On December 12th BJ Penn will attempt to continue cementing his legacy as one of the best 155 pounders in the world. He has torn through Jens Pulver, Joe Stevenson, Sean Sherk, and Kenny Florian. But on this evening he will face a nightmare opponent in Diego Sanchez.
The most gifted fighter in the UFC was winning fights before, when he hardly trained, now BJ Penn is refocused, rededicated, and hungry to win. His opponent, though, is just as hungry if not more. Diego Sanchez has only two losses, one a hit and run decision loss to Josh Koscheck, the other a split decision loss to Jon Fitch. Both fighters hate losing, both fighters are aggressive, and both want that belt.
BJ holds power in both nads which may be the key to victory in this battle. Diego has power as well but when have we ever seen BJ rocked. Diego is a great wrestler, however BJ has undoubtedly the best takedown defence in the world, and both are highly skilled in jiu-jitsu. I think if BJ can weather the storm and pick him apart he will win. Diego needs to get this fight to the ground and keep him there, and attempt to do what Georges St-Pierre did.
The co-main event features two heavyweight fighters trying to bounce back from crushing losses, in a classic striker versus grappler match up. Frank Mir just lost a title bout to Brock Lesnar, a bout in which he got manhandled. On the other side of the cage, Cheick Kongo looks to rebound from a dominating loss to Cain Velasquez. Their strategies seem pretty crystal clear. Frank Mir wants it to go to the ground as quick as possible. While Kongo will look to keep it on the feet looking for the knockout. The key to this fight is bother fighter's wrestling ability. Cheick's wrestling has vastly improved since his octagon debut. He should be able to stuff Mir's shots and pick him apart with leg kicks and jabs.
Another fighter looking to get back in the win column is Kenny Florian. One has to wonder what his mindset is after losing his second title shot. He will take on Clay "The Carpenter" Guida. Guida has one of the most ferocious paces in the world, he never stops. Kenny's weakest point is his wrestling which could smell bad news for him as Guida will look to take him down and smother him for fifteen minutes.
Paul Buentello looks to make another run for the belt after he got knocked out in his first attempt. He has knockout power with amazing boxing. He faces 6'11" Stefan Struve. Struve had a rough start in the UFC, getting blasted by Junior Dos Santos in his debut. Since then he reeled off consecutive wins over Chase Gormley, and Denis Stoijnic. His best chance of winning is submitting Paul Buentello, but the Headhunter has good take-down defence and should pull off a TKO win.
The final main card bout is Jon Fitch versus Mike Pierce. Fitch's hard work plus great wrestling should lead to an easy unanimous decision victory.