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 UFC 137 Predictions

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Favorite Fighter(s) : The Prodigy, The Great, Viking Dahmer, The Phenom
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PostUFC 137 Predictions

UFC 137 Predictions Ufc_137_poster

B.J. Penn vs Nick Diaz

A fantasy fight many fans have been posing for years now. Easily the more talented Diaz brother, Nick has spent the last several years out of the UFC between DREAM and Strikeforce. Now he has been brought back over to challenge reigning champion Georges St Pierre. Only when the fight was set Nick went off the reservation for a short while, missing at least two pressers for the fight and being unreachable by even his brother and team from Camp Cesar Gracie. This forced the brass to replace him with Carlos Condit for the title shot, and Nick has been re-assigned to this fight with BJ Penn. Diaz' last performance saw him in a candidate for fight of the year with Paul Daley in his final defense of the Strikeforce Welterweight crown that saw him knocking Daley out in the first round. Penn's last outing held a draw between him and Jon Fitch in February. They would have rematched here had Fitch been ready, however a surgery has kept Jon from competing until possibly early next year or very late this year. So now despite being friends the pair of highly talented and controversial figures will face off against one another with title implications on both sides for the winner whoever that may be.

As the fight goes I see Nick having a very hard time with Penn here. BJ just has too much of a high level all around skill set, which makes him one of the most versatile opponents Diaz has ever faced before. Striking is split into two categories in which Penn holds the better technical striking while Nick throws much more volume. Power striking is a wash as both men have shown plenty of ability to knock people out whether from single punches or accumulation. On the ground they are at the very least equal in skill as far as jiu jitsu goes. However a distinct wrestling advantage goes to BJ since he just spent two rounds fitching Fitch earlier this year. I can see these two really looking to stand and bang this one out to be honest. They both love to strike, they both use jiu jitsu as a means of finishing opponents who have been rocked or knocked down, and between them they have one knockout loss ever. This is going to come down to who the better striker is and who can more effectively impose the gameplan. Nick will want to stick to the inside and throw his combo's to wear BJ down, on the flip side BJ wants to stay outside and use that lightning precise jab of his to make Diaz think twice about coming in. Honestly I don't see a submission at all here. With both of these guys being so well versed in submissions I don't think there is a point at which you can rock one of them that puts them in such a position they are unable to get out of a submission attempt. That kind of thing has to be ingrained in their instincts by now. All in all I can see BJ dictating the pace of this fight with his wrestling and he'll use that to help control distance as well as his jab.

Prediction: BJ Penn by Decision

Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione

It seems Roufus Sport teammates Matt Mitrione and Pat Barry will end up sharing more opponents than any other single division duo in history. After Kongo's miracle comeback on Barry earlier this year it's only logical that his next opponent would be Matt "Meathead" Mitrione. Mitrione meanwhile has rattled off five consecutive wins since his time on TUF 10, the last of which was Christian Morecraft. This fight is interesting because it could very well answer some important questions about both fighters. Is Kongo's chin a cause for concern? Is Mitrione anything more than a middling competitor at best? Will Kongo ever fight smartly again after the Buentello fight? Any and all, or maybe none of those will be answered saturday when they meet in the octagon. Striking is split into three categories in this fight. Mitrione has the obvious power striking edge as well as an advantage in overall footwork. Kongo is the better overall striker where technique is concerned. Grappling is without a doubt an edge for Kongo especially in wrestling, however it remains to be seen if his takedowns are the kind that it will take in order to bring Mitrione down. To be honest I see this fight going similarly to the way the Pat Barry fight went except Mitrione will finish the job if he puts Kongo on rubber legs, if Kongo springs back up at all.

Prediction: Matt Mitrione by (T)KO

Mirko Filipovic vs. Roy Nelson

It's sad that this is where Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is in his career. At one time about five years ago if it was announced he was about to fight Roy Nelson fans would say Roy must have a death wish. Now it's a totally different story and Nelson is the clear favorite after Cro Cops run in the UFC has been less than impressive to say the least. Turned into a victim of his own legend by Gabriel Gonzaga, and putting on one of the worst main event fights ever against Frank Mir has certainly dropped the stock of the Croatian dramatically. Nelson has had varied success in the UFC. Going 2-2 in the promotion he does hold a sort of pyrrhic victory over Junior Dos Santos by taking such a beating it made Junior tired by the end. Unfortunately I have lost most if not all faith in Cro Cop at this point. I think Nelson has the tools to beat him at this time and he'll have little trouble herding Mirko around to the fench and clinching with him if he wants. If he can get him down he may be able to work something but Filipovic is notoriously hard to hold down. From a technical standpoint Cro Cop is still the vastly superior striker but Nelson has that overhand right that he seems to be able to land on everyone even when thats essentially his only tool standing. Grappling is no question an edge for Nelson, but I don't see many scenarios where he is able to utilize it very effectively. However Cro Cop has shown a bit of frailty around his jawline of late, and if Nelson can land that overhand right we could see a short night for the Croatian.

Prediction: Roy Nelson by (T)KO

Jeff Curran vs. Scott Jorgensen

Probably the most technical grappling pairup on the card are two bantamweights in rising star Scotty Jorgensen and Jeff Curran. Unfortunately I don't see alot of outs for Curran here. He's been at this for a long time, he's 34 but has been fighting since 1998. On the other side is the up and coming Scott Jorgensen who has a solid skillset. He's fast, he's powerful, he hits hard, and his submissions are adequate enough for what he likes to do with them. Striking I see an edge in technique and power for Jorgensen. Grappling is split where submissions and jiu jitsu are in favor of Curran while Jorgensen will enjoy a wrestling edge. Like I said I don't see many outs for Curran. Jorgensen is all wrong for him to be honest. I see this fight taking place primarily standing with Jorgensen getting the better of Jeff, although I don't see Scott stopping Jeff.

Prediction: Scott Jorgensen by Decision

Dennis Siver vs. Donald Cerrone

Two of the lightweight divisions best pure strikers collide after Donald Cerrone yet again stepped in on short notice after an originally billed opponent is forced off a card for injury. This time he steps in for Sam Stout to take on former German Kickboxing Champion Dennis Siver. Siver has made a name for himself lately after dispatching both Matt Wiman and George Sotiropulous. Meanwhile Cerrone has established himself against Vagner Rocha and ended the hype train surrounding Charles Oliviera. For a striking battle, and thats what this will probably be for the most part, this fight is interesting because Cerrone is so much taller and will have a significant reach advantage over Siver who has an undersized reach even for the lightweight division. While his reach is listed at 70" Siver is all chest and shoulders much like Sean Sherk. At only 5'7 he will be at a distinct disadvantage in height and reach because of it. Cerrone on the other hand is a very lengthy 73". Technique wise it's hard to say who's the better striker, as both have had success both in thier respective combat sports as well as in MMA with striking. Power wise Siver gets the nod since he packs more into every shot he throws while Cerrone tends to be a more even and consistant puncher. That isn't to say Cerrone isn't capable of knocking someone out if given the chance. Grappling is an edge for Cerrone but Sivers sprawl cannot be ignored. He has shown stellar takedown defense of late against better grapplers with better takedowns than Cerrone. I see this one playing out similar to many of Sivers fights with other strikers. He will lose the first round while trying to find his groove. Then in round two he will come back to steal it after figuring out what his rhythym. Ultimately Cerrone will turn it up in the third round and work better angles and distances to steal the decision.

Prediction: Donald Cerrone by Decision
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