Nick Diaz wins decision over B.J. Penn at UFC 137, GSP next
BY STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS October 30, 2011 12:04AM
BJ Penn, Nick Diaz
Updated: October 30, 2011 12:40AM
LAS VEGAS — Nick Diaz earned a title shot with a convincing unanimous decision victory over BJ Penn in the main event at UFC 137 Saturday night.
The first round was evenly matched with both fighters landed strikes from the start. Penn was able to take Diaz down to the mat briefly, landing a few strikes to gain the early edge.
Diaz begain to land a number of strikes to the body and face in the second round. He taunted Penn and continued to land heavy strikes, dazing the former champion. It was more of the same in the third round with Diaz picking apart Penn at will, landing numerous combinations that left Penn’s face swollen and bloodied.
All three judges scored the fight in Diaz’s favor 29-28, 29-27 and 29-28.
After the fight, UFC president Dana White announced at the post-fight news conference that Carlos Condit had agreed to step aside to allow Diaz the next welterweight title shot against champion Georges St-Pierre.
Following the bout, Penn, a former lightweight and welterweight champion, told the crowd this was his last match and he was going to retire.
In the co-main event, Cheick Kongo defeated Matt Mitrione by unanimous decision 30-27, 30-28, 29-28.
After an inactive first round by both fighters, Kongo opened up the second striking, landing multiple solid kicks to Mitrione’s legs and body.
Both came out swinging in the third round with Kongo landing a strike that sent Mitrione back to the cage. Kongo went for a takedown and ended up slamming Mitrione to the ground then landed a few shots that opened up a small cut and caused some swelling.
Mitrione was able to make it back to his feet only to find himself on the mat after another takedown. Kongo controlled the action from the top using effective ground and pound to neutralize any counter from Mitrione.
Crystal Lake’s Jeff Curran lost in his UFC return to bantamweight Scott Jorgensen by unanimous decision 29–28, 29–28, 30–27. He last fought at UFC 46 in Jan. 31, 2004.
Earlier, Roy “Big Country” Nelson defeated Mirko Cro Cop by TKO due to strikes at 1:30 of the third round, sending the MMA legend home with a loss in what appears to be his final fight. Also, Hatsu Hioki won a closely contested split-decision victory over George Roop.
In the preliminaries, Curran’s teammate Bart Palaszewski upset Tyson Griffin with a stoppage at 1:48 of the first round in a 148-pound catchweight fight. Griffin failed to make the 145-pound featherweight limit and was docked 25 percent of his purse.
Chicago-born Danny Downes lost to Eliot Marshall in a unanimous decision 30–25, 30–26, 30–27.