Technique or power, ground or striking? Typical questions for any match up, but in this one it's a bit cloudy. BJ's prowess on the ground is well know, but his finishes on the ground typically are initiated with strikes. Penn has greatly improved his cardio and has very smooth technical boxing with the fortunate addition of heavy hands. On top of all that, at light weight he's surprisingly strong and was not at a strength disadvantage with even the likes of Sherk. In the 155 division, no one has had enough power to control Penn on the ground, clinch, or feet. Does Florian?
Kenny, has continued to grow as a fighter as well as physically. He's put on a good amount of muscle over the last two years and now is able to comfortably grapple with any lightweight without having to rely solely on technique. His Muy Thai is also very impressive, especially his use of kicks to maintian a reach advantage and create space against grapplers.
In my eyes, Kenny is still at a disadvantage in most aspects of this fight. His striking is good but, it takes overwhelming power to control BJ so you can pummel that rock of a head endlessly (St. Pierre). He's a BJJ black belt, but he's not submitting the Hawaiian gumby. His best chance is the not so exciting prospect of out working BJ for 5 rounds. The last one is a real probability and if Florian can avoid getting lit up in the first two rounds he'll have a real chance of picking away at BJ in the final 3 rounds to pull out a huge decision.
My pick is BJ Penn to hand Kenny his first TKO loss since Diego lit him up in 2005. But if yo u think he can weather the storm and don't trust BJ's conditioning there's value in a Florian bet at +200.
You wanna make a bet....