This card took a huge hit with GSP going down to injury. Now it is essentially the Nick Diaz show, whether he likes it or not. Oh boy…
BJ Penn vs Nick Diaz
Nick Diaz by Knockout in the Third
There is no doubt that Nick Diaz is a well rounded fighter, great striking, great BJJ and on the hand BJ Penn has been inconsistent the last couple of fights. Penn looks great in one round of the Jon Fitch fight and sucked the last two. He had a spectacular knockout of Matt Hughes but he did get picked apart by Frankie Edgar, twice before that. Plus he seems more content to use his boxing more often than not lately. Penn’s boxing is solid and Diaz’s is funky and if I had to choose between the two I think Diaz has the advantage.
Cheick Kongo vs Matt Mitrione
Matt Mitrione by Judges’ Decision
I kind of underestimated Matt Mitrione before but now I am very high on him and I hope he doesn’t let me down. I think he is right under the top tier of Heavyweights (Velasquez, Dos Santos, maybe Overeem and maybe Lesnar). Kongo is a perfect gatekeeper for Matt Mitrione at this point of his career. One thing Kongo proved though is it ain’t over til it is over.
Mirko Filipovic vs Roy Nelson
Roy Nelson by Knockout in the First
As I said in the past, Mirko Cro Cop is the guy you call out to right your career and I think Roy Nelson would do just that. He needs this win badly and it does look like he is in the best shape of his career. Mirko Cro Cop is always dangerous but Nelson also has one punch knockout with solid wrestling (Cro Cop’s kryptonite) to boot.
Hatsu Hioki vs George Roop
Hatsu Hioki by Judges’ Decision
I know Japanese fighters haven’t exactly been performing well in the UFC but Hioki should break the trend. He is like easily the second or third best Featherweight in most peoples’ rankings by beating almost anyone Japan had to offer. Roop though is always capable of an upset, beating The Korean Zombie and Josh Grispi before.
Scott Jorgensen vs Jeff Curran
Scott Jorgensen by Judges’ Decision
I think Scott Jorgensen is on his way to be the Jon Fitch of the Bantamweight Division. He is in the top three of the divisions (maybe top five nowadays) and he probably will be always whispered for a title contention but it is highly unlikely that he beats Dominick Cruz, the champ. Jeff Curran is a veteran of the sport with a ton of fights under his belt but my money still goes to Scott Jorgensen, as he is well rounded and always in for an exciting fight.
For the other fights I got Cowboy Cerrone, Tyson Griffin, Brandon Vera (in a must win), Ramsey Nijem, Chris Camozzi and Clifford Starks (not familiar with either fighter so I flipped a coin).