UFC 137 fight card: BJ Penn vs Nick Diaz -- WAR!

For all its technique, all its nuances and details, fighting is about as simple as it gets. In the now immortal words of UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta:

WAR!

That's what fight fans can expect tonight (Sat., Oct. 29, 2011) when two bad boys, B.J. Penn and Nick Diaz, meet in the center of the Octagon to do battle against one another in the main event of UFC 137 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It's been a rocky road to get to the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Penn was originally scheduled to square off against Carlos Condit while Diaz had a date with welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.

Thanks to a few press conference no-shows and a late knee injury, all that remained was "The Prodigy" and the Stockton slugger. Truth be told, they represented the best match-up anyway. Friends or not, they were destined to lock horns inside a cage.

Penn was driven out of the lightweight division by Frankie Edgar, who dealt him consecutive losses at UFC 112 and UFC 118, respectively. He made his return to 170-pounds a memorable one by knocking out an old enemy in Matt Hughes in just 23 seconds.

A uneven performance against Jon Fitch earlier this year raised a few more doubts as to whether or not he can still be a force in MMA. After all, if he can't do it at welterweight, there really isn't anywhere left for him to go, at least not as long as Edgar is ruling the roost at 155-pounds.

Diaz, meanwhile, has seen nothing but success since leaving the UFC back in 2006. He's won 11 of 13 fights, with his lone loss coming by way of cut. The other bout was a spectacular gogoplata submission win over Takanori Gomi that was later overturned due to a failed drug test.

The California native tore through DREAM, EliteXC and Strikeforce on his way back to the world's largest fight promotion. 10 wins in a row is difficult under any circumstances, perceived lack of competition or not.

And while he's not getting the shot against St. Pierre that he wanted, this match-up against Penn is just as dangerous if not even more so.

That's because, as Diaz himself admits, Penn comes from the same school he does. These two came up the hard way, fighting anyone and everyone with reckless abandon. There's no lay-n-pray round these parts, folks.

Diaz and Penn are laid back outside the cage but quickly turn into animals just as soon as the prospect of fighting inside it becomes evident. Look no further than the altercation between the two at the weigh-ins just yesterday (Oct. 28).

It's time, folks. Time for WAR!

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