Saturday, June 20, 2015

UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne preview

I was mainly going to do major events during the summer, but with the UFC World Strawweight Championship on the line today, I felt it was necessary to make some picks today.

Jessica Penne made a decent run during The Ultimate Fighter before losing to eventual champion Carla Esparza. Penne was also a champion at atomweight in Invicta before moving up to strawweight.

Meanwhile, the champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, showcased sheer dominance in victory against Esparza to win the title. That dominance, however, may have been the byproduct of an impressive height advantage. Such an advantage will be nullified with this fight.

Both fighters are proven strikers, but Penne has certainly made a bigger name for herself as a submission artist.

This should prove to be a far more competitive fight than Jedrzejczyk-Esparza if only because Penne has a frame more capable of getting in close to the champion and keeping her on the ground. While I think Esparza is a slightly better striker than Penne, the matchup was simply a poor one.

But don't think that just because I'm expecting a more competitive fight this time around that I'm calling Jedrzejczyk a slouch. Her striking is easily the best I've seen in the UFC strawweight division and I think that it ultimately will prove overwhelming as the fight goes on. My big concern with Jedrzejczyk is that her endurance will get a real test after being held on the ground for a few minutes, which I do expect to happen.

Ultimately, this should prove to be a fight worthy of a lot more hype than it has and certainly deserving of a spot on an actual Fox network. (Seriously, who said this fight should be Fight Pass exclusive?)

German fans in Berlin should expect a great fight that will see the European holding the belt seize control late. I pick Jedrzejczyk by KO in Round 5.

I won't pick the main card, but I'll take Dennis Siver over Tatsuya Kawajiri by KO in Round 1 in the co-main event.

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