After being badly beaten and bloodied en route to a unanimous decision loss at UFC 137, former lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn announced in his post fight interview that he intends to retire from MMA. “This is probably the last time you’re ever going to see me here,” said Penn. “I’ve got a daughter and another daughter on the way. I don’t want to go home looking like this. I’m done.” If this is indeed the end of the Prodigy, his career in the Octagon is certainly one to be remembered. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment is being one of two men to hold championships in two weight classes, the other being UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. Penn first captured the welterweight belt in 2004, defeating long reigning champion Matt Hughes. Penn would later be stripped of the belt following contract disputes, but would later return to the organization and win the lightweight championship in 2008. After several title defenses at 155, Penn was beaten by Frankie Edgar and was again defeated in a rematch, prompting a return to welterweight. His first fight back at 170 was a rubber match against Matt Hughes. Penn secured the victory early, knocking Hughes out in just 21 seconds, avenging a loss to Hughes and settling the score between the two. After fighting to a draw with Jon Fitch, Penn was expected to face Carlos Condit at UFC 137, but after some shuffling of fights for the event, Penn was given Nick Diaz. Diaz battered Penn for the final two rounds, and won the fight, unofficially sending the Hilo native into retirement. Assuming that last night is the last time BJ Penn will set foot in the Octagon, a quick look at his numbers says it all. A 16-8-2 record, one time welterweight and one time lightweight champion and the record holder for most wins at lightweight with ten and most successful title defenses with three. Those numbers, mixed with BJ having been with the UFC and Dana White since the very early days of Zuffa, all but guarantees him a spot alongside legends like Chuck Liddell and rival Matt Hughes in the Hall of fame.
One fight on next week’s UFC 137 card is carrying more weight than the rest for both the fighters and the organization itself. The headliner, BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz has title implications at 170, but, win or lose, both men will no doubt live to fight another day in the UFC. Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione, which received the bump up to co-main event after Georges St. Pierre’s knee injury postponed his title fight with Carlos Condit, will be a great fight, but both fighters are coming off of wins and surely, both will have their jobs Sunday morning regardless of the outcome of their fight. The one contest that Dana White will be watching very closely is 2006 PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix winner Mirko Cro Cop vs. Ultimate Fighter Season 10 winner Roy Nelson.One fight on next week’s UFC 137 card is carrying more weight than the rest for both the fighters and the organization itself. The headliner, BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz has title implications at 170, but, win or lose, both men will no doubt live to fight another day in the UFC. Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione, which received the bump up to co-main event after Georges St. Pierre’s knee injury postponed his title fight with Carlos Condit, will be a great fight, but both fighters are coming off of wins and surely, both will have their jobs Sunday morning regardless of the outcome of their fight. The one contest that Dana White will be watching very closely is 2006 PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix winner Mirko Cro Cop vs. Ultimate Fighter Season 10 winner Roy Nelson.Both fighters are on a two fight losing streak and are fighting to keep their spot on the heavyweight roster. Cro Cop is nearing the end of his illustrious career and may choose to retire after this fight, win or lose, however after entering the UFC with a 21-4-2 record, he has posted a mediocre record of 4-5 inside the Octagon.Roy Nelson needs a win to show that he is still committed to the sport. After defeating Brendan Shaub to win TUF 10 and scoring a highlight reel knockout over Stefan Struve, Nelson has lost his last two fights, one a title eliminator to Junior dos Santos, and the other to former champion Frank Mir. The two losses have shown that if Nelson wants to be a contender, he is going to have to push it to the next level, and that push should start with his weight.UFC President Dana White has a large investment in this fight. Cro Cop was a huge addition when he was brought in from PRIDE in 2007, but has hardly lived up to expectations. A win for him would at least give him the option of going out with a win and retiring with a .500 record in the UFC.A loss for Roy Nelson would paint him as the latest in a string of TUF winners who haven’t lived up to the hype. The quality of the winners has been declining since the second season and the show has gone from a showcase for struggling fighters waiting for their chance to make it big, to a place for second-tier fighters to get a shot at the UFC that they would otherwise never see.Cro Cop vs. Nelson pits two of Dana White’s investments, with both desperately needing a win to stay relevant and to make the boss look good. The loser will more than likely have fought for the last time in the UFC. Forget Silva vs. Sonnen 2, this is a real “Loser Leaves Town”.
The WBC, whose Light Heavyweight Title was at stake last Saturday night, has declared that the ruling of a TKO 2 against champion Bernard Hopkins was wrong, and that the official decision will be entered into the books as a Technical Draw.
