B.J. Penn recently discussed his loss to Matt Hughes on his Web site, indicating that he suffered a major rib injury midway through the second round.
Here's a snip:
"When he went for a big elbow, he missed and I capitalized and started going for his back. At this moment, when I was making the turn towards his back, I felt my ribs separate on my right side."
Despite the apparent injury, Penn nearly finished Hughes via submission later on in the second round. The champion has even admitted to saying a little prayer to help him get out of the situation.
It was answered.
In the interview, B.J. has a lot of good things to say about the current welterweight titleholder, even saying that Hughes "deserved the victory." That's a far cry from the arrogant and superior tone he took leading up to the rematch.
Regardless, B.J. Penn put on a mixed martial arts exhibition this Saturday night. He gave Matt Hughes everything he could handle, but still came up short.
Maybe it was the ribs that cost him the fight. Or maybe it was his conditioning ... or both. One thing is certain: When B.J. Penn is healthy and gets back on the winning path, everyone is going to want to see Hughes-Penn III.
It's just such a good match up.