There is a glaring lack of contenders for Jose Aldo's UFC featherweight championship right now, something that many lightweights are keenly aware of. It's not surprising that former lightweight stalwarts are dropping to 145 to try and cash in, and two of them are facing off in the first fight on Spike TV. Tyson Griffin (15-5, 8-5 UFC) meets Bart Palaszewski (34-14, 0-0 UFC) in a featherweight bout at UFC 137.
Griffin is currently ranked at number 9 at featherweight on the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, while Palaszewski is currently unranked. Griffin has just one UFC fight at featherweight, but his reputation as a lightweight and a lack of contenders at FW pushed him up the rankings quickly. Bartimus would definitely earn a ranking if he could knock off Griffin. This featherweight UFC 137 fight will be on the televised portion of the preliminary card, and will air live on Spike TV. The Spike broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Griffin: 27 years old | 5'6" | 68" reach
Palaszewski: 28 years old | 5'9" | 70" reach
What have these two done recently?
Griffin: W - Manny Gamburyan (MD) | L Nik Lentz (SD) | L - Takanori Gomi (KO)
Palaszewski: L - Kamal Shalorus (SD) | W - Zach Micklewright (KO) | W - Karen Darabedyan (SUB)
How did these two get here?
Tyson Griffin won seven straight fights to earn his way into the UFC in 2006 as a lightweight. Despite an early loss to current LW champ Frankie Edgar, Griffin made his way into the upper echelon of the 155 pound division with wins over the likes of Clay Guida and Gleison Tibau, before running into Sean Sherk and dropping a decision. Two more wins kept him near the top, but the wheels fell off for Griffin in 2010 with three straight losses. That forced a drop to featherweight, where he beat former title contender Manny Gamburyan in his 145 pound UFC debut (he fought at FW early in his career as well) at UFC on Versus 4. Griffin has won five fight of the night bonuses in his career.
Bart "Bartimus" Palaszewski has been competing in MMA for almost 10 years now, and has fought all over the place. After a long run in the IFL he was brought into the WEC, where he went a respectable 4-3. His UFC debut was supposed to come back at UFC 130 but he was forced off the card with an injury. This will be the first featherweight fight of his career.
Why should you care?
This should be a fast-paced matchup between two well-rounded guys. There's almost no way it will be boring.
More UFC 137 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
UFC 137 Weigh In Video: BJ Penn and Nick Diaz Almost Come To Blows - Matthew Roth
UFC 137: Mirko Cro Cop vs. Roy Nelson Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 137 Penn vs Diaz: Staff Predictions
UFC 137 Weigh-In Video and Results - Tim Burke
UFC 137: Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 137: Scott Jorgensen vs. Jeff Curran Dissection - Dallas Winston
Judo Chop: B.J. Penn's Back Control - Ben Thapa
UFC 137: The Sober Reality of Nick Diaz's Continued Presence in MMA - Leland Roling
UFC 137: Dana White Video Blog, Part 2 - Matthew Roth
Judo Chop: Nick Diaz's Ground Game - Ben Thapa
UFC 137: George Roop vs. Hatsu Hioki Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 137 Striking Breakdown: Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic - Fraser Coffeen
UFC 137 Press Conference Recap: Jon Anik to Broadcast Booth, UFC on Fox Undercard on Facebook and Fox.com - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 137 Video: B.J. Penn Challenges Cesar Gracie, Admits to Being 'Hookwinked' By Him - Tim Burke
UFC 137: Roy Nelson 'I'd Have to Cut Off A Leg To Make 205' - Matthew Roth
Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 92: UFC 137 Preview - Matt Bishop
UFC 137 Video: Nick Diaz Goes In-Depth About Press Conference Fiasco, Not Loving Fighting - Tim Burke
UFC 137: The Card That Could Have Been and the PPV Repercussions - Matthew Roth
UFC 137 Video: B.J. Penn Talks Fighting Nick Diaz and Future Title Shots - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 137: B.J. Penn Explains Lack of Hype for Nick Diaz Fight - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 137: Nick Diaz Wishes He'd Stuck to Boxing Plans - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 137: George Roop Discusses Bout With Hatsu Hioki, Death of Shawn Tompkins - Tim Burke
UFC 137 Video: Danny Downes Fighter Diary In Preparation for Ramsey Nijem - Anton Tabuena
UFC 137: Tyson Griffin vs. Bart Palaszewski Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz Betting Lines - Tim Burke
UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz Countdown Video - Tim Burke
UFC 137: Dennis Siver vs. Donald Cerrone Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 137: Matt Mitrione's Rapid Rise the Exception, Not the Rule - Leland Roling
UFC 137 Roundtable: Analyzing Nick Diaz's Chances Against B.J. Penn
UFC 137: Nick Diaz Discusses Looking Up to B.J. Penn, Gameplanning - Tim Burke
UFC 137: Breaking Down the Striking of Matt Mitrione - Fraser Coffeen
UFC 137: B.J. Penn Not Offended By Nick Diaz At All - Tim Burke
UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz - Best Bets for Fight of the Night - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 137: Donald Cerrone's Unlikely Run May Land Him in Title Contention - Leland Roling
UFC 137: Facebook Card Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC 137: Dana White Video Blog, Part 1 - Tim Burke
UFC 137: Cesar Gracie - If Nick Diaz Finishes B.J. Penn, He Should Get GSP Next - Tim Burke