UFC 137 BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz Live Results: Cro Cop, Penn Retire?
UFC 137 takes place from Las Vegas Saturday night headlined by a welterweight bout between Nick Diaz and B.J. Penn. Both are action fighters with fan pleasing styles. Diaz is looking to secure a UFC welterweight title shot against Georges St. Pierre, a fight he had scheduled before he skipped a pair of press conferences promoting the event. Penn is a former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion, one of St. Pierre's top career rivals.
Dustin Jacoby vs. Clifford Starks
Jacoby is an undefeated Illinois prospect making his UFC debut. He possesses unusual height for a middleweight fighter. Starks is an undefeated Arizona Combat Sports fighter with a collegiate wrestling background also making his UFC debut.
Round 1. Neither man throws much at the start of the contest. Each throws out a few jabs, with Starks collecting a little bit more. Starks connects with a few straight punches but they don't have a lot of power behind them. Starks lands a straight right punch that is the best blow of the round three minutes in. Jacoby answers with a couple of quality hooks. As Jacoby throws a punch, Starks changes levels and secures a takedown with 30 seconds left in the round. Jacoby looks for a kimura as the round comes to a close. Dull round. 10-9 Starks.
Round 2. Jacoby lands a hard straight right punch early in the round. Jacoby then lands a spinning back kick to the body. Jacoby lands another straight right punch moments later. Starks responds by getting more aggressive, moving forward with straight punches. There is very little diversity in the offense of either man. Starks takes Jacoby down with two minutes left into the round. Starks throws punches and some elbows from inside Jacoby's guard. Starks is pretty active throwing punches towards the end of the round and pulls ahead in the scoring. 10-9 Starks.
Round 3. Starks lands a nice overhand right early in the round that connects solidly on the chin of Jacoby. Jacoby counters Starks well as Starks moves in. Jacoby lands a nice knee to the head but Starks then takes him down 90 seconds into the final stanza. Starks just methodically pounds away from inside Jacoby's guard while Jacoby isn't able to do much at all off his back. Jacoby looks for a kimura again with a minute and change left in the round. Starks tries to pass guard and ends up in half guard towards the end of the fight. 10-9 Starks. Jacoby is not a UFC caliber fighter.
Winner: Clifford Starks, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Chris Camozzi vs. Francis Carmont
Camozzi is an Ultimate Fighter alumnus with a 2-1 UFC record. Carmont trains out of the Tristar Gym in Montreal and has a 16-7 MMA record. Georges St. Pierre, who was originally supposed to headline this card, is in Carmont's corner.
Round 2. Carmont looks for a high front kick and a few hooks from close range early, but Camozzi closes the distance and presses Carmont back against the cage. They struggle back and forth for position next to the cage. Neither man is able to come close to a takedown but Carmont does use some effective knees to the body. He lands some more heavy knees and Camozzi backs up. Carmont mixes in knees to the body and head and has Camozzi in a little bit of trouble up against the cage. Carmont grabs a body lock and slams Camozzi down spectacularly. Carmont postures up high and drops down some punches. He lets Camozzi up but as Camozzi gets up, he is dropped with a big right hook/left hook combination and Carmont looks to finish the fight. Camozzi is able to weather the storm and looks for a guillotine choke at the close of the round. Carmont won that round decisively but not quite enough for 10-8. 10-9 Carmont.
Round 3. Carmont comes out swinging with big punches as Camozzi just covers up. Camozzi then looks to counter with punches of his own and presses Carmont against the cage. Carmont quickly reverses and lands some knees. They separate and Carmont opens up with leg kicks and straight punches. Carmont is pulling away. Camozzi lands a couple nice straight punches and pushes Carmont against the cage. Carmont pushes him off and takes him down. Carmont can't get a position he likes on the ground and lets Camozzi stand back up. Camozzi grabs a standing kimura as the round comes to a close and drops down. He cranks the arm and shoulder pretty well but Carmont holds on for the end of the round. 10-9 Carmont, 30-27 Carmont.
Winner: Francis Carmont, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27).
