Coming off the most hyped pay per view of all-time UFC 101 won't be a letdown. As big of a success as UFC 100 was, everything pretty much went down as predicted. Most believed that Lesnar's size and familiarity with Mir would be the difference...it was. Most believed GSP would control the fight with Alves with his superior wrestling skills...he did. And while Hendo-Bisping was a little harder to predict most gave the edge to Hendo because of the experience factor...Ding Ding you are correct! Well for those of you expecting a predictable encore at the Wachovia Center, I say don't place your bets just yet.
The two big fights on this fight card are Penn/Florian and Griffin/Silva. Now I will admit I do believe that the favorites BJ Penn and Anderson Silva are the superior fighters and should win. But they won't!
The biggest reason I don't see BJ Penn beating Kenny Florian is preparation. BJ Penn is notorious for underpreparing if he doesn't feel it's necessary. He has been the first to admit in fights with the likes of Hughes and Pulver that he had trouble training hard. Usually he has to either hate or be cautious of his opponent to be fully prepared. KenFlo offers him neither of these aspects. Secondly Kenny Florian is improving at a rapid rate. Arguably the most improved fighter in the last couple years and I see no signs of him slowing down. And last BJ Penn is coming off his most lopsided result ever. If there was a time to pounce on this future Hall of Famer, the time would be now. I see the fight going Penn's way early, maybe even winning both of the first two rounds. But as he tires and visibly slows down look for KenFlo to pounce. My prediction 48-47 Kenny Florian.
Anderson Silva. Not much else needs to be said usually when picking a winner involving the Spider. Maybe the most dominant MMA fighter of all time. How could I possibly rationalize picking Forrest Griffin? For one I'm crazy, so that helps. But beyond that I think timing is the biggest reason for the potential and memorable upset. Yes, I know the Spider is on a biggillion fight win streak. But let's dig a little deeper. Can anyone out there who has watched the majority of his fights pick any less impressive wins than his last two victories? I think not. At UFC 90 he took on Patrick Cote. This fight wreaked of a Spider TKO, but no such result took place. Before Cote was forced to stop because of an awkward injury it was the worst fight I had ever seen him fight. I was willing to give him a pass. I mean everyone is inclined to have a bad fight. Especially when you retain your belt. But after watching him put out a similar effort against Leites in his last fight. I say now is the time for Spider to be taken advantage of. And who better then Forrest Griffin. Anderson won't be able to use his reach advantage as the deciding factor as he usually does because Forrest's reach is comparable. He won't be able to lay on Forrest like he has done in his last two fights because Forrest never stops moving on bottom and can even do the brunt of the damage from underneath. I look for Forrest to stick and move, stay out of the Muay Thai Clinch, and just flat out take it to the Spider. I'm predicting at 49-46 dominant victory by Forrest that will not only shock the Spider, but shock the MMA world and possibly go down as the biggest upset to date!