Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

UFC 127 Preview: What Are We Fighting For Again?

(“Whiter than a band-aid? You’re out of order, Jorge!”)

Everyone’s doing their part to bolster interest in this card. Dana’s doling out title shots again,  Rivera’s gone to Broadway, even the mostly-beloved Octagon girls are pitching in. But beyond loose promises and tight bikinis, this card has meaning. Many of tonight’s combatants are fighting for far more than just another notch in the win-column. Let’s take a look at what’s really on the table tonight in Australia.

Jon Fitch: A legend on his decision-list and a title shot, maybe. Fitch is a good fighter, no doubt, and his victories over tough competition reflect that. What you won’t find on his record, however, is a win over a legend. If Fitch is able to capitalize on his size advantage and use his wrestling skills to wear on Penn, that could change tonight. Win streaks are nice, but every fighter wants a trophy head for their mantle, and few have a name as respected in this sport as BJ Penn. Regarding that title shot, as Fitch has learned before, those things are somewhat fickle.  An exciting win could very well earn him a five-rounder, but–as affectionate nicknames like “Smoke Break” and “Yaaaawn Fitch” allude—exciting fights can be hard to come by.

BJ Penn: Stability, and a new home. Penn has always had an affinity for jumping weight classes, so it’s not a big shock to find him back at welterweight. But after being twice defeated by the new lightweight champ, Frankie Edgar, the step up on the scales hardly seems to be under his own terms. His knock-out victory over Hughes was a good start at welterweight and an emphatic ending to their trilogy, but Hughes’ days at the helm of the division are long gone. Taking out the larger, durable Fitch will soundly announce his arrival at welterweight and establish him as a true threat to any opponent at 170lbs. There’s no shame in losing to a tough competitor like Fitch, but if Penn comes up short he’ll be cast down into the deep waters of the division, and the middle of the class is no place for a Prodigy to be.

Jorge Rivera: Someone to notice him. For a guy with thirteen career fights in the Octagon, Rivera has managed to garner little attention. Some of that can be attributed to his inconsistency- prior to his current 3-fight win streak, “The Conquistador” never had his hand raised twice in a row in the UFC. Another factor, sadly important, is Rivera’s complete lack of charisma. He’s a soft spoken, no-nonsense guy from Boston, or at least he was prior to the boys at Ranger Up dragging him along on a shit-talking campaign the likes of which we’ve rarely seen . Rivera’s comedic timing reminds the viewer of the infantile Olsen twins delivering lines that they could never come up with on their own and can barely read off the cue card. But the skits have us talking about him, a lot, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how the fight plays out. The fans are watching, Jorge. Now give them a reason to want to see more.

Michael Bisping: A bit of bloody respect. Michael Bisping has a name everyone knows, a good record, and nothing to gain in this fight. A win over Rivera doesn’t exactly shoot him into title contention, while a loss against an opponent everyone expects him to beat would be crushing. There was no real upside in it for him until Rivera went all YouTube on his ass. Now “The Count” is angry and looking to silence the uncharacteristically vocal Rivera. With a solid victory, Bisping does his talking in the ring and those videos equate to an epic fail. Losing this fight means never living down the taunts, and Bisping haters—of which there are many—will have a lifetime of ammo to unload.

Chris Lytle: FOTN Bonus, KO Bonus, Submission Bonus, just give him his bonus. Lytle delivers like few other fighters can. He’s officially one fight behind Anderson in terms of all-time performance bonuses, but then again he’s never been publicly put on blast for a less than thrilling performance either. Lytle was looking forward to a battle with Carlos Condit, but injury forced him off the card and Brian Ebersole into the bright lights. This is Ebersole’s first fight in the UFC, but dude’s been around the block. He’s amassed a 46-14 record in practically every organization over the past 11 years. He can put that experience to good use tonight, where an exciting scrap with Lytle can win him new fans even if he doesn’t win the fight.

George Sotiropolis: Separate himself from the herd at 155. With the recent absorption of the WEC’s lightweights and the end of Penn’s dominant reign, the UFC’s 155lb division has been turned on its head. The new blood makes for interesting match-ups across the board, and distancing yourself from the pack has become difficult. With each consecutive win, the clamor for a title shot grows louder, and tonight Sotiropolis will have the chance to extend his UFC record to an impressive 8-0. Maynard’s got next, likely followed by Pettis, so G-Sot will likely have to topple at least one more foe before earning his shot, but a victory tonight will put him right there in contention. Then again, maybe a victory tonight is enough to earn him a title fight and he just has to bide his time. That tends to work out well.

- Chris Colemon

Cagepotato Comments

Showing 1-25 of comments

Sort by : Show hidden comments September 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm
goog site
ghostboner- February 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm
Also, gimmie some love for "Yawwwwwn" Fish. I coined that shit. Probably.
ghostboner- February 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm
FBF - I offer my condolences mate. I think GSot should have fought Pettis, but I guess the turn around was a little quick for Pettis. So now what? Siver vs Pettis? I hope so. That would be an awesome scrap. Spining back kick vs showtime kick. It would look like a capoiera match.
Endless Soldier- February 26, 2011 at 6:31 pm
Hey, Siver's an OK guy. Maybe this wouldn't catapult Soty to No. 1 contender status, but who else are you gonna bring in to fight? Florian and TyGriff just moved to feather, Guida's busy, Maynard's fighting Edgar again, and Gomi's 1-2 and recently submitted to Guida.
fatbellyfrank- February 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Yeah, I've been a bit puzzled by this match up for george, Siver is a solid scrapper, but not top 10, so what does this prove, George wins he was expected to and doesn't change anything in the 155 picture,if hen beats Siver, does this get him a title shot? sureley with his performances so far in the Octagon, he should be fighting for at least #1 contender status by know?
RwilsonR- February 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm
Lytle was screwed out of at least three additional bonuses that he should have received.
skeletor- February 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm
Pettis still has to get through Guida right? That is no easy task for any lightweight. But with this division any contender can fight the champ and make it exciting.
Gener- February 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm
Nope, still don't care about this card.
the chef- February 26, 2011 at 11:59 am
I think that the herd separation will be kept to a minimum for Sotiropolis tonight, considering he's fighting a 50 lightweight.
HusseinObama- February 26, 2011 at 11:53 am
Fuck You Cagepotato!
Morningwood- February 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

And what's a "when streak?" maybe another proof read of the Rivera post CP.

The Bisping fight is either going to be a boring jab fest by Bisping. Or, a KO by Rivera. Somehow I see a Rashad / Thiago Silva fight where Bisping runs all night 1 take down per round and a ton of jabs to a decision. If Rivera can get a hold of him Bisping will be in trouble.

George will submit Siver in rnd2.

Fitch by decision but I do see some good punches thrown in this one by both parties.
kk89093- February 26, 2011 at 10:49 am
Sotiropolis is gonna walk through Siver and he needs tougher opponents. They are running him through the ranks soo slowly to give the logjam in the top of the division time to clear out but he isnt getting any younger. I would say give him a top 5 opponent after this and the winner should get a title shot. He has blown through everyone he has fought so far