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Yair Rodriguez vs. B.J. Penn UFC Fight Night 103 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 1/15/17

Penn vs. Rodriguez

UFC: Sunday, January 15, 2017 (Talking Stick Resort Arena)

The Line: Rodriguez -460 / Penn +365 -- Over/Under: 2.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

Yair Rodriguez and B.J. Penn fight Sunday night during UFC Fight Night 103 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Yair Rodriguez enters this fight with a 9-1 record and is winning 56 percent of his fights by decision. Rodriguez has won his last six fights and is coming off a August win over Alex Caceres. Rodriguez is averaging 3.72 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 42.3 percent. Rodriguez is averaging 1.55 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Rodriguez has been nothing but money since joining UFC a few years ago and is one of the top rising stars at just 24 years old. Rodriguez is an athletic fighter who puts his 41-inch leg reach to good use and has a lot of stamina to go the distance and wear down his opponent. Rodriguez may not be a flashy finisher, but his style is effective and he’s proven to be a force at such a young age. This will be Rodriguez’s first fight in Arizona.

Yair Rodriguez vs. B.J. Penn UFC Fight Night 103 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 1/15/17

USA TODAY Sports

B.J. Penn enters this fight with a 16-10-2 record and is winning 44 percent of his fights by knockout. Penn has lost his last three fights and is coming off a 2014 loss to Frankie Edgar. Penn is averaging 2.1 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 50.1 percent. Penn is averaging 1.31 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 55 percent. Penn is arguably the greatest lightweight of all time who has knockout power and is more than comfortable on the canvas. The problem is that Penn hasn’t fought since July of 2014 and hasn’t won a fight since November of 2010. It’s safe to say Penn is on the downside of his career at 38 years old and the time out of the octagon can’t exactly help. However, Penn is wildly experienced and can’t be overlooked due to his hall of fame track record. This will be Penn’s first fight in Arizona.

This chalk is insane given that Penn is a hall of fame fighter and has forgotten more about MMA than Rodriguez knows at his young age. However, you just can’t back Penn given his age, recent performances and the time out of the octagon. Rodriguez is the better fighter right now and has looked sharp since joining the UFC. We see fighters and boxers struggle to leave the sport alone all the time, trying to make a comeback and it usually doesn’t end well. Father time is undefeated.

Give me Rodriguez in this fight for his seventh straight victory.

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Yair Rodriguez

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