Danny Downes vs. Ramsey Nijem
Downes is as unintimidating looking a fighter you're going to find, but he sports an 8-2 record and fights out of the highly respected Duke Roufus team in Milwaukee. Nijem was runner up on the last season of the Ultimate Fighter, gaining notoriety (perhaps infamy) for acting like a stripper.
Round 1. Nijem immediately lands a nice left/right combination. He charges forward with additional punches and takes Downes down. The rest of the round consists of Downes trying to get up only to be continually pulled back down. Nijem lands a few punches standing and then takes Downes back down. Downes keeps trying to fight up but Nijem dominates the round. 10-8 Nijem.
Round 2. Nijem lands a nice straight right punch and takes Downes down again. Downes gets up but is yanked back down. Nijem takes Downes' back and spends the rest of the ground looking for a rear naked choke submission. Downes looks in big trouble but is able to avoid the submission repeatedly. 10-8 Nijem.
Round 3. Nijem lands a few hard punches, a knee, and takes Downes back down again. Downes in trying to get up again gives up his back. Nijem looks for a rear naked choke but Downes is able to avoid getting caught. Nijem flattens Downes and lands some punches from the back. He looks for the rear naked choke again but can't get it. Downes is able to hang on for the final bell. This fight almost felt cruel, with Downes on defense for practically every second but refusing to give up. 10-8 Nijem, 30-24 Nijem.
Winner: Ramsey Nijem, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25).
Apparently some judges are completely opposed to the notion of a 10-8 round. How on Earth does someone get no offense for the entire 15 minutes and only lose 30-27? That's as baffling a score as imaginable.
Brandon Vera vs. Eliot Marshall
Vera is a charismatic muay thai and jiu jitsu fighter who was once considered an elite prospect but has had a disappointing career. Marshall is 3-2 in the UFC and coming off a loss to Luiz Cane.
Round 1. Vera connects with a hard right hook and left body kick. Vera lands another hard left body kick and throws a flying knee to the body. Vera then pushes Marshall up against the cage. He can't get much in the way of offense or a takedown so he backs off. Marshall pushes forward with hard hooks and appears to stun Vera temporarily. Vera clinches and pushes Marshall against the cage. They battle for position against the cage until they are separated with a minute left in the round. Vera connects with a leg kick well but neither man is able to land much as the round concludes. Very close round. 10-9 Vera narrowly.
Round 2. Vera lands a kick to the body and kick to the leg early. Marshall throws a hook to the chin and looks for a takedown. Neither man is able to accomplish much at all pressed against the cage. Vera finally executes a trip takedown two minutes into the round. Vera drops a few elbows from close position. Marshall gets up with 90 seconds left but eats a knee to the head in the process. They clinch against the cage for most of the remainder of the round. 10-9 Vera.
Round 3. Marshall drops Vera with a straight right punch. Vera scrambles to get out of danger but he is dropped again by another heavy punch. Marshall moves in looking to close the fight but Vera recovers and stands back up, which the crowd heavily applauds. They then trade big hooks and Vera pushes Marshall against the cage. They eventually break and Marshall looks for a takedown. He gets it this time and takes Vera's back. Marshall has two hooks in and throws punches looking to get a rear naked choke. He then transitions to an armbar and looks to extend it pretty well. Vera is barely able to escape the submission and he throws down some elbows as the round closes. 10-8 Marshall, 28-28 draw.
Winner: Brandon Vera, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Tyson Griffin vs. Bart Palaszewski
Griffin was once considered an elite lightweight fighter but a string of setbacks led him to drop to featherweight. He missed weight by three pounds yesterday. Bart is a tough WEC and IFL veteran making his UFC debut.
Round 1. They exchange punches to start, with Griffin landing the best of the bunch, a straight right. Bart throws a pair of front kicks, something that we've seen with increasing regularity throughout 2011. Bart lands a good right cross and Griffin lands one of his own shortly thereafter. Bart stuns Griffin with a left hook and Griffin backs up against the cage. Bart opens up with a rapid fire series of punches against the cage. Griffin covers up and blocks most of the punches but he lets his guard down momentarily and Bart gets through with a left/right combination that drops Griffin and the fight is stopped. Griffin may be cut from the UFC, a development that would have not long ago seemed unthinkable at this stage of his career.
