B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch are just a couple of days away from one of the most hotly contested UFC fights in months when they face off in Sydney, Australia, this Saturday night.
The match will be at 10 p.m. eastern time, but 2 p.m. Sydney time.
In his last fight, Penn, a former lightweight and welterweight champion, defeated Matt Hughes, a UFC Hall-of-Famer, and two-time welterweight champion.
Fitch, considered the second-best welterweight in the division and among the best pound-for-pound fighters alive, has won 20 of his last 21 fights. His only loss was to perhaps the best MMA fighter alive, Georges St. Pierre.
In fact, both Penn and Fitch have lost to St. Pierre, offering a gauge of how their Saturday fight may turn out. Penn lost to St. Pierre twice.
Penn will be the underdog in the fight. He's lost three of his last six fights, and had less impressive showings against St. Pierre than Fitch's one appearance. In Penn's battle with St. Pierre on Super Bowl weekend 13 months ago, Penn's brother stepped in and stopped the fight after the end of the fourth round.
Fitch is considered an excellent wrestler, and probably gave St. Pierre his best biggest challenge in a unanimous decision loss in August 2009.
There is strong reason to believe Fitch can defeat Penn based on previous performance and comparing both fighters' contests with St. Pierre.
Fitch will utilize his ground-and-pound skills. Penn should likely rely on his jab if he expects to pull off the victory.
This is the second straight fight for Penn at the 170-pound division, though he's no newcomer to the welterweight class. Fitch's walking weight is up to 25 pounds more than Penn's weight.
An upset is not out of the realm of possibility. In fact, many experts are predicting an upset win for Penn.
But Fitch has shown no reason to believe he will lose. He finds a way to win, and this fight should be no different.
PREDICTION: Fitch defeats Penn in a unanimous decision.