UFC 101 Predictions
A Lightweight Championship bout pitting a spoiled prodigy against a young blue-chipper. Arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world moves up in weight to face one of the most popular faces in the UFC. And three other fights that nobody in their right mind could even pretend to give a crap about.
This…is UFC 101.
BJ Penn (c) vs. Kenny Florian (Lightweight Championship – 155 lbs.)
It looks like somebody needs to remind BJ that he has a fight this Saturday, since he still can’t shut up about the GSP fight. The latest is that in addition to greasing, GSP also does steroids. That’s just BJ’s opinion, you see, and he can’t understand why Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports focused on that aspect of the interview when they met to discuss (in theory) this upcoming fight. The next step is the accusation that GSP poisoned BJ’s room service order the night before. Meanwhile, Florian’s been working his ass off and devising a game plan to battle what is quite possibly the best ground game at 155 in BJ’s jiu-jitsu. In my mind, this all comes down to work ethic. I’ve always thought BJ was an incredibly talented individual who always phoned in his training and was lazier a three-toed sloth. Florian has enough natural ability himself that, combined with his physical and mental conditioning, could result in an upset. Admittedly, this is more what I want to happen, but I also think all the distractions and general laziness have got to catch up to BJ sooner or later.
PREDICTION – Kenny Florian via Unanimous Decision
Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin (Light Heavyweight – 205 lbs.)
The criticisms levied against Middleweight champion Anderson Silva for his last few fights aren’t entirely fair. Let’s face it – the UFC never had the kind of competition at 185 that it has at other weight divisions, and you can tell they were running out of options when Patrick Cote of all people got a title shot. However, Silva does have to shoulder some of the burden for not going in for the kill against Cote and especially Leites. Now he’s moved up in weight (again) to find an opponent that will engage and potentially challenge him, and in doing so created a superfight atmosphere that (in my opinion) hasn’t been played up nearly as much as it should be. Griffin’s a talented and scrappy fighter who may give Silva more trouble than he’s had in the UFC. As far as being able to beat him? I’d love to see it happen. But it probably won’t.
PREDICTION – Anderson Silva via TKO (R2)
Amir Sadollah vs. Johny Hendricks (Welterweight – 170 lbs.)
The winner of Season 7 of “The Ultimate Fighter” attempts to once again get his UFC career off and running after several false starts due to injuries. I like Amir, but I’m a little skeptical of his chances against up-and-comer Johny (not a typo – it’s “Johny” with one “n”) Hendricks, who’s been impressive (and undefeated) in his first five fights.
PREDICTION – Johny Hendricks via Unanimous Decision
Kendall Grove vs. Ricardo Almeida (Middleweight – 185 lbs.)
Oh, brother. Look, I get it. Fans ultimately end up buying the main event of a pay-per-view. I also understand that we’re coming off a stacked card in UFC 100, and the last few cards weren’t anything to shake a fist at either. Still, much of the undercard for this event feels like an Ultimate Fight Night on SpikeTV, especially with the inclusion of yet another installment of the Kendall Grove Retribution Tour. Kendall looks like he’s serious about fighting again, and needs to prove he can hold his own against a strong ground game via Almeida’s Jiu-Jitsu. But ultimately neither one of these guys are ever going to be good enough to even get a title shot. So who cares?
PREDICTION – Kendall Grove via Unanimous Decision (and then I die from sheer boredom and apathy)
Josh Neer vs. Kurt Pellegrino (Lightweight – 155 lbs.)
Both men are still rebounding from losses to Nate Diaz, and both are eager to prove they’re something more than middle-of-the-road fighters at 155 pounds. This could, potentially, be an interesting fight.
PREDICTION – Josh Neer via Submission (R2)
Shane Nelson vs. Aaron Riley (Lightweight)
This one’s a mulligan for the fight they had at UFC 96, which ended in a premature stoppage.
PREDICTION – Nelson.
Tamdan “Barncat” McCrory Vs. John Howard (Welterweight)
I think “Barncat” may be mine and Brian P. Dermody’s new favorite fighter.
PREDICTION – McCrory
Thales Leites Vs. Alessio Sakara (Middleweight)
PREDICTION – Leites
Matthew Riddle Vs. Dan Cramer (Welterweight)
PREDICTION – Riddle
George Sotiropoulos Vs. George Roop (Welterweight)
PREDICTION – Sotiropoulos
Jesse Lennox Vs. Danillo Villefort (Welterweight)
PREDICTION – Villefort