UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on October 29, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV.
UFC 137 is in the books. Some fans feel cheated as they never got to see the Georges St. Pierre vs Carlos Condit fight at the top of the card. Others held the belief that Nick Diaz vs B.J. Penn was the true main event anyways so the card was essentially what they were going to pay for in the first place. While doing media both Penn and Diaz were respectful of one another and it appeared that this fight would not be the typical Nick Diaz "mean muggathon". Also in the lead up, Mirko Filipovic hinted that his fight with Roy Nelson would be the last fight in his career. Without any further ado let's take a look at the winners and losers of the card as well as other thoughts in the aftermath.
Nick Diaz: Diaz is the biggest winner not just at UFC 137 but also of the year. He had his title shot revoked after missing out on his media obligations, being replaced by Carlos Condit. He fought a top 10 welterweight and finally proved his doubters wrong after dominating Penn for the final 10 minutes. However, the biggest news for Diaz is that he's leap frogging Condit to get the first crack at St. Pierre's title.
Donald Cerrone: There was concern that Cerrone had peaked in the WEC and would never find success in the UFC's lightweight division. He's now 4-0 in the UFC and about to break into the top 10 of the division thanks to his big win over Dennis Siver. Not too bad for a guy that never won a title in the weaker WEC division.
Bart Palaszewski: Big win for Bartimus who made his featherweight debut against Tyson Griffin. His size advantage was apparent as was his punching power. He's now the second person to ever finish Griffin, doing so in devastating fashion. Who knows where his ceiling is at 145 but he definitely showed that he's got the potential to be a major player.
Georges St. Pierre: GSP now gets a hugely marketable fight against Nick Diaz in his return to the octagon once he heals up his knee. It'll be an easier sell and fans will have more time to see how angry and annoyed GSP will actually get from Diaz' trash talk.
Losers and additional thoughts after the jump...
Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo: In a performance like that, neither walks away looking particularly strong. Kongo didn't want to engage until the final round and Mitrione failed to cut off the octagon in the first and second round. The fight promised fireworks and did not deliver.
Dennis Siver: Talk abut blowing a major opportunity. With Melvin Guillard losing his shot at the lightweight belt at UFC 136, SIver was possibly one fight away from a fight against Frankie Edgar. He is now the fourth lightweight to lose out on a title fight. Expect the Henderson/Guida bout to be for number one contender.
Tyson Griffin: Coming in three pounds over and being unable to cut the additional weight is embarrassing. Losing the way he did makes it worse. The UFC has cut fighters in the past over missing weight and he could be on his way out.
Brandon Vera: We got to see the "old Brandon Vera" last night. He moved slowly and was almost knocked out twice in the final round. He also just barely survived an arm bar that may have broken his arm. It's time to hang it up and start a life on the seminar circuit.
Fans who bought the card: This was probably the worst card in recent history before the Penn/Diaz fight filled with lackluster performances. Hatsu Hioki vs George Roop was an absolute snoozer as was Kongo/Mitrione. The main event was obviously fantastic but it didn't make up for the rest of the night in my opinion.
- B.J. Penn is an absolutely warrior and he has had a fantastic career that will be rivaled by few. However, last night was the very first time in career that someone was able to make him look old. I commend his decision to walk away and prioritize family over fighting, I just wish that he went out on a win.
- On the flip side, Mirko Cro Cop's retirement came later than expected. He's never looked like the killer he was in Pride and since suffering the knockout loss against Gabriel Gonzaga. He's a legend in the sport and accomplished a lot in his tenure, so it's a shame to see him go out after suffering another TKO stoppage defeat.
- What was with the judging last night? Score cards were all over the place with multiple 10-8 rounds being given. There was no consistency at all and that hurts more in my mind than a controversial decision.
- Speaking of controversial decisions, what was with Roop vs Hioki? Hioki looked like he was competing in the ADCC. Roop won that fight in my eyes even after rewatching it in the morning. I don't know what the judges were watching.
- Anyone else still believe that Hatsu Hioki offers up any sort of a challenge to Jose Aldo?
- Finally, good for Roy Nelson to recognize that he needs to lose weight. He didn't look small by any means but he looked in better shape than he ever has and no longer has the moon for a belly.