UFC 137 takes place later tonight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event airs live on pay-per-view at 9pm ET/6pm PT. The pay-per-view broadcast will be preceded by prelim specials on Facebook at 6pm ET/3pm PT and Spike TV at 8pm ET/5pm PT.
In the main event, Nick Diaz returns to the UFC to take on BJ Penn.
Matt Mitrione takes a step up in competition in a heavyweight bout against Cheick Kongo.
Mirko Cro Cop and Roy Nelson potentially fight for their UFC careers.
Hatsu Hioki makes his UFC debut against George Roop.
Jeff Curran returns to the UFC to take on Scott Jorgensen.
Results, recap and bonuses after the jump.
- Nick Diaz defeats BJ Penn via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
- Cheick Kongo defeats Matt Mitrione via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28)
- Roy Nelson defeats Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic via TKO (Punches) at 1:30 in Round Three
- Scott Jorgensen defeats Jeff Curran via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Hatsu Hioki defeats George Roop via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Donald Cerrone defeats Dennis Siver via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:22 in Round One
- Bart Palaszewski defeats Tyson Griffin via Knockout at 2:45 in Round One
- Brandon Vera defeats Eliot Marshall via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ramsey Nijem defeats Danny Downes via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27)
- Francis Carmont defeats Chris Camozzi via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Clifford Starks defeats Dustin Jacoby via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Recap & Thoughts
Tyson Griffin vs. Bart Palaszewski: Nothing about Tyson Griffin’s second fight at featherweight went like it was supposed to. Griffin missed weight yesterday and got knocked out tonight. The fight started off a little slow as both fighters tried to find their range and timing. Unfortunately for Griffin, Bart Palaszewski found his first and tagged Griffin with a couple shots that sent him scrambling. As Griffin tried to get back to his feet, Palaszewski swarmed, pinned Griffin against the cage and unloaded a barrage of punches reminiscent of Chuck Liddell when he knocked out Tito Ortiz. Griffin tried to protect himself but a right caught him square on the chin and sent him crumbling to the mat. Palaszewski told Joe Rogan after the fight that he’s “pretty sure” he broke both his hands, but it was “so worth it.”
Donald Cerrone vs. Dennis Siver: Donald Cerrone is on a roll in the UFC. Cerrone kicked off his bout with Dennis Siver with a clean body kick and only got better from there. For the next two minutes they exchanged kicks and a few punches, but Cerrone was the one who did all the damage. Coming off a left inside leg kick, Cerrone surprised Siver and landed a sweet left high kick to Siver’s chin. It damn near knocked Siver out but he somehow got a hold of Cerrone’s leg and pinned him against the cage to recover. Once they split Cerrone came back moments later with a right hand to Siver’s jaw. Again, Siver managed to stay conscious, but Cerrone capitalized this time, immediately jumping on Siver’s back and choking him out before Siver could regain his wits again. Joe Rogan told Cerrone that those type of performances are going to put him into title contention, but Cerrone shrugged it off, saying he wants back in the cage in December.
Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop: Unlike many of his Japanese countrymen, Hatsu Hioki actually had a successful UFC debut against George Roop tonight. The fight didn’t start out too well for him as Roop tagged him with several clean shots, but Hioki rebounded in the second and drowned Roop with his grappling. Clearly tired of being smothered, Roop came out in the third determined to put Hioki on his back. Roop eventually succeeded but it proved to be a mistake as Hioki attacked with submission attempts from his guard. It was close — you could argue the third went to Roop for top control and little ground and pound — but Hioki’s superior grappling was enough to squeak out a split decision on the judges’ scorecards. In English, Hioki declared that Japanese MMA is not dead after the victory.
