UFC 137 Predictions: Will BJ Penn and Nick Diaz Live Up to the Hype?

Andrew Barr@@andrewbarr8Correspondent IOctober 29, 2011

Photo courtesy of LowKick.com
Photo courtesy of LowKick.com

BJ Penn and Nick Diaz are set to square off in just a few hours, in what is one of the most highly-anticipated fights of the year.

The UFC is always happy when the fans are looking forward to a fight, but at the same time, a fight with a lot of hype around it can be a dangerous thing.

There is always the risk that the fight won't be as good as people expect it to be and that the fans will be left disappointed.

In particular, fights where both opponents have respect for each others' abilities can sometimes flop because both fighters end up being overly cautious.

Heading into tonight's main event, Diaz and Penn have both made a point of complimenting each others' skills and talking about how they would have preferred to not fight each other.

With those things taken into consideration, can BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz live up to the hype?

Probably, yes.

Diaz and Penn both have a warrior's spirit and, while they would rather be fighting someone else, they will not let their feelings for each other stop them from performing at 100 percent.

Both guys are hungry for a shot at the title and they know they need this win in order to get there.

Expect both men to come out, go after each other and make this a war.

The only way I can envision this fight not living up to the hype is if Penn starts to gas and then uses his wrestling to control Diaz and take a decision.

Such an outcome is not impossible, but unlikely, as this is only a three-round fight, so Penn should be able to make it through without completely tiring himself out.

Apart from that, I don't see anyway this fight could be anything but exciting.

In the main event tonight, expect an all-out war or an early finish.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/AndrewBarr8.