UFC 137 was shuffled around numerous times in weeks leading to the fight on Saturday night. In the end though everything happened and it was a night of amazing fights, legends hanging them up, prospects disappointing us and one fighter continuing his division dominance.
Here are the winners and losers from UFC 137:
NICK DIAZ: WINNER
Coming in originally for the welterweight championship bout, being pulled and then put back on the card against an equally dangerous opponent and former champion in BJ Penn. He weathered the early storm of Penn to dominate the second and third rounds, putting on a show of true technique and striking that sent his opponent home and into retirement. Now slated to face off against GSP in February of 2012, there will be no need to motivate either man for this fight and Diaz will look again to upset the detractors as he attempts to extend his win streak to twelve and take home UFC gold.
ROY NELSON: WINNER
Walking into the cage leaner and having his conditioning help earn the TKO victory, “Big Country” was able to land shots, secure takedowns and maintain dominant positions while beating MMA legend Mirko Cro Cop in their heavyweight tilt. Being hit with heavy uppercuts, body shots and a solid left kick from Cro Cop, Nelson was never fazed and continued to his game plan before stopping the fight. As his new outlook on the game could evolve into his true potential, he is deserving of a top ten opponent in his next fight.
DONALD CERRONE: WINNER
Filling in again to help Zuffa when other fighters withdraw from their bout, Cerrone has beaten another fighter strong in specific style while never looking in trouble. He has defeated fighters with better striking, wrestling and jiu jitsu than himself and never looked bad (only to himself) and is maturing more in each outing. He requested a fight in December, which was quickly granted over the weekend and he will face off against Nate Diaz on Dec. 30 at UFC 141. The fight will be in Diaz favor for jiu jitsu but Cerrone is never scared and has an equally impressive submission skill set that may be put on display again, granting him a seventh consecutive win.
BART PALASZEWSKI: WINNER
Debuting inside the octagon against an opponent (Tyson Griffin) he felt disrespected him and not taking him seriously enough to make-weight, “Bartimus” let his feelings known with his actions. Backing up the Xtreme Couture fighter against the cage, Palaszewski fired shot after shot until the lights went out for Griffin. The victory earned the featherweight his first UFC victory and also the “knockout of the night” honors. For his next outing, give him another winner from the card, Hatsu Hikoi and see if Japanese MMA isn’t dead after all or was the split decision victory a fluke?
CHEICK KONGO/ MATT MITRIONE: LOSERS
Co-main event status and the reputation to end the fight quickly with their knockout power, it looked like a sparring match on a slow Tuesday as both men spent a majority of the fight feeling out the other, while waiting for someone to commit. The bout was ruled a unanimous decision for Kongo only because in the third round he took the safe route and went to the ground, beating up Mitrione a little but this fight did not deliver what we were promised.
TYSON GRIFFIN: LOSER
Weighing over the limit for any bout is un-professional and even more so embarrassing when you’re a ZUFFA veteran like Griffin. Not the most impressive in his past bouts anyhow does not help his case to stay around and he should likely be served walking papers. A name like his may help the draw for Bellator or other promotions but he will need to do something to shift his career back into the win column.
MMA: SUFFERED TWO LOSSES
MMA is only a loser in this situation for what we lost this weekend in the retirement of Mirko Cro Cop and BJ Penn. The PRIDE champion has hinted at this for a while and we expected it but it’s still hard to see him walk away especially after how good he looked in his fight Saturday. All the best wishes are extended to Mr. Filopovic in whatever his future holds.
BJ Penn shocked the entire sport with his post fight retirement after a humbling loss to Nick Diaz. Perhaps it was emotions talking or he feels this is the end for him, either way nobody can be upset at Baby Jay and what he has done for the sport. A terror at lightweight and a champion at welterweight, thank you for everything you have done and showcased inside the octagon.