Hello and welcome to Inside Fights live coverage of UFC 137 which finds Dana White and company once again scrambling to put together a card after one of their marquee stars went down with an injury. Lucky for them their co-main event of Nick Diaz vs. BJ Penn is a more than apt main event as two of the sports more popular and polarizing stars will get it on in a welterweight battle. I’m Chris Roberts and I will be bringing you coverage of all 10 fights. Below you will find the card and look for live updates starting around 6:15 EST.
Nick Diaz (170) vs. BJ Penn (169)
Cheick Kongo (234) vs. Matt Mitirone (255)
Mirko Cro Cop (235) vs. Roy Nelson (252)
Jeff Curran (134) vs. Scott Jorgensen (135)
Hatsu Hioki (145) vs. George Roop (145)
Donald Cerrone (156) vs. Dennis Siver (155)
Tyson Griffin (149) vs. Bart Palaszewski (146)*
Eliot Marshall (204) vs. Brandon Vera (205)
Danny Downes (155) vs. Ramsey Nijem (155)
Chris Camozzi (185) vs. Francis Carmont (185)
Dustin Jacoby (185) vs. Clifford Starks (186)
*The Tyson Griffin vs. Bart Palaszewski fight will now be contested at a catch weight of 148 pounds due to Griffin’s inability to make weight
Dustin Jacoby (6-0) vs. Clifford Starks (7-0)
Round 1- The fighters are tentative to start, obviously a huge fight for both of them. Starks moves in with some strikes but cannot connect. More dancing around from the Middleweights. Starks tries again and barely touches Jacoby. Right by Jacoby lands and then another straight left. Big right hook from Starks. Starks moves in and catches a blow for his trouble. Big shot from Starks lands flush. Starks tries to keep the pressure on but is having trouble landing with any consistency. Starks lands another right, he has found a home for that on a few occasions. Starks goes for a body shot and grazes Jacoby. Rogan calls them out for not being aggressive enough. Jacoby misses a head shot and Starks takes him down. Jacoby grabs the arm looking for a kimura. He keeps on it but time is running out. The round ends at that point. 10-9 Starks.
Round 2- Jacoby comes out swinging. Starks tries to return fire. Starks moves in and catches a shot from Jacoby. Rogan seems to be really down on the performance of Starks. Dull fight from both athletes far as I can tell. Jacoby takes a swing and is partially blocked. Big swing from Starks. This round is pretty tight at the half way point. Starks comes in again throwing bombs but cannot land a good one. He lands a nice jab though. Starks begins to stalk his opponent. Starks goes in deep and nails a takedown. He lands in full guard and suddenly the fight has slowed to an even duller pace. Starks throws a punch of two but Jacoby has him pretty well neutralized. A nice left from Starks lands. 30 seconds left in the round. Starks continues to work the ground and pounds. Starks pins Jacoby’s arm behind his back. The round ends. 10-9 Starks once again.
Round 3- Big right from Starks to open the final stanza. They come together and both throw big shots but nothing of substance lands. Jacoby goes for a big knee but only gets air. Starks comes in and gets a takedown. He moves into side control then quickly back to full guard. Jacoby tries to throw elbows from the bottom. Starks is proving very apt at keeping his opponent on the mat. Starks keeps throwing punches, nothing too spectacular but certainly enough to score a few points. Again Starks gets side control but then retreats to full guard. Jacoby, in a last ditch effort, is going for the kimura. One minute to go and Jacoby is really straining for the kimura. Starks breaks the hold and finds his way to half guard. Starks keeps control of the fight and he is cruising towards an easy victory in his first UFC fight. He opens up with a flurry to end but the bell sounds and it will go to the judges scorecards. 10-9 Starks giving him a 30-27 win on the Inside Fights scorecard.
