I will keep up a somewhat recent trend here where I have been posting my MMA picks for fights I am interested in. Looking back over the last 2 months, it looks like I am 3 for 6, so I'm only batting .500 here so take from it what you will. I will start with a little post from a a couple months ago when this fight was announced.
Penn Vs. Florian for the UFC Lightweight Championship (UFC101). I have always been a big BJ Penn fan, even though he rubs some the wrong way and has a bad attitude. His jiu-jitsu is on another level for MMA (he and Demian Maia have the best jiu-jitsu for MMA in my opinion) and he is the most flexible fighter I have ever seen. When his heart is in it, he is an elite level champion. That said, he got HOUSED by GSP in his last fight, but for whatever reason he did not seem to be in the best shape for that fight and he was fighting in a higher weight class as well. I think BJ is still the best lightweight in the world. While I do like Kenny Florian, I think he may be in the same boat as Rich Franklin and be the second best in his weight class. I'd like to see Kenny fight Diego Sanchez again and Sean Sherk again, but I think BJ will win this scrap in a close, tough fight. Kenny has better muay thai, but I think BJ's elite jiu-jitsu puts him over the top along with better boxing and better wrestling. I only hope this doesn't go to the 4th or 5th round where BJ may gas and get overwhelmed by Florian. I am still sticking by this pick, and just to add some more argument to the fire, BJ has faced elite competition in his career with losses to Lyoto Machida (decision), Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes, all current or former champions in heavier weight classes. He has wins over Hughes, several Gracies, Gomi, and the best lightweight fighters the UFC has. Florian's biggest win was over Joe "Daddy" Stevenson who lost also lost to BJ, and lost badly. He has only been knocked out once and that was a TKO and his only loss ever at 155lbs was by decision. Plainly put, Florian is deserving of a title shot but has not faced even close to the same elite level competition as Penn. BJ looks to be focused and in-shape for this fight and I think that is bad news for Kenflo. BJ is the favorite and I think he takes it.
Forrest Griffin vs. Anderson Silva - This should be a great fight because Forrest will force Silva to engage and actually fight, and Forrest can take a beating like the best of them. The biggest loser in this fight may be the UFC itself. Forrest is a big draw and a fan favorite, so setting him up for his 2nd loss in a row might hurt his image as a UFC poster boy. Luckily, Forrest is so great in victory or defeat that I don't think this will happen. I think Forrest has looked great in his last 3 fights, he was looking nice before getting caught by Rashad last time out, and I would still pick him over Rashad again. Anderson Silva looked bored and fought safely in his last 2 fights, and has shown in the Henderson and Lutter fights that he is not perfect. That said, he is brutal and is incredibly well rounded in every aspect. Silva is the favorite and that's the smart pick, Forrest is the perfect underdog and he is the heart's pick. I'm going to be rooting for Forrest, and I'm picking him to win.
Also, Sunday night on Spike is a WEC title fight with Miquel Torres vs. Brain Bowles. I'm picking Torres by badassery and mullet. I honestly do not know enough about Bowles, but I wouldn't pick against Torres.