UFC 101 is less than a month away and I’m not all that excited. Aside from the BJ Penn vs Kenny Florian lightweight title fight and Anderson Silva taking on Forrest Griffin, I don’t care for any of the other match ups on the card. Sure Kurt Pellegrino vs Josh Neer has potential to be fight of the night but that’s a bout I expect to see on a Fight Night card not a PPV.
If history repeats itself and BJ Penn is forced to display the Mixed in mixed martial arts, Kenny “Ken-Flo” Florian should defeat BJ and become the UFC’s new lightweight champ. Currently riding a 6 fight winning streak Kenny will overwhelm(yes overwhelm) Penn with his Muay Thai abilities and eventually wear down the proud Hawaiian. I’ll even go out on a limb and predict Kenny wins by submission.
Name one other fighter other who has improved as much as Florian by leaps and bounds in each fight? He dominated up and comer Joe Lauzon by TKO stoppage in the 1st round. Florian then derailed the Roger Huerta mega train going the full 3 rounds with the rising star and taking the unanimous decision. In his most recent outing, he simply made a very good Joe Stevenson, look very ordinary by simply schooling him and submitting him in four minutes. While BJ Penn is “The Prodigy”, he has failed to live up to the name. Sure his jiu jitsu is as good as any of the top jiu jitsu fighters in the game and his crazy rubber legs are legendary but when it comes down to it he fails to deliver consistently. It doesn’t matter that he can run underwater or jump 3ft out of a pool, Penn needs to show up fight after fight and deliver. BJ has to prove he can sustain a mix and match pace when fighting a guy who can both strike and grapple.
Just look at his fight against Sean Sherk, sure he looked awesome but it was essentially a boxing match. He never had to expend much energy. There wasn’t any clinching and the fight never hit the ground. Penn merely out boxed him for the win. Forward to the GSP rematch where he was taken down, caught against the fence in the clinch and forced to trade strikes with a better conditioned athlete. He was worn out by the 2nd round. Go back and watch any fight he’s lost and it’s the same story over and over. BJ Penn has no cardio. On Saturday August 8th Florian should once again prove to the world that BJ Penn’s tank isn’t half full, it’s half empty.