October 29, 2011
LAS VEGAS -- Nick Diaz is nearly uncontrollable, but there's no denying the Stockton psycho is a brilliant fighter.
Diaz's roll continued at UFC 137 as he battered B.J. Penn over three rounds on his way to a unanimous decision victory, 29-28, 29-27 and 29-28, in the main event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Update: Diaz and Penn won the Fight of the Night bonus, good for $75,000 each.
Diaz, an import from Strikeforce where he was the 170-pound champion, has now won 11 straight. He hasn't lost a fight since late 2007.
Following the fight, both fighters were extremely emotional. Looking for UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, Diaz ran around the cage yelling "Where are you Georges?" When he got on the microphone, his fiery take continued.
"I don't think Georges is hurt. I think he's scared. Where you at Georges?" Diaz said during his conversation with Joe Rogan.
When the arena camera panned to GSP, the champ simply shook his head and he put his hands up to act like he was trembling in fear. St. Pierre was originally slated for Saturday night's card against Carlos Condit, but had to pull out last week with a knee injury.
When B.J. Penn spoke with Rogan, he was very down saying that this might be it for him. The 32-year-old has his second child on the way and said he didn't want to go home in the future looking like this.
"This" was a bruised mess. His left eye was almost completely shut.
Penn (16-8-2, 12-7-2 UFC) was extremely competitive early in the fight. He landed the heavier shots in the opening four minutes and crowded Diaz so he couldn't use his distance to his advantage. Then conditioning became an issue as it often does for Penn at 170 pounds. That's an even bigger problem against a guy like Diaz, who's got incredible stamina.
Diaz (26-7, 7-4 UFC) kept pushing forward in the second and Penn started to put his back on the cage. That's a death knell in fighting. Diaz bullied him and got off six or eight punches for every shot Penn returned. The Hawaiian lost the second round badly, but showed some life in the third.
Over the final five minutes, the fighters wailed away on each other, producing one of the best rounds in recent MMA history. Diaz's volume told the story. The California-native attempted 350 strikes and landed 178 to just 88 for Penn.
"It feels good to be back fighting. In the second round I turned it on and tried to take him out. He started going on defense in round three. Things would have been different if there were five rounds," Diaz said. "I would have taken him out for sure in the fourth. B.J. is one of the best there is and not that many would go out there and take all those punches."
Diaz was originally slated for the UFC 137 main event against Georges St. Pierre, but was pulled because he failed to handle his media responsibities. Diaz no-showed two big press conferences. Dana White stuck with Diaz and re-booked him for this dream fight against Penn. It turned out to be a nightmare for Penn, who was unable to attend the postfight press conference.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Cal hoops coach feels 'extremely fortunate' to be alive
• Video: Who are the locks to win in NFL's Week 8?
• 'Blind Side' football coach scores real-life coaching job
Posted Jun 28 2012
Posted Jun 26 2012
Posted Jun 25 2012