Oct 27, 2011

Why BJ Penn will beat Nick Diaz at UFC 137

Now that GSP is out of UFC 137 this weekend, my attention is pretty much solely on the Penn vs Diaz fight. Thank goodness the shitstorm over Diaz missing the press conference and getting kicked off the title fight has settled down, because I was getting sick of hearing it. Now, I firmly believe Nick Diaz is an incredibly solid fighter with good boxing and great submission skills. However, I still think that BJ Penn will be the one to leave the octagon with his hand raised in victory, so I made a small list as to why I believe that.

1. Penn is the better striker.
BJ Penn has some of the best boxing skills in the UFC, and has heavy hands to boot. Now, the advantage Diaz has in this regard is that he will likely be throwing a lot of punches in bunches over Penn's stick-and-move style of boxing, and he has a slightly longer reach. But still, I give the advantage to Penn. That, and I still think Diaz (both Nick and Nate) has some of the ugliest striking in professional fighting ever (as effective as it may be).

2. Penn is the better grappler.
While Nick Diaz can roll with the best of them thanks to his years with Cesar Gracie, his aggressive jiu jitsu won't beat Penn's ability to control most folks on the ground (Diaz is no GSP), and I find it incredibly unlikely that he will be able to submit him. Also, Diaz's losses often come from being out-wrestled, and we have all seen Penn's remarkably improved takedown skills recently, so I think Penn will control, if not submit, Diaz on the ground.

3. Penn has more experience, and his cardio isn't an issue anymore.
This one is self-explanatory. Penn has much more experience with the world's best mma fighters, still has a solid chin, and hasn't slacked off the cardio training in recent years, so Diaz won't be able to leverage any of those things, combined with the fact that Penn is better in the two categories he specializes in, as explained above.

So, putting these things together, I think that Penn will be the victor. On the other hand, this is going to be a great fight, and I am excited for it, regardless of who the winner is.

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