The WBC’s Board of Governors, after reviewing the video of the fight, unanimously declared that ruling a few hours ago. Their decision lifts the title from the head of Chad Dawson, who was wrongly awarded the TKO victory by referee Pat Russell after Dawson had thrown Hopkins off of him, causing him to land awkwardly on his left side, dislocating his left shoulder as he landed.
The Board not only examined the videos of the fight. which was seen on HBO PPV, but the medical report from California Hospital Medical Center, where Hopkins was taken after the fight. He was x-rayed and examined by Dr. Sam Thurber, who diagnosed the champion with a “separation of the acromioclavicular (A-C) joint which connects the collar bone and shoulder blade.”
The California State Athletic Commission is not expected to rule on the outcome of the bout until their next meeting, which is apparently not scheduled until December. It will be interesting to see how they rule. If they rule in favor of a Technical Draw or a No Contest, Hopkins will obviously retain his title. However, if they somehow allow the ruling to stand, you will have the state commission calling Dawson the winner, but the sanctioning body saying nobody won, meaning Hopkins still is the champion.
The educated guess from this corner is that the CSAC will go along with the ruling of the WBC. This is one time I can honestly say the WBC is 100% correct.
Join RJ, Bones & me for today’s show, when we have one helluva’ lineup of guests: Roy Nelson…Gilbert Melendez…Danny Acosta…the Comic Book Guy…& Dustin Neave from the Ultimate Fighter. Listen to us live from 4-6 pm (ET) on Sirius channel 94, XM 208. Call-in toll-free at 1-866-522-2846.
Dana White said UFC on Fox would be huge and today, he made an announcement showing just how huge it would be. The UFC president announced today that the main event on the inaugural UFC on Fox card would be heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez defending his title for the first time against Junior dos Santos. This fight is being moved off of UFC 139 to the Fox card, currently leaving UFC 139 without a clear main event.
The decision to have Velasquez vs. dos Santos on Fox shows that the UFC is really looking to make waves with the Fox deal. Unlike most UFC on Versus cards that feature a main event with fighters that normally wouldn’t make the main card of a PPV, UFC on Fox is coming out of the gates featuring one of the most heavily anticipated match ups since Velasquez faced Brock Lesnar last October.
Velasquez has been out of action since the fight with Lesnar due to a torn rotator cuff and dos Santos hasn’t fought since UFC 131 where he won a unanimous decision over Shane Carwin. Both men hold a record of 7-0 inside the Octagon, and both are known for finishing fights early. Velasquez finished his last two opponents in the first round, and became the first person to knockout Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira when they met at UFC 110. Dos Santos has won his last two fights by decision, but prior to his fight with Roy Nelson, he had finished all of his previous opponents.
As usual, when dealing with two top tier heavyweights, it is unlikely that this fight will go to decision, but it is also unlikely that they will not put on a great show.
“We want to deliver to our partners and fans and really kick it off with a bang,” said Dana White. “What better way to kick it off than with a heavyweight title fight?”
“Tonight, Brazil won.” Those were the words out of middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s mouth after he successfully defended his championship for a record ninth time. Aside from hosting its first UFC event in 13 years, Brazil saw its fighters go 7-1 against their non-Brazilian opponents. Former PRIDE stars Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua both picked up victories via first round knockout, with Nogueira being awarded Knockout of the Night honors. Overall, the night in Rio couldn’t have gone much better for the country that many would consider to be the Mecca of MMA.
Anderson Silva, who is possibly the best known Brazilian mixed martial artist today, used the opportunity to fight in his homeland to avenge the most recent blemish on his stellar record, and is now running low on new opponents. Dana White has already announced that Silva will most likely face either Chael Sonnen or Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson. Both have the potential to be great fights, but both are rematches. Silva has already defeated both via submission, Henderson in 2008 and Sonnen in 2010.
Silva has stated that he plans on staying in the 185 lb. weightclass , meaning unless some new talent springs up, or moves up (cough.. GSP…) we will probably be seeing the Spider double dipping until he decides to retire.
Tonight marks the first time the UFC will set foot in Brazil in almost 13 years. The last time an event was held in the country, Frank Shamrock was defending the 205 lb championship, a weight class that was then known as middleweight, and Pat Miletich won the inaugural lightweight championship, now known as the welterweight class. Anderson Silva was a young 23 year old with only two fights under his belt. Now, over a decade and 8 consecutive title defenses later, Silva will once again put his belt on the line, this time against Yushin Okami.
Okami comes into the rematch holding the honor of being the last person to defeat Anderson Silva. In 2006 the two met in the Rumble on the Rock Welterweight Tournament. Okami had Silva on his back when Silva cracked him with an illegal upkick, nearly knocking the Japanese native unconscious, forcing the referee to stop the fight and declare Okami the winner via disqualification.