Clifford Starks def. Dustin Jacoby via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Chris Camozzi (15-4) vs. Francis Carmont (16-7)
Round 1- Leg kick from Camozzi. Carmont returns with one that is even better. Carmont goes for a few more kicks but they are blocked. Carmont moves in and scores a rather easy takedown. Carmont has him up against the cage and is landing some nice shots. It doesn’t take Camozzi terribly long to stand up. Camozzi gets a body lock and presses him up against the cage. He goes for the takedown but is blocked. Camozzi retains control but the action stalls against the side of the Octagon. Camozzi throws a couple girly knees that do zero damage. Carmont throws and lands a nice knee of his own. Kick blocked by Camozzi. Camozzi charges with a left and uses his leverage to get carmont back up against the cage. Clinch from Carmont allows him to take control. Carmont goes for a single leg but has trouble getting it. Carmont has Camozzi up against the cage. Carmont tries a spinning elbow, it fails terribly. Camozzi comes forward again, he tries a flying knee but doesn’t land. Camozzi lands a weak uppercut. Rogan starts to blather on about Randy Couture. The round ends, ultra crazy close. I will call it 10-9 Camozzi but who knows what those judges saw.
Round 2- UFC decides to show us the corner of Camozzi between rounds thanks to the French being spoken in Carmont’s corner. Carmont goes out applying pressure. Carmont lands a right but Camozzi grabs control of him and gets him back up against the cage. Camozzi has shown great skill in controlling the offense of Carmont. Camozzi throws a knee. Carmont tries to deliver flying knees to get out. it allows Camozzi to get a shot or two in but Carmont finally escapes the side of the cage. They come together again and Carmont keeps at it with the knees. He gets Camozzi’s back in the process and delivers an amazing slam. Camozzi is on his back and Carmont tries to penetrate his defense. Camozzi has a nice butterfly guard going but Carmont gets some strong shots through. Camozzi stands up and Carmont cracks him with a shot that drops him again. Camozzi stays conscious though. Carmont lands a few more bombs and tries for a choke. Camozzi somehow recovers though his face is bloodied. The bell sounds and Carmont lands a shot a second too late. 10-9 Carmont in dominant fashion.
Round 3- Carmont looks downright confident coming out of the corner. Carmont unloads with a nasty cobo. Camozzi won’t die though and comes forward with some offense of his own. He quickly gets Carmont back up against the cage but Carmont lands some solid knees that look to hurt Camozzi. Leg kick from Carmont. Shot punch from Carmont lands. Camozzi grabs his opponent and gets him back up against the cage. They break after 30 seconds or so. Inside leg kick for Carmont. Leg kick returned by Camozzi. Push kick from Carmont misses. Camozzi lands a shot but Carmont recovers and wrestles Camozzi down to the ground. Carmont land a shot or two then stands up. Carmont lands a leg kick to the grounded Camozzi. Carmont allows him to stand. Camozzi lands a left and a jumping knee. Camozzi goes for neutralization as opposed to the win by pushing him up against the cage. Herb dean breaks them up. Again Camozzi charges with knees but Carmont grabs his back. Camozzi grabs a nasty looking kimura and begins to crank it but he just doesn’t have the time to finish as the round and the fight end. 10-9 Carmont in a much closer round giving Carmont the victory on the Inside Fights scorecard 29-28.
Francis Carmont def Chris Camozzi via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Ramsey Nijem (4-2) vs. Danny Downes (8-2)
Round 1- Nijem comes out strong landing clean shots on the chin of Downes. Nijem goes for and scores the takedown. Nijem quickly takes the back and almost gets a rear naked choke. Downes gets up and they break. Nijem again comes out swinging and clocks Downes in the face. Downes swings and misses and Nijem gets another takedown. Nijem tries to take full mount. Nijem starts to rain elbows on the head of Downes. They stand up and Nijem gets him up against the cage. Nijem gets him back down, Downes stands up but Nijem has his back and starts hitting him with knees. He goes for the rear naked choke again but Downes defends it well. Nijem lands some punches to the side of his head. Nijem grabs for the rear naked again and this time he seems to have it but somehow Downes escapes. Nijem seems a little bit winded after all that. Nijem tries for a double leg takedown but is stuffed. He gets it by putting all of his body weight on top of Downes. Nijem goes for the choke again and again Downes somehow escapes. Nijem keeps control of the back and finally the round ends. 10-8 Nijem.
