Tyson Griffin has been an up and coming fighter in the UFC's lightweight division for quite awhile now so it's easy to forget that the guys is only 25 years old. Tyson has quickly gained a reputation as one of the top young fighters at Xtreme Couture. Griffin doesn't necessarily have a lot of knockout power but he does a good job of using his striking to close the distance and setup a clinch and/or takedown. Saturday offers a big opportunity for Tyson to get a high profile win against a solid lightweight opponent. Griffin has a professional record of 13-2 with five wins coming by way of knockout and two wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced so far in his career is 74.1%.
Hermes Franca is a talented veteran fighter that has surprisingly good striking to compliment his submission skills. Hermes comes into this bout having lost two of his last three fights, albeit to top competition. He was unable to overcome the wrestling skills of Sean Sherk and Frankie Edgar and lost both of those fights by decision, but got back in the win column by scoring a decision victory over Marcus Aurelio last October. He has to see this fight as an opportunity to show that he can still defeat a talented wrestler. Franca has a professional record of 19-7 with six wins coming by way of knockout and eleven wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced so far in his career is 65.0%.
I see this fight as a good test for Tyson Griffin. Franca is an experienced veteran and has been in with some accomplished fighters. Griffin is very much still a work in progress but I think that his wrestling ability combined with the coaching that he's receiving at Xtreme Couture will help him get the "W" on Saturday night. My prediction: Tyson Griffin by decision. How do you see this fight playing out?