Business as usual. Props: MMAFighting.com
Let’s get the obvious out of the way as soon as possible: Last night’s UFC 137 was nothing that it was supposed to be. The odds of things playing out as they were supposed to with this card were slim from the beginning, with Nick Diaz compromising the initial main event with his decision to no-show press week and GSP having to withdraw from his match with Carlos Condit. But at least we could rest assured that BJ Penn would deliver some karma to Nick Diaz in the form of a quick beating, right?
Throughout the first round of last night’s main event, it looked that way. BJ Penn’s counter striking proved too much for Diaz early on, as Penn outworked the Strikeforce champion, managing a takedown as well. But by the second round, Nick Diaz came back to take complete control of the fight. His better conditioning allowed him to keep Penn against the cage and unleash strikes at will. By the third round, BJ Penn’s defense was completely ineffective, as Nick Diaz continued to batter Penn. With his eleventh straight victory, Nick Diaz looks as ready for Georges St. Pierre as anyone has in a while. The bout also earned both men the 75k Fight of the Night honors.
Perhaps BJ Penn was just pulling a Jamie Varner last night, and announcing his retirement out of frustration. But if he wasn’t, it’s hard to argue against his decision. BJ Penn is 1-3-1 in his last five fights, with his sole victory coming over the recently retired Matt Hughes. If it wasn’t clear from his draw against Jon Fitch that he would never be a champion in the UFC again, it became pretty obvious after watching him gas out and get picked apart last night. Penn’s legacy can’t improve at this point, but it can certainly diminish with more losses to contenders in the UFC. He’s making the right move by retiring; let’s just see if he actually sticks to it.