In the main event of UFC 137, Nick Diaz defeated B.J. Penn in an exciting and engaging battle. Diaz came in the underdog in the eyes of many fans, but after a tough first round, he began implementing his game, bloodying Penn up and easily winning the unanimous decision. For Penn, it was a tough loss - his 3rd in his last 5 fights - and in the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, B.J. Penn retired from MMA.
After a rough night of boring fights, and a show that saw mega-star Georges St. Pierre drop out due to injury, this fight needed to deliver. And it did. There were some worries that these two friends would play too nicely, but once the fight started, it was clear that Diaz was not going to go easy on Penn. Diaz fought like a man possessed, with something to prove. He put on one of the best performances of his career, and capped the night off by calling out his original opponent, Georges St. Pierre. Post-show, Dana White confirmed that Diaz vs. St. Pierre would indeed be the next Welterweight title fight.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Mid-way through round 2, you saw Diaz begin to dial it up and start truly implementing his game. Then the taunting started, and you knew you were watching a classic Nick Diaz performance.
Where do these guys go from here?
Apologies to Carlos Condit, but booking Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz as the next Welterweight title fight is the correct move. Fans were excited about it before, but they will be more excited now. Diaz showed that he's not an overhyped name with a padded record - he is a serious threat to the division. That fight can't come soon enough.
Penn has been talking quietly about retirement since his losses to Frankie Edgar, and it wasn't a total shock to hear that from him last night. I'm still not totally convinced that we'll never see B.J. Penn fight again, but if we do, it won't be for awhile. And if we never do? Then UFC 137 will mark the end of the road for another MMA great.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. Drama, theatrics, an amazing performance, and the last fight in the career of B.J. Penn. How could you not want to watch this?
More BE coverage of UFC 137 in the full entry.