Sometimes the best cards come out of lack of contrivance on the part of the UFC. Take the headlining clash between B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez for example; it is better in every way than the manufactured hype that was supposed to be the shits between Quinton “Mr. T. for 5 minutes” Jackson and Rashad “Machida sang me a lullaby” Evans. The latter is the kind of crap the UFC needs to stay away from lest it begins to manifest hereditary genes of the WWE bloodline. That fight was just not interesting on so many levels. But we digress.
Penn vs Sanchez is a match-up that promises more substance and real fireworks on so many levels. We would watch this anytime. We are sticking with Penn on this one. Our call: a Penn win via a knock-down which culminates in a TKO or submission by round 3. Sanchez may be the night-stalker terror, but he is not yet ready for B.J. prime-time.
Do Not Discount Kongo: The other interesting match-up is between Frank Mir and Cheick Kongo: two guys who cannot afford to lose another match running. A loss on either resume (read that record) would look really bad besides portending a career in decline. There’s something immeasurably painful about these moments and anyone who does not feel them sympathetically should have their heart checked out.
Frank Mir needs a win bad to replenish depleted levels of testestorone after the merciless by Brock Lesnar at UFC 100 and Cheick Kongo needs to show why being and expat fighter is worth his or the UFC’s time after an extremely poor showing against Cain Velasquez in UFC 99. Kongo looked old and spent in that fight, and there are no acceptable excuses for poor stamina and strength for a buck built like him. Cain, on his part, is not yet ready for prime-time, despite protestations to the contrary, and losing to him was not a good sign for Cheick Kongo. Based on this we would say Kongo needs a win perhaps more than Frank Mir tonight, but Frank Mir is not gonna make it an easy job for him.
The fight will most probably go the distance with the win going to Frank Mir by a unanimous decision. However there is a chance that this fight may end quickly in the first or second round if Kongo strikes find a lucky mark. Discount this possibility at your own risk.
Update: 11/12/09, 11.30pm
Frank Mir pulled a win in spectacular fashion over Parisian fighter, Cheick Kongo 1:12″ flat with a rear naked choke that almost left Kongo unconscious. Whether this spectacular win was a result of Mir’s improvement of Kongo’s deterioration will be up for debate in the coming weeks.
We gave Kongo a striker’s chance of landing the big one but that did not come close to seeing the light of day after Mir landed a big strike that brought the muscular Parisian down at 46 seconds into the opening round. After that it was countdown to lights out. Oi vei!
B.J. Penn’s win over Diego Sanchez was not a surprise. What was a surprise was the amount of damage he inflicted on the nervy fighter. The gash he opened over Sanchez’s left eyebrow with a kick to the head in the fifth round did more damage than the doctors could stomach. The referee called a stoppage to the fight right there but that was the culmination of tremendous punishment Penn had inflicted on the challenger from the opening bell. In certain ways it was reminiscent of G.S.P vs Thiago Silva.
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