UFC 101 is going to be amazing, not just for Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania, but also for MMA fans living in New Jersey. Being on the East coast makes it hard to see a live UFC show, but now with the sport being sanctioned in Pennsylvania (and hopefully New York soon) we now have another outlet to see “the big show”.
This match up is really tough to call, simply because it’s Kurt’s combination of Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling versus Josh Neers overall toughness. Neer May have the stand up edge, but Pellegrino has proven in the past that he has an iron chin. I am gonna go with Pellegrino by Unanimous Decision via grappling dominance.
Amir is primarily a Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu practitioner but he proved in his fight against CB Dollaway that he can compete against a competent wrestler. However, Johnny Hendricks is much more than just a “competent” wrestler. If Hendricks doesn’t shoot, Amir will cut him up standing. I think Amir will have many submission attempts but Hendricks is going to defend and coast to a decision.
At 6’6 Kendall Grove is an imposing figure especially against Almeida who admittedly wants to drop down to Welterweight after this fight. Putting size aside, there aren’t many people under UFC contract with the ground skills that Almeida possesses. I believe that this fight will be decided in clinch range, with Almeida trying to close the distance and shoot for take downs, and Grove trying to Thai clinch. I think Almeida is going to weather the storm and take Grove down and then win via submission.
Forrest Griffin is the king of the upset, but Anderson Silva has made former champions look like amateurs. Forrest’s chances in this fight revolve around his ability to pressure Silva without taking damage. An almost impossible task. Silva is more skilled than Forrest in all areas of fighting, except wrestling. It’s here where Forrest will have to impose his will, and then watch out for submissions. If anyone can pull it off it’s Forrest, but I feel like his “lead with the face” style and aggression are going play right into Silva’s counter-striking. Silva by TKO in the 3rd round.
Kenny Florian has vastly improved since the Ultimate Fighter, and he is without a doubt the future Lightweight Champion. However, it won’t be tonight. BJ is the same fighter as Kenny, but better. Bj has better Jiu Jitsu, better boxing, and more experience against tougher opponents. Kenny has the ability to beat anyone at 155 but I think an in-shape BJ Penn is almost unstoppable at Lightweight. Barring Kenny cutting BJ with an elbow, I am going to say BJ wins via TKO, and retains his belt.