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UFC 137 Review - Penn CroCop retire Nov11

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					                           UFC 137     Diaz drama, Cro Cop finished, Penn out to pasture

UFC 137 served up some excellent action but the event will most likely be remembered for Diaz drama and retirement
announcements.

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone threw himself into the lightweight title mix with a dominating victory over Denis Siver. Having
dismissed the German’s highly rated kickboxing skills in pre-fight chatter, Cerrone showed why by dropping Siver twice
before sinking the fight finishing rear naked choke. Scott Jorgenson and Jeff Curran put on a 3 round grappling clinic that
may not have provided a finish but showed where a fighters ground game needs to be to succeed in MMA today. And last
but certainly not least the main event served up a three round war that showcased exactly why the UFC are introducing 5
rounds for non-title fights. BJ Penn looked like the fighter of old taking the first round, only to get battered from pillar to
post for the remaining 10 minutes. Say what you like about Nick Diaz, he is a good fighter and deserves a title shot if he
can keep from upsetting UFC brass.

The Diaz drama started with him missing 6 flights resulting in a couple of no-shows at press engagements. The UFC duly
pulled him from the main event title fight with Georges St. Pierre. An injury to GSP saw Diaz re-installed as main event for
his fight against BJ Penn. Having just beaten Penn, Diaz taunted GSP for a title shot. GSP, who was seated ringside, was
expected to face Carlos Condit next (who was due to replace Diaz till GSP got injured) but was so upset with the Diaz said
taunts that he sought out UFC president Dana White to beg for a fight with Diaz. White announced the two would finally
meet Superbowl weekend 2012, the same card that Chael Sonnen is hoping to stage his lower leaves town fight with
Anderson Silva.

UFC 137 was also notable as the swan songs of 2 of MMA’s favourite sons.

Having racked up 45 amateur boxing fights, 16 K-1 kickboxing fights and 40 MMA fights, the career of Mirko ‘Cro Cop’
Filipovic was brought to a close. Having debuted as a 22 year old he went on to defeat some of K-1’s biggest names
including Jerome Le Banner, Mike Bernardo and Remi Bonjasky. He transitioned into MMA and cemented his status as a
legend during his time in Pride Fighting Championships at the height of the Japanese promotion’s popularity. Having come
up short against ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira and Fedor Emelianenko in Pride heavyweight title fights, Cro Cop figured he would
retire after the 2006 heavyweight grand prix, unless he won it. With an MMA title finally achieved Cro Cop arrived in the
UFC under a weight of expectation. Unfortunately, with his best behind him he went 4-6 across his 2 stints in the UFC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sIDAmv3bks
Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic highlight reel

BJ ‘The Prodigy’ Penn was so good he was a UFC champion that hardly ever trained. His talent for fighting materialised
quickly as he became the first non-Brazilian to win a BJJ world championship after only training in the sport for 3 years. He
backed this up with wins in his first 3 fights, which catapulted him to a lightweight title shot. Though unsuccessful in his
first title tilt, Penn would go on to be the UFC’s second champion (after Randy Couture) across 2 weight classes
(lightweight and welterweight). For a brief period he fought outside the UFC at welterweight, middleweight and lost a
decision to Lyoto Machida in an open-weight match (Penn weighed 190lbs and Machida 220lbs). After losing to GSP and
Matt Hughes at welterweight on his UFC return, Penn rededicated himself to becoming a champion. For Penn the change
was easy, “I asked myself why am I at the bar 4 nights a week when I should be training?” Penn 2.0 went on to become a 4
time lightweight champion. The manner of his recent defeat saw Penn declare “I have a daughter and another daughter
on the way, I cant keep going home looking like this” as he tried to exit the octagon. Penn then released a statement
saying he would take some time to consider his future. Whether Penn continues or not he has done enough to establish
his legacy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8HX1xvCArA&feature=related
BJ Penn highlight reel

Fergus Ryan, November 2011

				
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posted:8/23/2012
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