Winner: Bart Palaszewski, TKO, round 1.
Dennis Siver vs. Donald Cerrone
Siver is a German kickboxer with solid takedown defense. He has won four straight fights and seven of eight in the UFC. Cerrone is a rapidly improving tall lightweight contender with a well rounded skill set and a big fanbase.
Round 1. Siver connects with a couple punches right on the chin of Cerrone and a high kick. They trade leg kicks. Cerrone lands a leg kick and then fires a head kick that connects with the knee to Siver's head. Siver is momentarily stunned and looks for a takedown. Cerrone defends against the cage while Siver regains his composure. They separate and a scramble ensues for position. Siver appears to simply slip and Cerrone dives in from behind with a rear naked choke for the submission.
Winner: Donald Cerrone, submission, round 1.
Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop
Hioki is one of the world's most highly regarded featherweights and is making his UFC debut. Many Japanese fighters coming over to the States have not done well, so the question is whether he can have the same performance here that he did in Japan. Roop has a 12-7-1 record and is coming off an impressive win over Josh Grispi.
Round 1. Hioki goes for a head kick and then lands a nice hook. Roop lands a head kick of his own. They exchange heavy hooks from close range. Hioki catches a Roop kick and looks for a takedown but Roop isn't off balance enough to come close. Hioki clinches and looks for the takedown against the cage. Roop defends and they grapple for position against the cage. Hioki throws a few knees to the body and Roop looks to push him off. Hioki steps over a leg and looks to grab Roop's back but doesn't come close. Hioki finally gets the takedown with a minute left in the round. Hioki ends up in side control. Roop tries to get up but can't do so. He throws some elbows from the bottom and stands back up. Roop lands a few punches against the cage as the round concludes. Very close round. 10-9 Hioki.
Round 2. Hioki lands a nice straight punch but Roop answers with a few hooks and a head kick. It's interesting to see Roop continue to be aggressive with kicks after being taken down in the first. Roop connects with a straight punch but Hioki grabs him and gets him down with full mount. Roop tries to get him back into guard and Hioki settles for sliding into side control. Hioki works into full mount. He moves up Roop's body and appears to be looking for an armbar, but Roop shakes him lower down his frame. Hioki drops down some punches but Roop uses the opportunity to get out of mount. He lands an upkick, stands back up, and walks down Hioki with punches and kicks as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Hioki. Roop is doing much more damage but Hioki has done better with takedowns and positioning.
Round 3. Roop takes down Hioki to start the round. He then stands back up. He throws a flying knee that grazes Hioki. Hioki goes for a takedown but it is blocked. Roop grabs a clinch and they work against the Octagon. Hioki throws a few knees and Roop lands some punches from the clinch. They are separated with two minutes left in the fight. Roop lands a nice hook and takes Hioki down. If the score is 19-19, that's a smart strategy. If it's 20-18 Hioki, that's a dumb strategy. Roop throws down a few punches while Hioki uses a closed guard. Roop keeps working punches as the round closes. 10-9 Roop, 29-28 Hioki. The key is the first round, as the other two are pretty clear.
Winner: Hatsu Hioki, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Hioki after the fight declares that Japanese MMA is not dead.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Jeff Curran
Jorgensen is a solid wrestler and striker who has fought for the WEC bantamweight title. Curran is a well respected veteran of the sport and has said that if he loses this fight he will retire.
Round 1. They move to the center and immediately begin trading punches. Curran lands a nice overhand and Jorgensen takes him down. Jorgensen lands a few punches from inside Curran's guard but is mostly inactive. Curran looks to reverse to top position but can't do it. They stand back up briefly but Jorgensen takes Curran right back down. The fight is stood up with 40 seconds remaining. Curran unloads with punches, landing to Jorgensen's body and head. Jorgensen then takes Curran back down to close the round. 10-9 Jorgensen.
