The 31 year old UFC Lightweight champ and Hawaii native BJ Penn is 5ft 9in tall and weighs in at 155lbs with a 70 inch reach. He holds a black belt in BJJ and is well trained in boxing and kick boxing. Penn’s record stands at 15-5-1(6ko,6sub).
The challenger for the title 28 year old Frankie Edgar is 5ft 6in tall and weighs in at 155lbs with a reach of 72 inches. He holds a purple belt in BJJ and has experience in wrestling and boxing. Edgar’s record stands at 11-1(2ko,3sub).
As usual my fight breakdowns are predictions on how I think the fight will go based on the fighters training histories, records (how many KO or sub wins and losses, and how many fights) and on how I feel the fighters styles may contrast. Please don’t bet the farm based on what I write and feel free to comment or tweet me, these posts are only on Lowkick.com.
On to the gameplans: I feel that Penn, the champion, will be happy to have this fight standing or on the ground with submission victories over Matt Hughes, Kenny Florian, Joe Stevenson and KO wins over Caol Uno, Sean Sherk and Din Thomas. Penn has proved time after time that he can finish fights any way he wants so I think his game plan will be to smother Edgar with aggressive striking and BJJ.
Edgar I think really has his work cut out for him. He is going to need to use great foot work and utilize his reach advantage. He need to sting Penn with jabs like GSP did and try his hardest to man handle Penn with his wrestling skills. He will try to grapple and smother the champ and keep him from finding his rhythm. Edgar will have needed to work on his ground game because he may be able to take Penn down but BJ can easily submit opponents from his back so Edgar will have to watch that he doesn’t walk in to a submission.
How I feel the styles may contrast is that Edgar will attempt the takedowns and BJ will work the subs. He will have seen the Penn vs Sanchez fight and saw what Penn can do on the feet. I think we might see BJ working more off his back and while standing trying to cause damage on the inside neutralizing Edgar’s reach advantage.
So on to the fight prediction.
Round 1- I think the round will start with the two fighters measuring each other with cautious jabs and leg kicks. Penn looks more comfortable in the stand up, Edgar’s jabs are more defensive than offense and BJ is landing some good counter shots. Frankie is shooting for takedowns and in doing so he lands himself in a bad position. Penn has a high guard and tries to pull Edgar’s head down to sink in a triangle, Frankie battles out and the two are on the feet again. BJ rushes in on Frankie and catches him with some good knees in the clinch. Edgar is being stalked and tries to score some strikes but he is picked off by good counter shots. The round ends with BJ winning this one.
Round 2- BJ picks up the pace and lands some leg kicks followed by a big straight right hand but Edgar takes it well and lands a good jab and body kick combo. BJ carrys on boxing using good head movement and footwork to out fox Frankie. Frankie is looking again for the takedown and BJ pulls guard quickly. The champ is moving weel on the ground, twisting and shifting and looking to grab Edgar’s arm. The challenger lands a few shots but leaves himself open. From the bottom BJ twists again and this time he puts his outside leg under Edgar’s chin and cranks on his arm at the same time. As he pushes his opponent away and extends his body BJ has a good arm bar locked in now but Edgar doesn’t tap right away. Penn is grimacing as he puts all his strength into the hold. A thoroughly beaten Edgar is forced to tap before his arm gets snapped. Penn to win by 2nd round submission.
Some info from Wikipedia.org
All predictions and comparisons are original