Jeff Curran vs. Scott Jorgensen: It was a gritty, technical fight between Scott Jorgensen and Jeff Curran tonight. Curran put up a valiant effort with his striking and BJJ, but Jorgensen’s takedowns and top control earned him the unanimous decision.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Roy Nelson: We most likely saw Mirko Cro Cop compete for the final time tonight, at least in the UFC. Cro Cop looked good early. He picked his shots in the first round and after catching a big right early in the second, quickly turned the table and unleashed a swarm of punches, many of which landed clean enough to bloody up Roy Nelson. It would have spelled the end for many fighters, but a noticeably slimmer Roy Nelson took the shots like a champ and recovered while Mirko tried to catch his breath. Things went downhill for Cro Cop though late in the second. Nelson managed to secure a takedown and ended up in side control, tapping Mirko on bottom. A strong defensive effort from Cro Cop kept Nelson at bay for a short while, but Nelson eventually worked his way to the same crucifix position he trapped Kimbo Slice in during their TUF 10 scrap. Unlike Kimbo, Cro Cop was able to stay active long enough to make to the end of the round, but he was never the same. Visibly fatigued, Cro Cop didn’t have the same pep that he had in the first two rounds. Nelson recognized this and took Cro Cop’s back during a desperate takedown attempt. With Nelson on his back, Cro Cop had nowhere to go and just covered up till Steve Mazagatti called it.
After the fight, an emotional Cro Cop apologized for “blowing it up” it in the Octagon, but Joe Rogan stopped him and said he had nothing to be sorry about before Mirko got too emotional. In his post-fight interview, Roy Nelson jokingly said he was pulling a Chael Sonnen and called out the Velasquez-Dos Santos winner. His title shot pitch? “I’m too old for this shit. I need to get this shit done now.”
Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione: It’s not often a fight starts in the second round, but that’s pretty much happened with Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo tonight. Neither really did anything in the first to constitute it even being scored. Thankfully, the action picked up a little in the second, but neither fighter was able to inflict any significant damage. That changed in the third round though. Kongo decided to change it up early and shot in for a takedown. He got it and proceeded to bloody up Mitrione’s left eye as Mitrione looked for a submission or a sweep. He didn’t get though and spent the majority of the third with Kongo on top of him, beating him up. It was difficult to score the first two rounds, but Kongo clearly deserved the unanimous decision he received after the hurting he put on Mitrione in the final frame.
BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz: If you ordered UFC 137 hoping to see two dudes punch each other in the face, then you got exactly what you paid for when BJ Penn and Nick Diaz stepped in the Octagon. Penn and Diaz each landed like a million punches and by the time the final horn blew, both fighters looked like a pair of boxers who just fought hard for 12 straight rounds. Like usual, it took a little while for Diaz to get going but once he did he was brilliant. Penn took the first round with his fists and a takedown, but started to show signs of fatigue halfway through the second. Diaz sensed this and went after Penn with combination after combination, tagging Penn in the head and body over and over. Most welterweights wouldn’t have survived but Penn hung on to make to the final round. Penn seemed to get a second wind in the third but just couldn’t keep up with Nick’s relentless pace. Penn landed plenty, but Nick was clearly the aggressor and took the final round on the scorecards to win a unanimous decision.
The fireworks didn’t end there. A fired up Nick Diaz with a scowl the size of Stockton looked straight into the camera and yelled “Where you at Georges? Where you at motherf*cker?!?!” When Joe Rogan asked him what was on his mind moments later, Nick said “I don’t think Georges is hurt. I think he’s scared!” The camera panned to Georges who made the equivalent of a “Oh, I’m so scared” motion with his hands. Dana White said before the fight that Carlos Condit was a lock to fight GSP next, but after tonight’s events, I won’t be surprised if he reconsiders. One thing is for sure, Nick’s trainer Cesar Gracie is going to be lobbying for it hard.
As for BJ Penn, well he basically retired after the fight, telling Joe Rogan that he can’t go home to his daughter looking like this anymore. He doesn’t want to keep fighting if he can’t compete with the best. I personally think Penn was just caught up in the moment, but we’ll see. If it was his last fight though, it was a hell of a way to go out.
Submission of the Night: Donald Cerrone
Knockout of the Night: Bart Palaszewski
Fight of the Night: Nick Diaz vs. BJ Penn