Nick Diaz batters retiring BJ Penn at UFC 137
Nick Diaz dominated the final two rounds against BJ Penn in a unanimous decision. Diaz outlanded Penn by 100 punches in the second round and cruised to victory over the bloodied former champion. Penn announced his retirement afterward.
Las Vegas, NV, United States
October 30, 2011 07:12 am EDT
Sports, Mixed Martial Arts
Nick Diaz outstruck B.J. Penn to win a unanimous decision victory in the main event of UFC 137, Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Penn, the two-time former UFC champion, won the first round on all scorecard, scoring an early takedown and taking Diaz’s back. Diaz was able to fight his way back to his feet, but Penn outstruck Diaz, who was expected to have a significant advantage in boxing. Penn landed 38 shots in the round to 30 for Diaz.
Diaz took over the fight starting with a dominant performance in round two. Diaz worked Penn’s body, slowing the 32-year old significantly. He then trapped Penn against the cage and battered him with punches. Penn was staggered near the end of the round as Diaz stalked him and landed blows at will.
According to CompuStrike’s count, Diaz outstruck Penn 115 to 15 in the second round, earning a 10-8 edge on one judge’s scorecard.
The third round was nearly as one-sided, with Diaz landing 94 shots to Penn’s 31. Penn’s face was a bloody mess by the end of the round, and there was no question that Diaz held a two-round to one advantage.
Diaz not only landed four times as many punches in the fight but also landed with much greater accuracy. Two thirds of Diaz’s punches landed, compared to 39% for Penn.
Scorecards were 29-27, 29-28 and 29-28, all for Diaz. AHN’s unofficial scorecard was 29-27 for Diaz.
Afterward, Diaz called out UFC Welterweight Georges St. Pierre, who was originally scheduled to fight Diaz on the card. St. Pierre suffered an injury, and Diaz accused him of faking it. However, at the time of GSP’s injury, he was no longer scheduled to fight Diaz.
Diaz refused to participate in pre-fight media appearances and was replaced in the title fight by Carlos Condit.
Penn announced his retirement from the sport afterward, saying, “I've got a daughter; I don't want to go home looking like this.”
Diaz won his 11th straight fight and made a successful return to the UFC in his first bout for the organization since November, 2006.
Penn fell to 16-8-2 and has won just once in his last five bouts.
Two heavyweight bouts highlighted the undercard.
One saw another MMA legend announce his retirement. Roy Nelson won by third round knockout over Mirko Cro Cop.
Nelson took Cro Cop down early, but the veteran of Pride and UFC was able to get back to his feet and land a series of punches, capped by a solid uppercut. All three judges scored the first round for Cro Cop, though many cageside observers disagreed.
Nelson hurt Cro Cop early in the second round, but Cro Cop responded with a series of punches that bloodied Nelson’s nose. Nelson reversed momentum with a takedown into side mount and landed an extended series of ground and pound to close the round. All three judges evened the fight by scoring round two for Nelson.
Nelson rendered the scoring moot by landing a straight right early in the third. He then knocked down the stunned Cro Cop and moved into back control. A series of punches to the side of Cro Cop’s head ended the fight at 1:30 of the third.
Nelson’s ninth knockout snapped a two-fight losing streak and improved him to 16-6. Cro Cop lost his third straight, all by knockout, and announced his retirement with a career record of 27-10-2.
In the other heavyweight showdown, Cheick Kongo won a unanimous decision over Matt Mitrione 30-27, 29-27, 29-28. Kongo won his second straight and is 17-6-2. Mitrione suffered his first career loss after five wins.
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