Round 2. Jorgensen is more aggressive with punches and lands a nice hook. Curran shoots for a takedown but Jorgensen defends easily. Jorgensen lands a series of knees to the head. They battle for position against the cage. Curran attempts a knee to the head but Jorgensen hooks the leg and takes Curran down. Curran gets up and in a scramble attempts for an anaconda choke. Jorgensen rolls out of danger. Jorgensen then takes Curran down. Jorgensen lands a little but not much and Curran works to get up as the round concludes. 10-9 Jorgensen.
Round 3. Curran is more active in the standup, although he isn't landing much. He throws some looping haymakers and mixes in some kicks as well. Curran lands a nice hook and uppercut and smiles at Jorgensen. He tries the same combination but Jorgensen defends this time. Curran scores another uppercut and a couple leg kicks. Jorgensen clinches, lands a couple knees, and looks for a takedown. They stalemate against the cage, trading knees. Curran consistently is landing better punches as the round winds down. Curran looks for a takedown but Jorgensen blocks it. 10-9 Curran, 29-28 Jorgensen. Jorgensen's going to get the decision for sure but he doesn't feel like much of a winner.
Winner: Scott Jorgensen, unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28).
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Roy Nelson
Cro Cop is one of the best heavyweight fighters in the history of MMA, a feared striker with excellent kicks and takedown defense. However, at 37, he has rarely looked impressive in recent years. Nelson is an Ultimate Fighter winner known for his hefty physique and is now sporting a very wild beard.
Round 1. Nelson lunges forward early on, throwing wild punches that don't come close. Cro Cop throws sparingly and Nelson takes him down a little over a minute into the round. Nelson postures up and drops down some punches and elbows. As Nelson moves up, he can't secure Cro Cop's body and Cro Cop slips up back to his feet. Cro Cop nails Nelson with a strong counterpunch. Nelson lands a big overhand and Cro Cop answers back with a couple heavy punches of his own. Cro Cop follows with a nice uppercut and the crowd chants for Cro Cop. Nelson pushes forward while Cro Cop counters with clean, effective punching. 10-9 Cro Cop.
Round 2. Nelson looks to close the distance and Cro Cop pushes him off. Nelson appears to rock Cro Cop with a punch but he moves in recklessly and gets countered. Cro Cop thinks he has the fight won and unloads with a torrent of punches on Nelson. Nelson just covers up, but he is able to weather the storm and Cro Cop eventually backs off. Nelson returns to stalking Cro Cop with a bloodied face. Cro Cop throws his famous head kick but it is blocked by Nelson and they clinch against the cage. Nelson takes Cro Cop down with two minutes left in the round and moves into side control quickly. He looks to crucifix Cro Cop's arms but can't secure the right arm. He finally gets it locked in and throws down punches to the head as both of Cro Cop's arms are trapped. That was an exceedingly exciting round. Cro Cop dominated early and Nelson late. 10-9 Cro Cop.
Round 3. Nelson staggers Cro Cop with a hard overhand right. He drops Cro Cop with a right hook and takes Cro Cop's back. He opens up with huge punches and the fight is stopped. If that's Cro Cop's final fight, he went out on his shield with heart and skill and reminded fans of the prolific fighter he once was.
Winner: Roy Nelson, TKO, round 3.
Cro Cop says this was his farewell fight and thanks UFC fans and ownership. He receives a standing ovation from the crowd.
Matt Mitrione vs. Cheick Kongo
Mitrione is a surging heavyweight striker and former NFL player who has showed tremendous improvement in a short MMA career. He is overflowing with charisma and potential star power but started his career late and is already 33 years old. Kongo is a powerful French striker who has fought many of the division's best.
Round 1. Mitrione walks forward sticking his chin out in the air seemingly taunting Kongo. Neither man throws much of anything for the first couple minutes. They clinch against the cage. Nothing happens and they are separated with two minutes left in the round. Mitrione moves forward with a few punches but backs off when Kongo counters. Mitrione keeps pursuing but then backs off when Kongo doesn't throw. Kongo lands a nice right hand late in the round. Nothing much happened and the crowd heavily boos. 10-10.
