UFC 137: Rant and Predictions (Part One)
I’ve been letting UFC 137’s ever-evolving fight card rattle around in my skull for a while now, and while I believe it to be stacked top-to-bottom with good bouts, I have to admit I would be looking forward to this card more if GSP were headlining it. In a bout with Nick Diaz.
But life is about dealing with change, and if the UFC’s last few big PPV events have taught us anything, it’s that things change and even though we may not have high expectations for an event, we need to have faith, because the UFC delivers.
Main Event: BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz
As much as I’d been looking forward to GSP/Diaz, this match-up has the potential to be pretty incredible in it’s own right. For me, the main thing affecting this bout is Penn’s condition, mentally and physically. We know what Nick Diaz brings, and can count on him to bring it. The man lives to fight.
If Penn is as motivated as I think he will be, I’m not sure even Diaz can stop him. As I’ve stated here earlier, my prediction is Penn winning by submission. (click this link to see how)
Co-Main Event (But not really): Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione
Matt Mitrione has been on my radar since he was part of the cast of TUF, and while his “character” on the show really pushed the “Meathead” douchery, he has shown that he’s not quite that bad, while still remaining interesting. I’ll admit that when this was booked I thought it was too much too soon for Mitrione. I was hoping they’d develop him a little more before throwing him into the fire.
Kongo has been a little inconsistent with his fighting, but has had so much experience and is such a great striker that he has the opportunity to put on a clinic against Mitrione. As much as I like Meathead, I predict Kongo by KO.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Roy Nelson
I’ve made no secret of this: I’m a big fan of “Big Country” Roy Nelson! I don’t care if he gains another 200 pounds, as long as he’s fighting and I can see it, I will seek it out. And, yes, he would be incredible at 205. I’m gonna say it, and I have no intention of back down from this: Roy Nelson at 205 beats Jon Jones. I think he would retain his power, but increase his quickness and possibly even think clearer at 205.
Sure, he’s on a 2 fight losing streak, but did you see those fights?! He lost to Junior Dos Santos in a match that had to be demoralizing for Dos Santos. Roy took Junior’s best punch, over and over and not only didn’t get knocked out, but didn’t even go down! And then we find out he injured his knee so bad he had to have surgery after the fight. And, yes, he was manhandled by Frank Mir, but you could tell he was way off his game and later admitted he was sick. Two losses, but against top level contenders and certainly nothing to be ashamed about.
Mirko “Cro Cop” is also coming off of two losses. Sure, he’s had a legendary career, and you have to root for the guy, but he’s clearly on a downward trajectory, and his loss to Branden Shaub does not bode well for his bout with “Big Country.”
His last three losses came to Schaub, Mir and Dos Santos, KO, KO and Sub. He also loss to Kongo. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the winner of this fight face the winner of the Kongo/Mitrione fight. And I think that winner will be Roy “Big Country” Nelson, by KO.
I know, I know: I should wait until at least after the weigh-ins before putting in my predictions, because any one of these guys could be replaced by Charlie Brenneman, but I’m good. I think these predictions are as well.
Stay tuned for part two…