The main event of UFC 137 tonight (Sat., Oct. 29, 2011) in Las Vegas, Nevada, although re-worked a million times, settled on a welterweight war pitting two of the greatest mixed martial artists in recent memory, as B.J. Penn and Nick Diaz took it to the cage to slug it out.
They were friends before stepping inside the Octagon but became enemies just as soon as the horn sounded. The staredown at the weigh-in promised us fireworks tonight. Did it deliver?
It sure did. Diaz, the Strikeforce welterweight champion, showed exactly why he deserves all the accolades he's received for the past few years, as he blew right past "The Prodigy" in a three round slugfest.
There was no finish, but this one lived up to the carnage it promised. Georges St. Pierre, were you watching?
Penn came out aggressive, throwing punches early and looking to engage his pugilistic foe. Diaz responded with a clinch and some knees but they quickly disengaged and went back to slinging leather.
Once it went to the floor, "The Prodigy" looked to take the advantage by taking Diaz's back but he was defended expertly by the Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt.
The remained of the round featured Penn using Diaz's own strategy against him, peppering him with punches to close out the first five minutes.
Round two saw the kid from Stockton act accordingly, as he taunted the pride of Hilo, Hawaii, by launching his own head into Penn's many jabs. It was clear, though, that B.J. had the edge standing up.
Midway through the frame the blood was in the water ... and it was Penn's. He was tired and Diaz, a world class triathlete, smelled it and started taking advantage. Those peppering shots didn't feel so light anymore.
Diaz put Penn against the fence and just started unloading. "The Prodigy" backed away but couldn't run far enough to get away from the onslaught. Stockton's own walked the Hawaiian down and just unloaded.
Punch after punch after punch after punch against the cage. Somehow, someway, Penn made it to the third and final frame while the crowd chanted Diaz's name.
Out early in the third and Penn came swinging. It didn't matter, though, because Diaz kept the pressure on. The only option for B.J. was to shoot for a takedown, which he did ... but he couldn't get it.
These two literally threw the kitchen sink at each other, trying to do whatever they could to finish the fight. Ultimately, it was Diaz who walked away with the unanimous decision win after three hard-fought round.