10 Thoughts on UFC 137: BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz

Sure, we might have lost the original main event (GSP vs. Diaz) or the substitute main event (GSP vs. Carlos Condit), but man, Dana White and Joe Silva lucked out by keeping Nick Diaz on the card against BJ Penn, didn’t they?

If a PPV can get me to take a nap to escape my illness and be able to stay up late tonight, it’s a BJ Penn-main evented PPV. Here’s to hoping he delivers.

10. Tyson Griffin ran into a freight train in Bart Palaszewski tonight. Bart said after the fight that he was pretty sure that he broke both of his hands and after you watch some replays, you’ll see why. There were 5-6 punches to Griffin’s forearms and elbows as well just before he was knocked out.

9. The curse of the debuting Japanese fighter continues. Hatsu Hioki looked flat and complete awful in his surprising unanimous decision victory over George Roop. When he was in control of Roop in the mount, he did little more than smother him, not truly working for a submission or delivering ground and pound. A few well-timed elbows would definitely have opened Roop up sooner.

8. Looking at Jeff Curran’s banner, I would never have thought that AlienWare (the computer company) would ever get into MMA promotion. Maybe Jeff knows someone there? Maybe he’s a huge PC gamer? Either way, it was a weird clash of two worlds for me.

I agree with the victory for Jorgensen, but the third round clearly went to Curran. Oh well.

7. OMG, Roy Nelson has lost so much body fat. Good for him. He’s one of those professional fighters that people didn’t take seriously because of his physique and it looks like he might have been one of those people too. Now, with a commitment to his healthy, hopefully the results will follow.

Wow. After Nelson lands a big shot that staggers the legend, Cro Cop comes out like a steam train and rains blows against the cage. Uppercuts and hooks are landing for Mirko Cro Cop and when they separate, Roy is a bloody mess.

Solid end to the 2nd round. Cro Cop was able to withstand a great deal of punishment and continually move his head out of the way (well, he tried to) and did just enough to get through to the third frame.

The finish comes as Nelson capitalizes on a Cro Cop slip, takes his back and pounds him out. It won’t be the end of Cro Cop, but it might be the last time we see him in UFC.

6. And just like that, Cro Cop drops the “retirement” bombshell. After 3 straight losses and a 4-6 overall record at the top flight well past the prime of his career, it’s the right call.

5. Anyone else totally pumped for Matt Mitrione vs. Cheick Kongo? That “shadow boxing” side-by-side graphic still creeps me out. Sort of like Kongo’s chest. He could probably benchpress a small delivery van.

4. Mitrione begins stripping on his way to the Octagon. He’s pretty pumped, I take it. He definitely needs this win if he wants to move into contention. Hard to believe that this is only his 6th career fight. Is it just me or is Cheick Kongo looking scarier than ever? I like him as a fighter, he’s a great wrestler, but he looks scary as sin.

3. Mitrione was smart to pull Kongo in close while they were against the cage. Sure, it looked cheap, but he took next to no damage. The first frame has been nothing but one long feeling out process. The fans didn’t like it and they shouldn’t. Second round wasn’t much better, except for Kongo’s leg kicks are landing. Third round is…

The. Worst. Round. Tonight.

Okay, that’s not fair, there were two big takedowns, but Kongo played it safe after that, it was worse than the Cro Cop fight.

2. BJ Penn’s entrance is still the most amazing thing live. Gives you goosebumps on TV as well.

Wait, why does BJ look like he’s crying on the way to the Octagon. It was a sudden break in character, but he just lost his focus. Son of a … I hope you put money on Diaz. He doesn’t have that killer look tonight. Hopefully he’s ready.

1. When Nick Diaz smells blood in the water, he storms. After a pretty even first round, Nick Diaz just tore him apart in the second round. It was something that we’ve never seen before: someone decimate BJ Penn at something he excels at. Maybe I was wrong when I said Diaz shouldn’t box? Even a low-level opponent would have been interesting for him.

Both fighters are known for big chins. I have no idea why BJ didn’t continue to work for submissions in the first round. He was just outboxed by a better striker and outworked by a better athlete. BJ’s a mess, Nick is marked up a bit, but when it comes down to it, on this night, Diaz was better.

Son of a bitch. Then we lose BJ Penn too? Hopefully, it was just the emotion of losing that’s got him feeling down.

Ugh, damn, this night went from great to poop in three hours. I blame Nick Diaz. He is interesting to watch, though.

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