B.J. Penn will be the underdog when he walks into the Octagon for his UFC bout with Jon Fitch Saturday, February 26th in Sydney, Australia. Penn will walk into the cage as an underdog for the first time in his career in a fight that is not a climb in weight class. This may help him psyche himself up for this critical fork in the road for his rollercoaster career.
B.J. Penn +160 vs Jon Fitch -180
B.J. Penn (16-7-1) will be a UFC Hall of Fame induction when he does retire from the sport but the 32 year old Penn has never quite measured up to expectations. Penn has played with his fans emotions over the years and has fought off accusations of being a lazy fighter when it comes to preparing for a fight.
Jon Fitch is one fight that has never been dull to watch and the 33 year old fighter has fought a long hard road to fight in this UFC Main Event Down Under. Fitch enters the fight as the -180 favorite and deservedly so. Fitch is a disciple of Dave Camarillo, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu trainer that trained both he and B.J.Penn presenting them both with black belts.
The fight will be a Brazilian jiu jitsu exhibition for some of the fight but don’t be surprised if these two square off and bang in the center of the Octagon. Penn believes it is to his advantage to face Fitch who has been trained by Camarillo, Javier Mendes and Bob Cook, trainers they both have in common.
Penn told Dave Melcher of Yahoo Sports, “He thinks it’s to his advantage because he’s being trained by the people who started me in the sport. But I consider it my advantage, because I know exactly how they train people.” Take B.J. Penn +160 over Jon Fitch and hope Penn trained like a mad man.
Jorge Rivera +300 vs Michael Bisping -360
When it comes to Michael Bisping the MMA world is equally split. Half believe his hype has outgrown his talent long ago and the other school of thought is that Bisping is a developing fighter that may evolve into a great fighter one day.
Bisping is 21-3 and is primarily a hard hitting slugger. He has worked on his ground game but there have been no signs of improvement from the Englishman that is much better with his mouth than with his ground game. Bisping will have his work cut out for him if he expects to put Jorge Rivera to sleep in this fight.
Jorge Rivera is the perfect underdog. He is a vicious striker that can lay out an opponent with one vicious punch.
Jorge’s last four losses with the exception to the loss to Terry Martin, have come to legendary UFC warriors. Rivera lost to Martin Kampman in a fight that could have sent his career skyrocketing to the top. He also lost to a tough as nails fighter in Chris Leben and the future UFC Hall of Famer Anderson Silva.
When it comes to class Rivera has the edge. Bisping’s toughest competition in his career has been an aging Dan Henderson that manhandled him at UFC 100 and another aging UFC warrior Wanderei Silva. Bisping’s 20-3 MMA record makes this fight look more even than it is. Take Jorge Rivera +300 to beat Michael Bisping and don’t be surprised when Bisping is laying on the canvas staring at the lights with his eyes rolled back in his head.
Dennis Siver +260 vs George Sotiropoulus -310
My favorite fighter in the UFC of late has been the unassuming George Sotiropoulos. is 14-2 with one of his losses to undercard fighter Kyle Noke. Sotiropoulos is a big banger that prefers to finish his fights with submissions.
Dennis Siver has lost to Gray Maynard and Melvin Guillard two of the best in the weight class in the UFC. Siver is a well versed fighter that can end a fight standing on his feet but has also won nine of his 17 wins with submissions. Take Dennis Siver +260 over George Sotiropoulus.
Chris Camozzi +175 vs Kyle Noke -200
Kyle Noke has fought in many MMA companies but now he is under the UFC banner and looking to establish himself as a formidable force. Noke is a well rounded fighter that has the potential to be a champion. Noke’s signature win came early in his career when he defeated George Sotiropoulus.
Chris Camozzi is 14-3 and is also well rounded. Dangerous on the ground as well as on his feet, Camozzi is an underdog that will be safe to pass on in this early undercard bout. Take Kyle Noke -200 to beat Chris Camozzi.
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