Griffin vs. Franca

A main card bout set for UFC 103 on Saturday night is between lightweights Tyson Griffin and Hermes Franca.

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Griffin enters the fight as the heavy favorite with a betting line of -270 with Franca given a line of +210 according to online sports book Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Tx. at 10PM ET on pay-per-view.

Tyson Griffin (13-2):

Strengths: Griffin is a tough guy that has a very high motor. Griffin’s fights are never dull as he constantly pushes the pace and combines good boxing with solid wrestling. Griffin doesn’t have a definitive strength other than his ability to stay competitive in any fight. Griffin hasn’t been knocked out or submitted in his UFC career, with an octagon record of 6-2.

Weaknesses: While Griffin has not been stopped in the octagon, he also hasn’t won a fight by knockout or submission in almost three years. Griffin is a solid all-around fighter, but he doesn’t seem to have the ability to finish his opponents. While the lightweight division is very competitive, his inability to finish opponents is what is keeping him from breaking his way into the lightweight championship contender picture.

Last Five Fights:

Unanimous decision win over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 18 on April 1, 2009

Unanimous decision loss to Sean Sherk at UFC 90 on Oct. 25, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Marcus Aurelio at UFC 86 on July 5, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Gleison Tibau at UFC 81 on Feb. 2, 2008

Unanimous decision win ober Thiago Tavares at UFC 76 on Sept. 22, 2007


Hermes Franca (20-7):

Strengths: Franca is a top-level Brazilian jiu jitsu fighter and has his own school to train other fighters. However, Franca doesn’t seem to use his jiu jitsu much anymore as he has tried to rely on his boxing and striking. Franca has good power in his punches, but he throws very unorthodox punches and knees. Franca hasn’t been stopped in a fight since 2005, so he is always a game fighter.

Weaknesses: Franca has not been able to avoid takedowns, which could work for him with his jiu jitsu background, but he hasn’t been able to submit fighters as of late. Franca will need to avoid having to fight Griffin off his back for 15 minutes in order to win. Franca was controlled for 25 minutes by Sean Sherk in a UFC title match back in July of 2007, and Griffin has a very similar style to Sherk.

Last Five Fights:

Unanimous decision win over Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90 on Oct. 25, 2008

Unanimous decision loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 14 on July 19, 2008

Unanimous decision loss to Sean Sherk at UFC 73 on July 7, 2007

Second round TKO win over Spencer Fisher at UFC Fight Night 8 on Jan. 25, 2007

Second round submission win over Nate Diaz at WEC 24 on Oct. 12, 2006


Who will win: This fight almost seems like a lock to go 15 minutes and if it doesn’t that would seem to favor Franca, who would likely win by submission. Griffin is a tough guy that seems to be a bit of a gatekeeper in the division right now and a win on Saturday would help push him into a co-headlining fight in his next appearance. Griffin is still progressing as a fighter whereas Franca seems to be tailing off. I also feel Griffin trains with better fighters while Franca is the best in his school and doesn’t have anyone to push him. I see Griffin getting the decision win over Franca because of these reasons.

Additional Line: Over/Under 11 minutes for fight length. Over (-140) and Under (even).

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Posted: 9/16/09 11:00AM ET


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