On Saturday, December 12, 2009 returns to the Volunteer State for the second time this year with UFC 107 – Penn vs. Sanchez. The event will take place at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, which is home to the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. The main event will feature a lightweight title bout between reigning UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn and the #1 UFC lightweight contender Diego Sanchez in what many feel could be the "Fight of the Year". The co-headliner for UFC 107 will take place in the heavyweight division, as former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir takes on the fierce Savate champion from France in Cheick Kongo. UFC 107 will be televised on PPV starting at 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PST.
Since gaining the UFC lightweight title at UFC 80 in January 2008, B.J. Penn has been steadily solidifying his legacy, as the greatest lightweight fighter of all time. He defended the title successfully against former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk at UFC 84 in May 2008 and then again at UFC 101 against Kenny Florian. Now he looks to take on arguably his most dangerous task to date against TUF 1 middleweight champion Diego Sanchez. After winning TUF 1, Sanchez strung together an impressive 7-2 record in the welterweight division before dropping down to the lightweight division earlier this year. He made his debut at UFC 95, where he earned a unanimous decision over TUF 2 champion Joe Stevenson. He then followed that success with a split decision win over Clay Guida at the TUF 9 Finale in June of this year. Sanchez now will be making his first attempt at a UFC title.
In the heavyweight division, Frank Mir and Cheick Kongo are coming off tough losses over the summer. Mir lost via TKO to UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 100, while Kongo lost via unanimous decision to top heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez at UFC 99. This bout will also be a throwback to the older days of the UFC of grappler vs. striker, due to the huge contrast in fighting styles. Mir is a black belt in jiu-jitsu and is known primarily for his submission skills, while Kongo is a Savate champion known mostly for his striking prowess. This bout will be instrumental for both men, as they look to re-establish themselves in the heavyweight division.
Also on the main card will be a lightweight bout between Penn and Sanchez’s most recent victims, as Kenny Florian takes on Clay Guida. Since making the finals of TUF 1 as a middleweight, Florian has gone on to win two fights at welterweight in the UFC and seven fights at lightweight. The only two lightweight losses on Florian’s record have come during title fights against Sean Sherk and B.J. Penn. Meanwhile, Guida has earned a reputation as one of the most aggressive fighters in the UFC lightweight division, since making his UFC debut the same night Florian fought Sherk for the title at UFC 64. After winning his debut, he has gone on to fight for the promotion a total of nine times, while being extremely competitive in all of his fights. Before dropping the split decision to Sanchez last June, he was coming off of key wins over TUF 6 champion Mac Danzig and TUF 5 champion Nate Diaz.
The main card will also include a welterweight showdown between two of the division’s most talented wrestlers, as Jon Fitch meets Mike Pierce. In the UFC, Fitch has compiled a gaudy 10-1 record with his only losses coming against welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre during their title fight at UFC 87 in August 2008. Meanwhile, Pierce is fresh off of his UFC debut win over former WEC #1 welterweight contender Brock Larson in September at UFC Fight Night 19.
The final bout on the main card, that is guaranteed to be aired on the PPV broadcast, will be a heavyweight clash between Paul Buentello and Stefan Struve. Buentello returns to the UFC for the first time since UFC 57 in February 2006. He has since gone 5-1, while fighting for Strikeforce and Affliction. He will look to slug it out with the 6’11" Dutch fighter Struve, who is 2-1 since making his UFC debut in February at UFC 95. Buentello will look to show everyone why he’s called "The Headhunter", while Struve will look to continue the momentum he has gained by submitting his last two opponents.
-B.J. Penn vs. Diego Sanchez (Lightweight Title Bout)
-Frank Mir vs. Cheick Kongo (Heavyweight Bout)
-Kenny Florian vs. Clay Guida (Lightweight Bout)
-Jon Fitch vs. Mike Pierce (Welterweight Bout)
-Paul Buentello vs. Stefan Struve (Heavyweight Bout)
-Wilson Gouveia vs. Alan Belcher (Middleweight Bout)
-Matt Wiman vs. Shane Nelson (Lightweight Bout)
-Johny Hendricks vs. Ricardo Funch (Welterweight Bout)
-Rousimar Palhares vs. Lucio Linhares (Middleweight Bout)
-DaMarques Johnson vs. Edgar Garcia (Welterweight Bout)
-Kevin Burns vs. T.J. Grant (Welterweight Bout)