This week UFC took a tough blow this week when Welterweight Kingpin George St. Pierre 22-2) was forced to pull out of his title defense against Carlos Condit (27-5) with a knee sprain. UFC 137 has been plagued with problems. Nick Diaz who was originally slate to face St. Pierre was pulled from the card and almost fired for not showing up to press conferences to promote the fight. He was then replaced by Condit and in turn replaced Condit for his original fight with B.J. Penn. Ironically Nick Diaz is now the Main Event in UFC 137 facing B.J. Penn.
UFC 137 Preview and Predictions
Even though St. Pierre-Condit is out, you can expect fireworks from Penn-Diaz and some of the “Crossroads” fights on the undercard.
Brandon Vera vs. Elliot Marshall
Brandon Vera(11-5) makes his return from his proverbial UFC exile to take on Eliot Marshall(10-3). This fight is not on the main card but it is “Do or Die” for both men. Vera is coming off back to back losses to Randy Couture & Jon
Jones and a NC against Thiago Silva(Originally a Loss for Vera which was overturned by failed Drug Test). Marshall, the former Ultimate Fighter 8 Semi-Finalist, is coming off a brutal KO loss to Luiz Cane at UFC 128.
The more experienced Vera will look to keep the fight standing with his superior striking but if Marshall gets him to the ground he should in no way underestimate Vera’s ground game. Prediction: Vera via TKO 2
Mirko Filipovic vs. Roy Nelson
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic(27-9-2) will look to rebound after 2 back to back KO loses Frank Mir & Brendan Schaub against Roy Nelson(15-6). Roy is also returning from 2 back to back loses to Junior Dos Santos & Frank Mir but the
difference is Nelson’s loses were by Decision. This is another fight that the loser could be looking for a different promotion.
“Cro Cop” has been seemingly declining rapidly since joining the UFC in 2007, while “Big Country” has had mixed luck winning the Ultimate Fighter 10 but failing to capitalize. Even though Nelson comes out of shape and lazy, one solid punch on “Cro Cop’s” diminishing chin will most likely make it a quick night for both fighters. Prediction: Roy Nelson via KO 1
Matt Mitrione vs. Cheick Kongo
Matt Mitrione(5-0), former NFL player and Ultimate Fight 10 Alumni, will face his stiffest test yet when he squares off against UFC veteran Cheick Kongo(16-6-2). The heavy handed “Meathead” will try to keep his streak alive
but the crafty Kongo will do what he can to take advantage of the up and comer’s weakness’.
Mitrione will test the chin early and thoroughly but if Kongo can weather the storm and take the fight to the ground he can put the 1st 1 in the loss column of Mitrione. This is a true 50/50 fight but when forced to pick a winner
Kongo’s last fight come to mind and I do not expect Mitrione to make the same mistake as Pat Barry. Prediction: Mitrione via TKO 2
B.J. Penn vs. Nick Diaz
The winner of the UFC 137 Main Event will be right behind Carlos Condit for a title shot against Welterweight Kingpin George St. Pierre. B.J. Penn is looking for 1 more title shot of his roller coaster like career, but standing in his way is, a man who made some huge waves since his last UFC run(4-4), Nick Diaz. After his Press Conference fiasco a loss to “The Prodigy” could set Diaz far back in the line for a title shot.
Both men are excellent on their feet and on the ground. Expect Diaz to use his height, reach, and boxing abilities to keep Penn at bay throughout the fight. Penn will have his moments but it won’t be enough to defeat Diaz. Prediction: Diaz via workman like UD
Even though it is lacking St. Pierre-Condit, I recommend ordering UFC 137 on October 29th on PPV, because it should filled with excitement. The card may not look that strong on paper alot of these combatants have their UFC career on the line.
Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop: Hioki via Sub 1
Jeff Curran vs. Scott Jorgensen: Jorgensen via UD
Dennis Siver vs. Donald Cerrone: Cerrone via Sub 3
Bart Palaszewski vs. Tyson Griffin: Griffin via SD
Daniel Downes vs. Ramsey Nijem: Downes via UD
Francis Carmont vs. Chris Camozzi: Camozzi via Sub 2
Dustin Jacoby vs. Clifford Starks: Starks via UD
(Note: Happy Birthday to a close friend of mine, Gene Walczak, who is a HUGE
Philly Sports and UFC Fan!!!!)