Round 2. They start much more active and Mitrione lands a nice straight left up the middle. Kongo uses a few leg kicks. He then connects with a couple rights. Kongo opens up with big punches and Mitrione fires back. Kongo is landing the better blows but Mitrione is getting his shots in. Mitrione walks Kongo down but Mitrione isn't throwing a lot. Kongo continues to use leg kicks. Mitrione lands a nice straight punch. He tries to back Kongo against the cage but Kongo casually walks away. Kongo is landing more but his disinterested posture and constant backpedalling may cost him with the judges. 10-9 Kongo.
Round 3. Kongo lands a couple punches, grabs a double leg, and slams Mitrione down. Mitrione looks for a kimura but Kongo is in side control. Mitrione then looks for a knee bar but can't get it. Kongo grabs Mitrione's back and throws some punches to the side of the head. Mitrione stands back up. Kongo grabs both legs again and slams Mitrione back down. Kongo throws a few punches and elbows down and picks up the pace a little as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Kongo, 30-28 Kongo. If Kongo loses the decision, however, he has no one but himself to blame.
Winner: Cheick Kongo, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28).
B.J. Penn vs. Nick Diaz
Penn burst onto the MMA scene with world championship jiu jitsu and spectacular knockouts in the UFC at the age of 22. Since then he has become one of the sport's most popular and iconic stars. Nick Diaz is a controversial bad boy with excellent submissions and a unique striking game. He was the Strikeforce welterweight champion and now moves to the UFC looks to prove himself the best 170 pound fighter in the sport.
Round 1. The crowd is solidly behind Penn. Diaz clinches early and works against the cage with Penn. They separate and Diaz begins to open up with his punches. He lands a few quality punches and Penn goes for a takedown. A scramble ensues and Penn briefly has Diaz's back. Penn takes top position and throws some punches from half guard. Diaz gets up and looks for a takedown of his own. He can't get it so he backs up. They return to boxing, with Penn looking to get through Diaz's punches into his own range. Diaz lands some jabs and a nice straight right. Diaz begins taunting Penn. Tough round to score. Penn got the takedown but Diaz was more effective with strikes. 10-9 Diaz narrowly.
Round 2. Penn throws a few jabs and Diaz head butts the fist. They clinch and Diaz pushes Penn against the Octagon. They trade punches and Diaz is bleeding near the right eye. Penn shoots for a takedown but Diaz defends. Diaz throws a few punches to the body and head. Diaz keeps pushing with punches and is landing much more than Penn. Penn connects with a nice counter hook. Diaz is opening up with punches to the head and body. Diaz then drops down and tries for a takedown with two minutes left in the round. He can't get it and returns to striking. He backs up Penn with heavy punches that snap Penn's head back. Penn is struggling against the cage and Diaz is chasing Penn down and peppering him with punches. Penn begins answering back but can't land nearly as much as Diaz and is wobbly. Diaz is just picking Penn apart and Penn is covering up in huge trouble. 10-8 Diaz.
Round 3. Penn lands a nice counter punch early as Diaz comes forward. Penn drops down and looks for a takedown but Diaz defends. Diaz goes back to work with a series of punches to the head and Penn just can't time him. Diaz continues to follow Penn around the cage, landing punches in bunches. Penn occasionally gets in a strong counter and the crowd explodes. But Diaz is dominating. He's mixing in punches to the head and body, from all angles. Diaz throws his hands up in the air and begins taunting. With two minutes left in the fight, Penn needs a miracle. Diaz keeps walking Penn down and landing punches. Penn's face is a bloodied and bruised up mess. Diaz keeps hammering Penn but Penn shows great heart in hanging in there and firing back as much as he can. The crowd stands as the fight comes to an end. 10-9 Diaz, 30-26 Diaz. The crowd chants "GSP" as Diaz celebrates.
Winner: Nick Diaz, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28).
Diaz said he doesn't think Georges St. Pierre is hurt (he pulled out from a fight with Carlos Condit on this show) but rather scared. The crowd chants for GSP and GSP shakes his head no with a smile on his face. Penn said after the fight that he plans to retire, not wanting his daughter to see him with his face beaten up so badly.