UFC 107: "Penn vs. Sanchez" from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, is officially in the books.
So too, is the argument that a viable contender exists within the UFC lightweight division capable of dethroning current 155-pound deity BJ Penn. Did Diego Sanchez gets annihilated in the main event of UFC 107?
It was evident right from the get-go, when "The Prodigy" gave Sanchez a B.Brian Blair sunset flip courtesy of a crushing right hand. What started as a dream for Sanchez quickly became a "Nightmare" as Penn was relentless with his strikes and showed no signs of slowing down -- even in the fourth and fifth rounds.
While Sanchez hung in there through the fifth frame, a well-placed head kick by the Hawaiian busted him open and prompted a doctor's stoppage due to the severity of the gash. Penn was humble after his TKO victory and in return, Sanchez was gracious in defeat -- promising to "be back."
Will a rematch with Ultimate Fighter rival Kenny Florian be waiting for him?
There was no touch of gloves between Frank Mir and Cheick Kongo in the night's co-main event, probably because Mir didn't want to set off any of the dynamite in his left hand -- the same one that exploded against the Parisian's chin, sending him crumbling to the canvas en route to a first round submission loss.
It was hard to imagine any performance from Frank Mir that could have lived up to the weeks of trash talking that came from the former champ, but after watching him mount his wounded opponent and lock in a fight-ending guillotine, there are probably a lot of top level heavyweights looking over their shoulders.
Could a recuperating Brock Lesnar be one of them?
Welterweight star Jon Fitch continued on his journey to steal the title of most UFC decision finishes from Tyson Griffin with his unanimous nod over the rugged Mike Pierce. Nothing we haven't seen from the Purdue wrestling standout, as he outworked his stocky opponent using an effective balance of wrestling and body control.
And a few shots to the dome certainly helped his cause.
Pierce didn't get a chance to flaunt any of his best attributes under the suffocating attack of the former 170-pound number one contender, but he did show that he can take a punch (and a knee) without even batting an eyelash. Post-fight comments had Fitch praising the "bright" future of Pierce.
This writer unanimously agrees.
It was supposed to be an exciting battle of lightweight stars when Kenny Florian took on Clay Guida, and while "The Carpenter gave it his awl, "KenFlo" proved why he was afforded two cracks at the 155-pound crown with a dominating performance capped off by a textbook rear naked choke.
He also proved that change isn't always a bad thing.
After a cautious feeling-out process in round one, the former TUF star battered Guida with his much improved boxing that was a result of his recent switch in training camps. In fact, Guida had difficulty making any kind of defense hold up, as a patented "Hellbow" split him open late in the first and kept his eyes bloodied until the submission finish.
Following his impressive win, Florian promised the fans another run at lightweight gold and more "finishes" in the process.
Paul Buentello kept true to his "Headhunter" moniker when he opted to throw hands with Stefan Struve for three rounds in the opening fight of the night. He spent the majority of the first round on defense, as the lanky Dane used his long limbs for multiple submission attempts.
The second frame was an entertaining back-and-forth brouhaha that could have gone to either fighter, but likely saw the Mexican mauler pull ahead with further proof that flying knee plus hard right hand equals Octagon ass-plant. Unfortunately Buentello negated his own momentum by spending round three stalking the "Skyscraper" and eating a plethora of leg kicks.
In the end, Struve took the majority nod, but credited his opponent for a tough fight and felt like it could have been a draw. Regardless, Struve takes two steps forward, Buentello takes one step back.
That’s enough from us — now it’s your turn to discuss "Penn vs. Sanchez" in the comments section below. Sound off, Maniacs. Let’s hear what you have to say.
For complete UFC 107 results and detailed blow-by-blow commentary of the televised main card fights click here.