LWOS Picks the Fights: UFC Fight Night 69

UFC Fight Night 69 emanates live on UFC Fight Pass on Saturday afternoon from the O2 World in Berlin, Germany. Last Word on Sports MMA crew – Matt Creed, Trent Dozier, Joey Garner, Michael Hutchinson, Daniel Marino, Stephen Rivers and Jon Shipman – bring you their picks and analysis for the main card fights.

UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (c) vs Jessica Penne

Picking Jedrzejczyk: Creed, Dozier, Garner, Hutchinson, Marino, Rivers, Shipman
Picking Penne: none

Rivers: “Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a truly fantastic fighter but as I’ve said on the site before, I get the impression a lot of the time that people put all their focus on her last fight and forget everything that came before it. She isn’t miles ahead of the rest of the division, or she wouldn’t have been taken to a close decision by Claudia Gadelha (which many thought she lost), nor would she have been taken the distance by Julianna Lima. Jedrzejczyk isn’t some sort of one round wrecking machine. If I were to create a fighter to beat her it would be a suped-up version of Jessica Penne. She has no real wrestling to speak of, but is good in the clinch and has some really nice throws and trips, which would serve as the best bet for getting the fight down to the ground. Once there she would have a big advantage. On the feet she’s got a good range and a decent jab that she can work behind. She’s not going to be able to stand with Jedrzejczyk and win, but she should be able to keep it more competitive than Carla Esparza did in their fight. I like Jedrzejczyk here, but it’ll be more competitive than people think, possibly even going into the championship rounds, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being a one sided decision.”

Dennis Siver vs Tatsuya Kawajiri

Picking Siver: Garner, Hutchinson, Shipman
Picking Kawajiri: Creed, Dozier, Rivers

Dozier: “Dennis Siver vs Tatsuya Kawajiri is a fight between two true veterans of the sport. Between them, they have a total of 76 professional fights. However, both men are getting up there in age, and a title run for either seems a bit farfetched at this point in their careers. Doesn’t mean they’re not fun to watch, because they both still are. Kawajiri’s strongest aspect of his game is his wrestling and submissions. Siver has more than passable takedown defense, and on the feet, Siver should have a distinct advantage. Everything analytical in my brain says Siver fends off Kawajiri takedowns and outstrikes him on the feet en route to a decision win. But from Shooto to PRIDE to DREAM to Strikeforce and now the UFC, I’ve been a massive Kawajiri fan, so I think he can grind out a decision here. Classic case of one picking with their heart, rather than their mind.”

Peter Sobotta vs Steve Kennedy

Picking Sobotta: Creed, Dozier, Garner, Hutchinson, Rivers, Shipman
Picking Kennedy: Marino

Shipman: “Two fighters on two long win streaks. It’s going to be tough for any new fighter to break into the top 20 of the welterweight division, let alone the top 10. This is not Peter Sobatta’s first run in the UFC; back in 2009-2010, he was bested by a couple of Brits, followed by a non-descript draw that saw him cut. Since then on the regional circuit, he has amassed enough wins to be brought back for another go. This time he got it right, seeing off Pawel Pawlak just this May. Steve Kennedy shouldn’t even be fighting on this card. A replacement for Sobatta’s pervious opponent Sergio Moraes, it’s definitely Sobatta that has lucked out here. Having been cut once already, Moraes would have been too big a step up in competition for Sobatta right now. Instead, welcoming a UFC newcomer should be just the ticket. Little is known about the Aussie Kennedy, other than the fact he is riding a seven fight win streak. The UFC lights can do strange things to a person and it’s only until you get that first performance out of the way that you can truly gauge what a fighter is like. Sobatta should be better prepared, and needs to take advantage of this situation to have any chance of getting a shot at the likes of Moraes and moving up the rankings. Sobatta should take this, but only by decision.”

Nick Hein vs Lukasz Sajewski

Picking Hein: Creed, Dozier, Garner, Hutchinson, Rivers
Picking Sajewski: Marino, Shipman

Marino: “While most people may be tempted to go with the more experienced (quality of opponents wise) Nick Hein when picking this bout, I tend to lean more towards the undefeated Lukasz Sajewski. We haven’t seen much from Sajewski, and if you only watch UFC fights, you haven’t seen the debuting fighter at all, but I like his chances to turn heads with a submission win. I’m by no means sleeping on Hein however, who is the favorite for a reason.”