Round 2- Nijem picks up with the striking again. Nijem goes for a takedown but Downes reverses it and gets a nice crucifix. He starts working for a submission. He tries for a triangle but losses it and Nijem escapes. Nijem gets side control. Downes grabs the head. Nijem transitions and Downes begins searching for a triangle and then a leg lock. Nijem unloads on Downes face and then grabs a rear naked choke and again he miraculously escapes. Nijem moves from mount to the back. One can only assume he will try for another rear naked choke. They stand and Nijem drills him with a knee to the body. He wrestles Downes to the ground and hits him with an elbow to the head. He has his back and throws some punches. He hits some more elbows to the face of Downes. Nijem then goes for elbows to the body. Nijem tries for another rear naked choke but cannot quite lock it it. Now he goes for a rear naked with a body lock but in this case the clock works against him and the round comes to a close. 10-9 Nijem.
Round 3- Nijem opens with two clean uppercuts. They start to box, but as usual Downes looks like a boy fighting a man out there. Nijem gets another takedown. They grabble and Nijem grabs the crucifix. He moves in for another rear naked but doesn’t really commit. Nijem gets on top and lands an elbow before effortlessly taking Downes’s back. He starts pounding the side of Downes’s face. Nijem gets Downes on the mat and continues to punish him. Downes stands up only to be taken down yet again. Again Nijem tries for the rear naked. Nijem flattens Downes against the mat and tries to pound him out. No surprise that he fails. Downes seems to have toughness and not much else. He grabs his umpteenth rear naked choke but fails again. The round ends and somehow Downes survives. 10-8 Nijem giving him a 30-25 victory on the Inside Fights scorecard.
Ramsey Nijem def. Danny Downes via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27)
Light Heavyweight Bout
Eliot Marshall (10-3) vs. Brandon Vera (11-5)
Round 1- Winslow is reffing so keep your eyes peeled for early stoppages. Marshall seems to be backing away from Vera in the opening moments. Marshall tries a wild back fist and misses. Vera tries to some leg kicks that look ugly and sloppy. He lands one OK looking one. And another. Body kick from Vera and then he comes ahead and pins him against the cage. Things slow down though Vera keeps at it with some knee strikes. Marshall tries to back of the head punch his way out of the hold and it actually kind of works. Both seem eager to land leg kicks. Marshall comes forward with a flurry and lands some strong shots to the face of Vera hurting him at one point. Vera grabs him to slow his roll and we are back against the cage. Knee from Vera. This round is coming down to Vera’s prolonged dominance against Marshall’s one strong combo. 1 minute to go. The combatants dance around, Marshall throws a leg kick and misses. Kick from Vera is blocked. Kick from Marshall is blocked. The round ends. I’ll say 10-9 Vera in a close, dull round.
Round 2- Vera with a kick to the knee. Leg kick from Vera. Marshall grabs him, Vera tries a huge head kick but Marshall grabs the leg and goes for a takedown which he cannot get. Marshall gets control of Vera and tries for a takedown. Again Vera is very successful of stopping it. Vera reverses things and pins Marshall up against the cage. Vera goes for a takedown and gets it. Rogan points out that Marshall is happy to be on the ground, we’ll see what kind of magic he can work from down there. Vera keeps him down and lands a little bit of offense. Marshall barely has a half guard as Vera goes for side control. Elbow from Vera. Punch from the bottom from Marshall, he stands up but Vera lands a knee on his way up. Vera works his wrestling against the cage totally neutralizing Marshall. Soft punch from Marshall. Winslow breaks it up. Marshall throws a bomb and misses. Hook from Marshall. The round ends. 10-9 Vera in another less than thrilling round.
Round 3- Side kick from Vera. Inside leg kick from Vera. Marshall misses another big hook. Big hook Marshall and he stuns Vera. Marshall moves in throwing huge punches. Vera grabs the leg to hold on. They break and Marshall pummels him with another shot to the face. Vera grabs hold of Marshall’s body. Marshall tries to punch his way out. Vera keeps him pinned against the Octagon as he clears his head. Vera throws some knees. If Vera can keep it here for 2 more minutes he will probably win this fight. Marshall gets free. Vera throws a kick. Marshall grabs his back and wrestles him down to the mat. Marshall starts working for the rear naked choke but losses it a la Ramsey Nijem. Vera is trying to hold on for dear life. Marshall gets both hooks in. 1 minute left in the fight. Marshall starts to work the body. Marshall switches to an arm bar. Vera squirms for dear life. Marshall punches Vera’s head but Vera reverses it and gets top control. The round ends. 10-9 Marshall in a fabulous final round. Rogan speculates that Vera’s arm popped during the arm bar. We have Vera winning the fight 29-28 on the Inside Fights scorecard.
