Penn vs. Sanchez
The main event of UFC 107 is a lightweight championship bout between champion B.J. Penn and contender Diego Sanchez.
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The champion Penn enters the fight as the favorite with a betting line of -300 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Sanchez has a money line of +230 for the fight. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this main event bout, which will take place from the FedEx Forum in
B.J. Penn (14-5-1):
Strengths: Penn is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world as he combines boxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu flawlessly. Penn has some of the fastest hands in MMA, and uses his quick jab to ware down opponents before exploding with hooks and uppercuts. Penn also has amazing flexibility which allows him to avoid being taken down and also allows him gain advantages on the ground. His legs are almost used like another set of arms.
Weaknesses: Penn has struggled with two things in his career, conditioning and bigger fighters. Penn has tried to be very explosive in the past which led to him gassing in later rounds and he also has struggled against fighters that are larger than him and can ware him down by making him carry their weight for extended amounts of time. Sanchez is a fighter that is coming down in weight from welterweight, where he had great success.
Last Five Fights:
Fourth round submission win over Kenny Florian at UFC 101 on Aug. 8, 2009
Fourth round TKO loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94 on Jan. 31, 2009
Third round TKO win over Sean Sherk at UFC 84 at May 24, 2008
Second round submission win over Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 on Jan. 19, 2008
Second round submission win over Jens Pulver at Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale on June 23, 2007
Diego Sanchez (23-2):
Strengths: Sanchez fights with a lot of energy and explosion. Sanchez is best known for his wrestling and his ground-and-pound abilities. Sanchez can also take a punch as he has never been knocked out or submitted in a fight.
Weaknesses: Sanchez has struggled against guys that are better wrestlers and ground fighters than him. Penn is clearly the better ground fighter and Sanchez’ boxing is not up to par with Penn either. Sanchez will have to push a very frantic pace and find ways to keep his weight on Penn in hopes to tire him and get the fight in his favor.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Joe Stevenson at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009
Third round TKO win over Luigi Fioravanti at Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale on June 21, 2008
First round submission win over David Bielkheden at UFC 82 on March 1, 2008
Who will win: Sanchez is a good fighter and the top contender for the Lightweight Championship, but Penn just seems to be better in almost every aspect of fighting. Looks for an exciting fight, but ultimately for Penn to outclass Sanchez and earn a submission victory in the third round due to a rear-naked choke.
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Posted: 12/11/09 2:12PM ET