BJ Penn and Nick Diaz Head to Head: Who will win at UFC 137Posted on October 27, 2011, 01:50 PM by Trent Reinsmith
BJ Penn and Nick Diaz will meet this weekend at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two will face off in the main event of UFC 137. The winner in this fight could very well find themselves on the short list for consideration for a potential title fight in the not too distant future.
Here’s a preview for one of the more anticipated Welterweight fights in some time:
Striking: 55-45 Nick Diaz
BJ Penn has recently gone on record saying that he thinks Nick Diaz is the best boxer in MMA and while that may very well be true, Diaz lacks the power that Penn possesses. Diaz uses his long limbs to work from the outside while delivering punches in bunches that damage over time. Penn can put his opponent away with one punch, as Matt Hughes recently found out. If Diaz can can keep Penn to the outside and use his reach he does have the advantage here.
Clinch/Dirty Boxing: 60-40 BJ Penn
As stated above Diaz likes to use his reach when striking, if things get in tight the length of his limbs may actually be a hindrance to him. Neither fighter is known much for their clinch work and dirty boxing skills, but Penn takes this category based on his power.
Wrestling: 70-30 BJ Penn
Wrestling is another category that neither fighter seems to excel at. The big knock against Diaz throughout his career has been that he cannot handle wrestlers; it just does not suit his style. Diaz rarely goes for takedowns himself. Penn showed both offensive and defensive wrestling skills in his fight with Jon Fitch, who was an accomplished collegiate wrestler. Penn landed two of his three takedown attempts against Fitch and stopped seven of 11 Fitch attempts. Penn has the advantage in this category.
Submissions: Diaz 65-35
BJ Penn was a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu phenom as a young fighter, gaining his black belt very quickly. Not long after that he became the first non-Brazilian to win the World Jiu Jitsu Championship. Diaz also holds a black belt in Jiu Jitsu and seems perfectly happy to fight off his back whenever the fight goes there. While BJ’s BJJ credentials may be a bit better than Diaz’s, it’s been quite a while since he submitted a fighter. Penn’s last submission win was in 2009 against Kenny Florian where he used a rear naked choke to force a tap. Since 2009, Diaz has three submission wins, and while his competition has not been up to the level that Penn’s has, it seems as if Diaz may be much more comfortable working a submission game at this point than Penn.
Further reading: BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz: Countdown to UFC 137