The Acer Center in Sydney, Australia is the place to be on Saturday, February 26, 2011 for UFC 127. The top drawing card will be a pair of welterweight with former UFC champion B.J. Penn taking on the top-ranked welterweight Jon Fitch. Let’s preview each of the fights and then give our expert pick.
On the card for the Main Event we find Michael Bisping and Jorge Rivera mixing it up. Rivera wants to be the aggressive kind here and should handle Bisping for the win. In Bisping’s last fight he faced and defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama on 16 October 2010 at UFC 120, winning 30-27 on all three judges’ scorecards. Rivera has a 19-7 record and has won 3 in a row. But of note, he hasn’t fought since March 2010. Rivera rolls in our pick to win at +275
Dennis Siver versus George Sotiropoulos is a fight many people have already written off as an easy win for Sotiropoulos. Both fighters are capable and you could easily see Siver with the upset in this one. Siver has won six of his last seven fights and is a great kickboxer with some Jiu-Jitsu thrown in. Siver is the upset winner in this one with +250 odds.
UFC heavyweight Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson from Sweden entered UFC 105 and quickly got a knock-out of Jared Hamman and since that time has produced very well. He will face James Te-Huna. Gustafsson has been working on his weak points of ground skills and wrestling to make him a more complete fighter. Gustafsson wins here.
Chris Lytle will face Brian Ebersole in a welterweight bout. Lytle has never been knocked out or submitted to defeat in in his MMA career. Lytle was to face Carlos Condit but an injury forced him out and Ebersole replaced him. Brian Ebersole has 62 professional fights in the mixed martial arts world,. This will be his debut in the UFC scene. Ebersole has experience fighting but not at the UFC. Lytle, at -300, wins the match.
Middleweight fight between Kyle Noke and Chris Camozzi is on the card for a main event. Noke is a professional mixed martial artist that spent three years guarding “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin. Noke is trained in boxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Camozzi last won UFC 121 over Dong Yi Yang but had to hold him off with a win in a split decision. A close fight is expected but our prediction is Noke at -210 odds to be crowned the winner.
In the Fitch-Penn battle we find Fitch has won five UFC fights in a row with his grinding, aggressive style of fighting. Penn will have trouble controlling the hands and kicks presented by Penn if he should take him down. Penn has been a winner in two different weight classes. He is a brilliant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter. Fitch is a mixed martial artist that had his 16 straight wins snapped by Georges St-Pierre. Fitch has been in and out of UFC fighting. Our pick is Penn at +165