Here is a quick rundown on how the following warriors should maximize their strengths and avoid exposing the inferior aspects of their game, in order to heighten their chances of winning over the other in the main cards of UFC 127 this Saturday night in Sydney, Down Under.
Kyle Noke vs. Chris Camozzi
Noke (18-4) possesses KO power, but he has better chances of winning this Saturday night by taking the fight to the ground, having won seven of his fights by submission. It is significant to note that Camozzi has never been KO’d before, but two of his three losses have come by submission.
Camozzi (14-3), with his seemingly iron chin and effective takedown defense, can risk keeping the fight in the standup and beat or even KO Noke.
Chris Lytle vs. Brian Ebersole
A former professional boxer and amateur wrestler, the exciting Lytle (30-17) should fight like Chuck Liddell with effective striking and takedown defense, like what he did in out-pointing Matt Serra in his last fight. He is also good in knocking out and submitting his opponents.
UFC debutant Ebersole (46-14-1) is actually a grizzled MMA vet like Lytle and a certified finisher, with 33 of his wins coming via KO (13) and submission (20). He may have won his last fight by TKO, but facing a tough striker in Lytle, he should prioritize the ground game and try to notch his 21st submission victory.
George Sotiropoulos vs. Dennis Siver
Sotiropoulos was an accomplished boxer but is now regarded as one of the best grapplers not only in the lightweight division but in the whole UFC itself. He must try to take out or dominate Siver on the ground, with superior grappling and convincing ground-and-pound. Maybe if he can time Siver’s spinning back kick for a single-leg takedown...
Although Siver is no slouch on the ground, against an elite grappler like Sotiropoulos, he is better off striking on his feet en route to a KO or decision, punctuated by his famous spinning back kick.
Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera
Bisping is a respectable striker, but with Rivera lately asserting himself once again as a dangerous KO artist, The Count should count more on his great cardio and outwork the American. With his strong endurance, he should impress with the whole gamut of MMA fighting, with takedowns, ground-and-pound and grappling.
I see Bisping preceding the main event’s Jon Fitch with a grinding decision win.
Rivera, for his part, must avoid the takedowns and attempt to do what he does best and knock The Count out.
The Main Event: BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch
BJ “The Prodigy” Penn is indeed the superior grappler, but not superior enough to squeeze out a submission on Fitch, the latter being an accomplished grappler himself with superb submission defense. Penn’s best and perhaps only chance of winning this fight is via a KO punch on their feet.
Fitch will try to make this a repeat of St. Pierre vs. Penn II, but with less panache and most probably no finish, as he is no GSP. Again, he will grind it out and expect his widely perceived superior cardio to carry him to victory through the full five rounds.
Fitch, again, will show all the works with his striking, wrestling and ground grappling. Let’s also assume that he’ll go for a finish in whatever form it takes when the opportunity arises.
Expect all these from Fitch, unless Penn catches him the KO punch.
UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch Results, News and More