October 28, 2011 – We’re back with another TXMMA Fan Breakdown where our readers can use their own experience and knowledge of MMA to give us their opinions and predictions on what they think will happen come fight night!
This time we go to El Paso native Gabe Zubia to break down the UFC 137 main event between “The Prodigy” BJ Penn and Nick Diaz. Mr. Zubia is a 7-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and considering MMA to be his biggest passion. “Between training, coaching, watching, and studying the sport, I can’t get enough of it,” he says.
Let’s hear it from Gabe and see he has coming out on top tomorrow night in Vegas!
TXMMA Fan Breakdown: BJ Penn versus Nick Diaz at UFC 137
By: Gabriel Zubia
All right ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to break down the UFC 137 main event and I don’t know where to begin. Since this card was announced, there have been so many twist and turns, all kinds of drama before we finally ended up where we are right now.
Nick Diaz was the Strikeforce champ when he got sighed on to the UFC a few months back to take on Georges St. Pierre. A lot people were excited for that one only to be let down when the fight got pulled and Nick got pulled from the card and replaced with Carlos Condit. Since then, as we all know, GSP got hurt and that fight got canceled. Somewhere in the middle of all that, Diaz got put back on the card against BJ Penn and now it’s that fight that will serve as the main event this Saturday night.
Despite their differences, these two fighters have a lot more in common than you think. They’re both phenomenal Jiu- jitsu players and can bring the fight anywhere.
Let’s take a look at each in more depth.
BJ Penn was the fastest person to ever earn a black belt in jiu-jitsu when he got it in 3 years versus the average person taking 10 to get theirs, if they ever get it at all. He was also the first non-Brazilian to win the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships at the black belt level, three months after he got it. A lot of people praise his natural talent and that’s why they call him the Prodigy.
A well-rounded fighter, he can take the fight anywhere he wants it to go and do well. His stand up is equally amazing and he owns one of the best jabs in the sport. He’s also the type of fighter that will fight anywhere, at any time, and at any weight. He has fought everywhere from light heavyweight to lightweight just to test himself. That’s the spirit that’s made him a two-division world champion. In the experience department, I believe he complete overwhelms Diaz.
Speaking of Nick, I think his Jiu-Jitsu and his overall game looks equally impressive. He was on a rampage in Strikeforce until he left to go back to the UFC, winning 10 fights in a row and defending his belt twice. He seems to have the same type of natural talent that Penn has Diaz also poses and almost has that same type of freakish flexibility.
He has many victories by submission and all impressive with quick, crisp, and flawless technique. Looking at his record, he has finish fights in every which way possible. He also has some of the best cardio in the sport, which I think is his huge advantage over Penn. Nick Diaz use to run track as a kid and trains for triathlons even now. Not say Penn is a slacker but clearly Diaz has BJ in this department. His conditioning is at another level and I’ve heard many times that “when talent and skill are equal whoever has the best conditioning will win.”
One more advantage for Diaz is he fights without fear. He goes in there knowing he is going to get hit. He is right up in your face and toe to toe and old school scraps with you. His style to me is like a combination of a street fight and technique.
Now I’ve heard so much about this fight. I want to see these two guys go at it for all 3 rounds in a bloody battle like Nam Pham and Lenard Garcia did last PPV. The only thing that worries me is all the talk about their mutual respect and friendship might have then holding back. Let’s hope when the punches starting flying that respect disappears for a bit. I think both these men have knockout power and skill but this fight may come down who has the better ground game. If Diaz can stay on top, he might be able to dominate. We’ve seen BJ in situations where he just gets beaten from the top while on his back and he seems like just gives up. On the other hand, if Penn take Diaz’s back we can pretty much call it done. Penn has some of the best back control and has choked out many opponents with a simple rear naked choke before.
This is a tough fight to call as much as I like BJ Penn I am going to pick Diaz by decision. Diaz is going stay on top of Penn and wear him out with ground and pound.
What do you guys think? Let’s hear some opinions and see who is right tomorrow night at UFC 137.
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