UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn is a heavy favorite to hold onto his belt when he takes on Kenny Florian in the main event at UFC 101, but count Randy Couture as one MMA expert who thinks both underdogs have a good chance. I spoke to Couture Tuesday and asked for his opinion on Penn vs. Florian, and although he didn't come right out and pick a winner, he did have favorable things to say about the challenger.
Couture on Penn vs. Florian:
"It's a very, very good fight. I think B.J.'s amazingly talented. His jiu jitsu skills are tremendous. He's got naturally heavy hands and is very good in the stand-up. He's just a tremendous talent. He's very hard to take down and get out of position.
I think Kenny Florian has a great style that matches up well with B.J. His muay Thai skills, his kicking, his long range, his length and his footwork are great. I think if he can weather the early storm with B.J. and take him into the later rounds, I think Kenny Florian has a great chance of winning that fight. He's also a black belt in jiu jitsu so he's not going to be submitted or dominated on the ground. It makes for a great fight."
Couture's comments were part of a longer interview in which he discussed his upcoming fight with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, his involvement with the Sports Legends Challenge and more. Look for Couture's comments on Anderson Silva vs. Forest Griffin on Thursday, and the full interview soon at FanHouse. Follow my UFC Twitter page for updates on all things UFC.