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Preview UFC 123 – Jackson vs Machida & Penn vs Hughes

Posted By Gina Caliboso On Nov 20 2010 @ 3:38 pm In All Sports | No Comments

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Hello All UFC Fans -

Tonight I’ll be at one of my many favorite sports bars here in Los Angeles, CA .  And I must admit, I’m looking forward to tonight’s card with the two main matchups: Jackson vs. Machida and Penn vs Hughes, I couldn’t help but wonder just who will win in either bout.  But let me also add that I was also startled when I thought that 3 of these UFC fighters were all but OUT of the UFC.  I suppose that’s the beauty of UFC.  If Kimbo Slice can give it a shot, bonafide MMA veterans such as Jackson, Penn, and Hughes should remain in the sport to carry on the legacy and show that despite the hits, kicks, leg and arm locks, and submissions, they can still handle themselves.

Jackson vs Machida:

I developed a love-hate for Jackson when he served as a Coach on Spike’s The Ultimate Fighter.  I concluded he wasn’t a coach – good fighter, but not a coach.  He is fierce, powerful, and strong and with a 30-8 record, he can win by striking.  UFC lists his fights as 77% striking, 23% takedowns.  And no, I didn’t watch him when he played BA on the A-Team.  I won’t necessarily hold that against him.

As for Machida, 16-1, astounding technique as far I can see.  Statistically, his fights have been 29% submission, 26% takedowns, and 45% striking.  It’s shows a great balance between both stand-up and ground game.  It should be an interesting match-up with Jackson’s tendency to strike and takedown.

If on the ground, Machida will win.  If primarily stand-up, Jackson will win.  I just gave a 50-50 matchup, but we’ll see as far as strength vs technique works.

Prediction: Machida by submission

BJ Penn vs Matt Hughes

Both Penn and Hughes are veterans to the octagon – a true rematch.  Hughes, 45-7, has proven wrestling, standup, and takedown ability(46% takedowns, 24% striking, 30% submissions).  If Hughes can fight his fight on the takedowns and submissions, he will take the fight.

Penn, 15-6-1, has excellent standup and striking ability.  If he can nail Hughes early in the standup and striking, he can frustrate and wear out Hughes who probably would prefer to take the fight to the wrestling.  The matchup will be a test for both fighters to see how far each have evolved into better fighters.

Prediction: Penn by striking

So, there are my predictions – in between my pitchers of Stella and bar food, I’ll be just as curious and anxious to see how these bouts will turn out!  Enjoy the fights!

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