Hughes-Penn III: The Final Battle

Posted: October 1, 2010 in Marketing, PR, UFC

Congrats to Jose Aldo for winning another WEC title fight that I forgot to watch…one of these days I’ll remember. I swear!  Anywho, Coming up at UFC 123 will be a fight I won’t forget – the rubber match between Matt Hughes and BJ Penn at welterweight.  This is another example of how much the UFC enjoys trilogies.  Matt Hughes is my favorite MMA fighter of all time, but to be honest, I’m not sure what the draw is for this match up.

Hughes has been on an upward climb with wins over Matt Serra, Renzo Gracie and Ricardo Almeida.  Penn has suffered back-to-back losses to one dimensional 155 lb champion Frankie Edgar.  In terms of next steps, this fight does not offer much for either fighter outside of pride and perhaps a good payday.

Should Hughes win, he has defeated a fighter known for being weak in this division –despite being a former champion in the weight class.  This fight will not bring him closer to another battle with GSP, however will continue to help him cement his legacy as a winning fighter as he gets closer to retirement.  However, the true fear for fans should be a Penn victory.  A win for Penn will not project him toward a welterweight title shot, however it will make him think so.  Penn is a natural 155 fighter and belongs in this division.  A move to welterweight will be for his ego alone and will only result in further defeats at the hands of larger fighters who are in better shape as they are used to being in this class.

The full break down is as follows:

Matt Hughes*:
17 (T)KOs
18 Submissions
10 Decisions

“The Prodigy” B.J. Penn*:
6 (T)KOs
6 Submissions
3 Decisions

Interestingly enough, the smack talk has been minimal this go-around.  Considering the history of the fighters I was sure there would already be jabs back-and-forth.  Yet, in a surprise twist, B.J is coming across rather humble. (Perhaps back-to-back losses to Frankie Edgar had an impact afterall.)  In a recent interview, Penn said: “I have to go out and beat the sportsman named Matt Hughes and that’s no easy task. So that’s what I’m preparing to do. It’s been so long, we’re two different guys. Matt Hughes is a lot harder to hit than you think he is. It’s a new fight for me.”

My Take: Despite my initial confusion of this fight’s signing, I do think it will be a worthwhile co-main event for UFC fans.  Hughes looks better and better as he ages, and Penn has looked terrible his last two outings.  My guess is that Penn will come strong in the first round, but will fade in the second and third.  Hughes will win by TKO or decision in the third round of this fight.

*Stats via Sherdog.com

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Comments
  1. […] I will focus on instead is Hughes-Penn III.  Yes, I’ve changed my tune. I said not too long ago that I didn’t see why this fight was happening.  After watching the […]

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