When they meet tonight, both figher’s strategies will be the same. Okami will do his best to get the fight on the ground, while Silva will be trying to keep the fight standing where he can utilize his world class Muay Thai kick boxing that has won him an astonishing 17 fights via knockout.
Most analysts are calling Silva the favorite in this fight, but Yushin Okami has one ace up his sleeve that could play a major role in the outcome of this main event. Okami has been training with Chael Sonnen, the man who took Silva to the fifth round of their fight before being submitted via triangle choke. Sonnen was not only able to get Silva to the ground, but also control him there. Over four and a half rounds, Sonnen pounded Silva on the ground and Sonnen has no doubt passed along everything he could to Okami to help him dethrone the seemingly unbeatable Brazillian.
Tonight, Anderson Silva is going to do everything in his power to give his hometown crowd something to cheer about and judging by his last 13 fights, a.k.a., his entire UFC career, things look good for the fans in Rio.
TUF alum and former welterweight number one contender Josh Koscheck’s return to the Octagon is set for UFC 139 in November. Koscheck, who was also a coach on the Ultimate Fighter, announced via Twitter that he will most likely be fighting at 185 lbs, where he has not fought since his UFC debut at TUF 1 Finale, a fight which he won via KO in the first round.
Since his debut, Koscheck has defeated almost every top welterweight in the UFC not named Georges St. Pierre. GSP however, has defeated Koscheck twice, most recently at UFC 124 last December. Koscheck’s move up to middleweight, at least for the time being, looks like an admission of St. Pierre’s superiority. In their most recent bout, “Kos” was unable to mount any significant offense, and was on the losing end of a unanimous decision. He also suffered a broken orbital bone which caused him to be out of action for the last nine months.
If Koscheck can win his first few fights at middleweight, he will definitely find himself near the top of the list of contenders for the belt, and if Anderson Silva is still champion at that time, Koscheck’s style makes him a good match-up against the Brazilian. Chael Sonnen used his wrestling base to write the script on how to beat Silva, but was famously submitted by a fifth round triangle choke.
Koscheck, like Sonnen, has great top control but also has solid submission defense, only being submitted once in his career making it unlikely that Silva could pull another rabbit out of his hat. If middleweight does indeed become Koscheck’s new home, he has the potential to make an immediate impact at 185.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua knows about avenging his losses. In 2009 Shogun knocked out Mark Coleman at UFC 93, avenging a 2006 loss in PRIDE. The next year, Shogun knocked out Lyoto Machida in a rematch to win the UFC light heavyweight title after losing a paper thin decision in their first fight. Now, at UFC 134 in his native Brazil, Rua will try to avenge his loss to former champion Forrest Griffin.
In Shogun’s UFC debut, Forrest Griffin took the fight to the third and final round before finishing Rua via rear naked choke. Shogun did not look to be in peak physical condition for the fight, and certainly did not look like the man who, while still in PRIDE, defeated Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona in the same night to win the Middleweight Grand Prix.
After being dismantled by Jon Jones in his last fight, questions are being raised as to which Shogun Rua will step into the cage against Griffin. Will we see the aggressive Shogun who goes after his opponents with an unparalleled killer instinct, or will we see the Shogun who struggles to get through the second round of a fight, ala Rua – Griffin 1.
Rua is not one to make excuses. He says his knees, which have required multiple surgeries, are 100% and that he is completely healthy coming into UFC 134, but healthy or not, Shogun will always be a warrior.
According to Dana White, Brock Lesnar is healthy again and will ring in the new year in the Octagon. The former heavyweight champion says he is over his second case of diverticulitis and feels great following a May surgery that removed 12 inches of his colon. In an interview with ESPN, Dana White said that Lesnar is planning his return for New Year’s Day.
Lesnar’s last fight was in October of 2010 when he lost his championship to Cain Velasquez via first round TKO. Following that loss, he was named a coach of TUF but after the season was filmed, Lesnar was again diagnosed with diverticulitis, forcing him to pull out of his fight with fellow coach, Junior dos Santos. He has been sidelined since then, and with the acquisition of Strikeforce and talks of Alistair Overeem coming to the UFC, Lesnar’s name has been thrown to the wayside when talking about heavyweight title contenders.
Lesnar’s opponent has not yet been announced, but Brock fully expects to win this fight and be back on track for the title. “I feel like a new man, healthy, strong, I feel like I used to feel,” he said, “My health is 100 percent, I feel great, my motivation is there and I want to get on the map again. I want to become the UFC heavyweight champion again, and I believe I will do that.”
Lesnar has been one of the biggest draws ever since he was signed to the UFC in 2008 and was listed as the highest paid MMA fighter in a 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine. A Brock Lesnar comeback, linked with a brand new contract with Fox Networks could mean big things for the already gigantic promotion.