View

This is one of the UFC events where the “main event” is nowhere near as interesting as the secondary fight.  However, the “main event” is the top of the card so the “main event” will be previewed first.

 

“The Prodigy” BJ Penn (Lightweight Champion) (-240) Vs. Kenny Florian (+190)

The “main event” of the evening will see, possibly, the most gifted fighter in the UFC— BJ Penn—take on a man who works his ass off—Kenny Florian.  KenFlo hasn’t lost a fight in almost three years.  Penn is coming off of the most one-sided fight in his life, a demoralizing ass kicking at the hands of Georges St-Pierre.

Word on the street is that Penn has left his hometown of Hilo, Hawaii and has started training with a group of people he hasn’t been bullying since birth.  They say he has started actually working to be great instead of relying on his God-given ability to be the best with minimal effort. 

If that is true, then getting his ass handed to him by GSP was the best thing that could have ever happened to Penn, and we could be about to see him make a run for the title of best fighter of the modern age. 

The man has ridiculous natural dexterity, his BJJ is outstanding, and he possesses knockout power befitting a light heavyweight.   Despite all of that, his heart has never been in training and his conditioning has always suffered as a result.

Kenny Florian posses a great jiu-jitsu game himself and may be able to take Penn down.  His elbows have been described as “razor like” and he has never been accused of under-training for a fight. 

KenFlo is also an anchor on ESPN’s “MMA Live.”  He will plan for Penn and work toward his strengths.  His conditioning will be excellent and his spirit will be willing. 

The big question in this fight: Natural ability or hard work?  Penn is great at jumping out of pools and carrying rocks at the bottom of the ocean, but he seems to not be so great at working hard.  Florian works hard every day, but is that enough?

My Pick: BJ Penn, Submission Rd 2

 

Anderson “The Spyder” Silva (Middleweight Champion) (-350) Vs. Forrest Griffin (+250)

Years ago, I went to a pro-wrestling event (listen up, story time with the old man right now).  An old favorite of mine and of most of the people at the event (Terry Funk) was wrestling in a barbed wire match. 

During this match, he got up on a ladder, which most of the audience had noticed had been severely damaged, and Mr. Funk had not seemed to notice this.  As he climbed, step by step, the ladder started giving way. 

The crowd started chanting “Please don’t die” over and over again.  Thankfully, Funk didn’t die, and we were able to meet the man after the match.

I tell this story because it is how I felt when the match was announced.  In my mind, I was transported back to that day at the ECW Arena when we chanted “Please don’t die,” only this time I was saying it for Forrest. 

Anderson Silva is a freak of nature.  While he has taken a lot of heat lately for having “boring” fights, the fact of the matter is, no one has been able to touch him.  It isn’t his job to go after the challenger and engage them.  His job is to win, and he has done so. 

In his last three fights (one of which was at 205lbs, which is where this fight will be contested) I don’t think he has been touched once. 

His ground skills are great, his standup is amazing, and his game plan is always impeccable.  Silva is undefeated in his UFC run and is the most successful of the former PRIDE fighters to make the transition (though Rampage isn’t doing too badly, other than the mental breakdown).

Forrest Griffin is one of everyone’s favorite fighters.  He’s an engaging person, a never-say-quit fighter, and a former Light Heavyweight Champion.  The man possesses a solid ground game, a solid stand-up game, great take-down defense, and one of the best chins in the history of the sport (I still give him benefit of the doubt after the Rashad Evens KO). 

Griffin has never been one to finish a fight, but he almost always finds a way to win a fight.  His fight at the Ultimate Fighter Season One finale against Stephen Bonner ushered in a whole era for the sport of MMA. 

It is really too bad most of this doesn’t matter.  Griffin is a guy you never want to count out, and he is a guy you want to hang out with, but I see no way he wins this fight.

Forrest is going to push Silva.  He won't allow Anderson to pick and choose his shots, but I am not sure that will be enough for my man.  It is with great sadness and a heavy heart I pick:

My Pick: Anderson Silva, KO Rd. 2

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