Saturday live from Australia, it’s UFC 127. The UFC is down under, so there will be plenty of wallabies and Fosters. The card itself is decent enough with a headlining fight that I think we should care about, but it really depends on how motivated BJ Penn feels. No title fights, but three fights could produce contenders. Instead of a super card, its one of the necessary events that helps shake out title pictures. Excitement Level: Baldwin.
Jon Fitch (23-3, 1nc, 13-1 UFC) vs. B.J. Penn (16-7-1, 12-6, 1nc UFC)
Winner gets a… title shot? If B.J. wins he gets a title shot? That can’t be right. *shuffles papers* That’s what the trades say. I’ll believe either of these guys gets to fight for the welterweight title when I see it. I guess Fitch – who has won 5 straight since GSP beat him – might get to fight for an interim or vacated title when St. Pierre moves up to fight Anderson Silva.k Assuming, of course, that he can blanket or – gasp! – stop BJ Penn.
If Fitch should actually finish BJ, that’s a big deal. Only Matt Hughes and GSP have finished B.J. (/no homo) Fitch has a claim to be one of the best of this generation. It’s weird, but true. He’s only lost to GSP in the UFC and his other loses came to UFC fighters back in 2002. Despite the stoppage drought, he’s had an incredible run.
Penn has had his own historic run, but who knows how much he has left in the tank. His vintage KO of Matt Hughes was nice, but he’s been throwing around the “retire” word for years now. If he suffers a lackluster loss to Fitch tomorrow night, he could just walk off into the outback sunset, never to be heard from again.
Michael Bisping (20-3, 11-3 UFC) vs. Jorge Rivera (18-7, 7-5 UFC
Rivera has gotten under Bisping’s skin with some of his pre-fight trash talk. Don’t worry, its musical.
This explains the grappling in Black Swan.
As you can see, Michael hasn’t enjoyed the musical theater.
So there you have it.This fight basically comes down to – do you hate Michael Bisping or not. If you do, you’re rooting for a Hendo-style KO by Rivera. I’ve always like Bisping despite his robbery of Matt Hamill at UFC 75.
Dennis Siver (17-7, 6-4 UFC) vs. George Sotiropoulos (14-2, 7-0 UFC)
If Sotiropoulos wins this, it’ll be his 8th straight win and he’ll move to 7-0 in the UFC. Yes! Finally. This is finally going to be George Sotiropoulos’ coming out party. He wins, he gets a shot at the title dot dot dot
Edgar-Maynard III. Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Guida for the title shot that was supposed to be Pettis’ when he came over from the WEC.
Siver does have a striker’s chance, but save him landing one of those spinning-back-kicks, look for another pointless win for G-Sots.
Chris Lytle (30-17-5, 9- 9 UFC) vs. Brian Ebersole (46-14-1, 1nc, UFC Debut)
Ebersole has won 7 straight and 11 of 12 to earn his shot at the UFC. He’s stepping in for an injured Carlos Condit, so this is a big shot for him. Lytle has been on a tear of late, winning 4 straight. Another win here and he moves into the title consideration level. Or Ebersole pulls the upset and we never have to think of Lytle as anything more than a good fight again.
Chris Camozzi (14-3, 2-0 UFC) vs. Kyle Noke (18-4-1, 2-0 UFC)
Both these guys come from season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter. The fact that they’re kicking off this card tells me that the UFC is looking for a new “that guy” who seems to fight on every other card. A new Spencer Fisher/Sam Stout-type if you will. Noke of course, is Australian. He’s finished his first two fights inside the Octagon and putting away Camozzi in front of his home crowd should be a nice story to build on.
Prelims On ION (9pm E)
Spencer Fisher vs. Ross Pearson
Alexander Gustafsson vs. James Te Huna
Riki Fukuda vs. Nick Ring – Nick Ring’s UFC debut!
Prelims On Facebook (8pm E)
Tom Blackledge vs. Anthony Perosh
Jason Reinhardt vs. Tie Quan Zhang
Possibly Untelevised Prelims
Maciej Jewtuszko vs. Curt Warburton
Mark Hunt vs. Chris Tuchscherer
[Image via Getty]