UFC 107: Penn mightier than Sanchez

Kevin Iole
Yahoo! Sports

Diego Sanchez garnered much attention in the buildup to UFC 107 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn., for his habit of shouting "Yes! Yes! Yes!" to no one in particular as a way of psyching himself up.

But Sanchez had no answers for lightweight champion B.J. Penn in their title fight, getting badly beaten up and stopped in the fifth round. At the time, it was only the second UFC fight ever to end in the fifth, following Randy Couture's loss to Ricco Rodriguez at UFC 39.

Penn knocked Sanchez down with a powerful right early in the first round and never was in trouble after that. He controlled Sanchez through and dished out insane amounts of punishment.

The end came when Penn kicked Sanchez in the head, followed it with a knee and then with a bunch of punches. Sanchez came out of the exchange with a gaping gash on his forehead and ringside doctors quickly stopped the carnage.

Sanchez had a broken nose, a split lip, the gash on his forehead and was bleeding from the nose, ears and mouth. UFC president Dana White said he had never in his years in the business seen a fighter as beaten up as Sanchez.

The win was Penn's third consecutive successful defense of the lightweight belt he'd won by submitting Joe "Daddy" Stevenson at UFC 80.

NOTEWORTHY

Heavyweight Frank Mir, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, angered his opponent, Cheick Kongo, with his prefight talk in which Mir suggested Kongo had the worst ground game in the UFC. Kongo vowed to make Mir pay, but Mir actually outboxed Kongo, a top kickboxer. Mir knocked Kongo down with a left and then finished him with a guillotine choke, forcing referee Herb Dean to stop the match.

A hotly anticipated rematch between Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves was postponed when Alves injured a knee. Fitch remained on the card and won a unanimous decision over Mike Pierce.

Wilson Gouveia's scheduled middleweight fight with Alan Belcher turned into a 195-pound catch weight fight hours before the weigh-in. Gouveia's team informed the UFC that he couldn't make 185 pounds and asked that it be made a 190-pound bout. But Belcher, in the middle of his weight cut, was already at 195 and saw no use in cutting more. He asked for the fight to be at 195 instead and the UFC granted his request.

Quoteworthy: "It's hard to pick out any weaknesses in B.J. First and foremost, he's a great athlete, which is a phenomenal foundation to start off with. But like [UFC president] Dana [White] said, that's kind of what he coasted on before. He's a great technician when it comes to submissions and also striking." – UFC heavyweight Frank Mir, discussing B.J. Penn's talent.

RESULTS

T.J. Grant def. Kevin Burns, TKO, 4:57 R1
DaMarques Johnson def. Edgar Garcia, submission (triangle choke), 4:03 R1
Rousimar Palhares def. Lucio Linhares, submission (heel hook), 3:21 R2
Johny Hendricks def. Ricardo Funch, unanimous decision
Matt Wiman def. Shane Nelson, unanimous decision
Alan Belcher def. Wilson Gouveia, TKO, 3:03 R1
Stefan Struve def. Paul Buentello, majority decision
Kenny Florian def. Clay Guida, submission (rear naked choke), 2:19 R2
Jon Fitch def. Mike Pierce, unanimous decision
Frank Mir def. Cheick Kongo, submission (guillotine choke), 1:12 R1
UFC lightweight championship: B.J. Penn def. Diego Sanchez, TKO (cuts), 2:37 R5