Sunday, November 21, 2010


Wow, just ... wow. I never would have predicted it in a million years. Yup, it's all true. BJ Penn just knocked out Matt Hughes in only 21 seconds. Penn caught him with a right, dropped him, and immediately swarmed on him with some ground and pound. Hughes never knew what hit him and he was out like a light. After he came to, the first thing said he was "what happened?"


No offense to BJ, really. Hell, I predicted he would win both the Frankie Edgar bouts and wanted to see him immediately redeem himself. But when I heard that his next match would be against Matt Hughes. Hoo-boy, you better believe I thought BJ would be outmatched! Penn's moving up from 155 while Hughes is a more natural 170-pounder. Plus, he's a lot stronger and more powerful than BJ, and he's definitely not lacking the speed and agility department. All that meant to me was that Hughes would be able to get BJ down to the ground, control him enough to avoid any awesome submissions coming his way, and pound his way to victory. That's right. I thought Matt Hughes would win via knockout. Shows what I know, huh?
BJ Penn drops Matt Hughes early in the first round

I never count out BJ Penn, though. He's an amazing fighter and still one of the best lightweights in the world, despite losing two times in a row recently. However, if I ever entertained that he would beat Matt Hughes somehow, I would have honestly chosen submission, and nothing else. BJ is an incredible boxer and he's busted up opponents continuously for the past few years, but it's been a while since he stopped anyone via strikes, so I never entertained that notion. Guess I sorely need to rewatch that Sean Sherk bout, huh?


Another reason I didn't see this fight ending the way it did was because of the "love ins" both fighters made during all their interviews prior to the fight. Both fighters aren't exactly known for their trash talking, but the certainly bring it when the opportunities arise. This time, though, it was all respect this, and idolizing that. Both were criticized for their attitudes, with some critics saying that this was the wrong mental state to be in for a fight that means so much for both of them, what with it being a rubber match and all, and especially for BJ, who's coming off two straight losses. I certainly wasn't one of those critics, and didn't really see the harm in all the positive interviews.

What I did think that sort of attitude would bring was the fight going the distance. I figured that the fight would drag on because both fighters' respected each others' skills too much. Even if the fight did end in a stoppage, I thought it would be in the third round. This just makes the stoppage all the more surprising to me.


BJ Penn finishes Matt Hughes on the ground
BJ was the real mystery here, since he just lost two straight fights and moved up to another weight division. Matt, on the other hand, is coming off three straight wins, with two of them being stoppages, so he's still going strong in this division. It's also not like he lost to just anybody. He lost to BJ Penn, one of the all-time greats, so I'm sure that this doesn't do much to his career, especially with him being a hall of famer and all.

BJ, on the other hand, will probably jump between divisions before getting a shot at another belt. He's currently outmatched by both the current champs in either division he's fighting in, so giving him another title shot too early on wouldn't make sense. He'll most probably need several fights in both divisions to prove his contention once again, and once a top contender spot fills up in either division, he'll probably  be offered it. Only time will tell, but I'm just glad that it's smooth sailing once again for Baby Jay, even though it was an outcome I never expected.

Check out more amazing photos of UFC 123 at the official UFC website!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...