It's that time again. UFC 127 is only days away and a welterweight showdown between Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn is ready to headline a night of great fights.
The result from Penn versus Fitch could determine the next fight for welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, or it could determine who steps in to fill the void if GSP moves to middleweight to fight Anderson Silva.
Here are predictions and odds for UFC 127 that will take place in Acer, Australia.
Betting odds courtesy of mma-hive.com.
Kyle Noke (-140, 18-4-1)
Seven wins by submission, six by (technical) knockout, five by decision
Two losses by decision, one by knockout, one by submission
Chris Camozzi (+110, 14-3-0)
Five wins by submission, five by decision, four by technical knockout
Two losses by submission, one by decision
How Noke Wins: Kyle Noke has some solid wrestling ability. With that ability, he should look to take this fight to ground and either grind out Camozzi, pummel him into the canvas or submit him. Seven of Noke's 18 victories come by submission. He's a solid, well-rounded fighter and could win the fight either way. But, his ground game is just a step ahead of Camozzi.
How Camozzi Wins: Either way Camozzi goes he's at a disadvantage. Noke's ability in both his stand-up and ground game are just a step ahead of Camozzi. Chris wasn't all that impressive in his last fight against Dongi Yang. His stand-up is closer in ability to Noke then his ground game. It's a tough call either way for Camozzi.
Prediction: Noke by submission in round two
Chris Lytle (-150, 30-17-5)
21 wins by submission, six by decision, three by (technical) knockout
15 losses by decision, two by (technical) knockout
Brian Ebersole (+120, 46-14-1, 1 NC)
20 wins by submission, 13 by decision, 13 by (technical) knockout
Nine losses by submission, five by decision
How Lytle Wins: He has the nickname "Lights Out" for a reason. Lytle needs to keep this fight standing and would love to do so. Lytle can take out Ebersole and needs to be careful of Ebersole's stand-up and takedowns. If Lytle can show a little takedown defense and stop Ebersole from lighting him up with kicks and grinding him out on the ground, Lytle has this in the bag. Even if the fight does go to the ground, Lytle has 21 victories via submission. Just like his adversary he has the experience to deal with whatever this fight may bring.
How Ebersole Wins: In the fight of the two journeymen fighters Ebersole should look to wear out Lytle with kicks and shoot for the takedown. That's the only way Ebersole can win this fight really. He needs to be able to grind out Lytle for the majority of the fight and attempt some submissions or use a little ground and pound to take out Lytle. If Ebersole gains control of this fight it will most likely end in a unanimous decision in Ebersole's favor.
Prediction: Lytle via TKO in round two
George Sotiropoulos (-240, 14-2-0)
Eight wins by submission, five by decision, one by technical knockout
One loss by decision, one by DQ
Dennis Siver (+180, 17-7-0)
Nine wins by submission, five by (technical) knockout, three by decision
Four losses by submission, two by decision, one by technical knockout
How Sotiropoulos Wins: Sotiropoulos, a native Australian, will have the crowd behind him going into this one. Sotiropoulos is a tough, tough fighter having never been knocked out and knows his way on the ground, having never been submitted and carrying eight wins by submission. His stand-up is getting better and he's one of the top submission fighters in the lightweight division. Taking this fight to the ground will be key for the Australian native and if he can get it there he will ride to an easy victory.
How Siver Wins: Siver is the exact opposite of Sotiropulos. Unlike George, Dennis is one of the better strikers in the lightweight division, utilizing great kicks to beat his opponents. He's got a ground game as his nine submission victories point too, but that's not his strong suit. If he can keep this fight standing, he can strike his way to victory over the home fighter.
Prediction: Sotiropoulos by submission in round two
Michael Bisping (-185, 20-3-0)
12 wins by (technical) knockout, four by submission, four by decision
Two losses by decision, one by knockout
Jorge Rivera (+145, 19-7-0)
13 wins by (technical) knockout, four by decision, two by submission
Four losses by (technical) knockout, three by submission
How Bisping Wins: Even with a lacking ability of wrestling, Bisping can easily take this fight to the ground. He posses great submission skills and people could overlook his solid striking capabilities. Bisping is very tough with his only loss by knockout coming at UFC 100 to Dan Henderson. Bisping should look to take this fight to ground and submit and Rivera or capitalize on his mistakes.
How Rivera Wins: Rivera should look to beat Bisping by keeping the fight standing. Like it was said before, Bisping's striking could be overlooked but Rivera does possess some good striking. His ground skills aren't what they should be to compete with Bisping and needs to show his takedown defense that has been pretty solid over the course of his career. If he can get a stand-up war, he could be successful and give Bisping his fourth career loss.
Prediction: Bisping by submission in round three
#1 Contender Welterweight Bout
B.J. Penn (+120, 16-7-1)
Seven wins by (technical) knockout, six by submission, three by decision
Five losses by decision, two by technical knockout
Jon Fitch (-150, 23-3-0, 1 NC)
13 wins by decision, five by submission, five by (technical) knockout
One loss by decision, one by knockout, one by submission
How Penn Wins: Penn could win this fight from any angle. He's got some of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in UFC history and could dominate Fitch on the ground. When you see Penn take someone down there is a huge chance they will be dominated and lose the fight. It's scary how good Penn can be. Penn has great stand-up too and could trade with Fitch. Either way Penn could have a safe run to a welterweight showdown with Georges St-Pierre, if GSP doesn't fight Anderson Silva after his UFC 129 bout with Jake Shields. We could be looking at the third installment of Penn versus GSP.
How Fitch Wins: While Penn is one of the better fighters in the UFC, so is Fitch. Fitch has outstanding wrestling skills and also possesses great stand-up and submission skills. Fitch will be more then ready for this war and could stop Penn from his third fight with GSP to set up his very own rematch with GSP. If the fight does go to the ground, Fitch could easily survive any of Penn's submission attempts. Fitch is a natural welterweight which poses as an advantage for Fitch, but Penn has fought at welterweight before so that shouldn't be overlooked.
Prediction: Penn by unanimous decision
Anthony Perosh (+160, 10-6-0) vs. Tom Blackledge (-200, 10-6-0)
Prediction: Anthony Perosh
Mark Hunt (+200, 5-7-0) vs. Chris Tuchscherer (-280, 21-3-0, 1 NC)
Prediction: Chris Tuchscherer
Alexander Gustafsson (-140, 10-1-0) vs. James Te Huna (+110, 12-4-0)
Prediction: Alexander Gustafsson
Tie Quan Zhang (-500, 12-1-0) vs. Jason Reinhardt (+350, 20-1-0)
Prediction: Tie Quan Zhang
Curt Warburton (-130, 6-2-0) vs. Maciej Jewtuszko (Even, 8-0-0)
Prediction: Maciej Jewtuszko
Nick Ring (+145, 10-0-0) vs. Riki Fukuda (-185, 17-4-0)
Prediction: Nick Ring
Ross Pearson (-240, 11-4-0) vs. Spencer Fisher (+180, 24-6-0)
Prediction: Ross Pearson