Brandon Vera def. Eliot Marshall via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Catchweight (148 pounds) Bout
Tyson Griffin (15-5) vs. Bart Palaszewski (35-14)
Round 1- Jabs from Palaszewski early on. Leg kick from Palaszewski. Griffin returns fire with a crsip leg kick of his own. The announce team insists of ignoring Griffin’s failed weight making for this fight. Front kick from Palaszewski. He follows with a few jabs. Leg kick from Griffin. They come together and exchange some boxing shots. Palaszewski comes forward with a beautful hook and Griffin staggers backwards against the cage. From there Palaszewski takes full advantage and begins to throw shot after shot to the face of Griffin. Finally Griffin falls backwards in a way that calls back memories of Rashad Evans getting clocked by Machida. Finally UFC 137 has a stoppage.
Bart Palaszewski def. Tyson Griffin via 1st Round KO (Strikes)- Round 1, 2:45
Donald Cerrone (16-3) vs. Dennis Siver (19-7)
Round 1- Cerrone nails him with a kick to the gut. They exchange kicks with neither landing cleanly. Front kick from Siver. Leg kick from Siver but Cerrone plunges through and hits Siver. Then he rocks Siver, Siver survives but Cerrone hits him cleanly again and Siver grabs his leg to hold on for dear life. Siver regains himself and begins grinding Cerrone into the cage. Siver lands a nice 1-2 combo. Switch kick from Cerrone, then another shots stuns Siver. Siver tries to keep his balance but stumbles slowly backwards. Cerrone pounces and grabs his back. He quickly grabs the rear naked choke, flattens Siver out and it doesn’t take very much time at all for Siver to tap out.
Donald Cerrone def. Dennis Siver via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)- Round 1, 2:22
Hatsu Hioki (24-4-2) vs. George Roop (12-7-1)
Round 1- We kick off the PPV with this very intriguing Featherweight bout. Kickboxing from both fighters to start. Roop lands a very nice right. Leg kick from Roop. Kick blocked by Hioki but Roop keeps coming ahead. A leg kick from Roop lands below the belt and referee calls for a break. After a minute or so we are back at it. Roop tries for another front kick that goes nowhere. They come together and Hioki lands a nice straight to the face. Hioki grabs and ties up Roop against the cage but Roop will not go down. Hioki keeps working hard to get things to the mat. Roop reverses things and tries for a foot stomp or two. Hioki reverses again. Roop lands a nice knee to the face. Hioki begins to work the knees for his advantage. Roop gets both hands on Hioki’s face but Hioki swings around and grabs the back. Roop turns around and they trade position against the cage until Hioki grabs a slam and takes side control. They grapple, Hioki gets on top and eats an elbow. Roop stands up but Hioki grabs him quickly. Roop charges and lands a shot or two to the face of Hioki as the round comes to an end. Closer than we may have anticipated but Hioki 10-9 nonetheless.
Round 2- Roop goes back to the front kicks. Jab from Hioki but Roop counters with a gnarly combo that ends with a high kick. Roop tries a Superman kick and head kick, both come up short. Head kick from Roop lands but not cleanly. Roop misses and Hioki makes him pay with a shot. Hioki hops on his chest and scores a nice takedown. Hioki into side control. Hioki looks for an Americano but Roop sees it and gets out of it. Hioki takes full mount. He goes for an elbow which lands. Roop slaps Hioki from the bottom. Roop is using a lot of energy trying to escape but Hioki has his hooks in very well. Hioki isn’t doing much damage but keeps control of the action. Roop throws some elbows to the body. We could make the case that Roop is staying busier from the bottom. Roop bucks his way up, landing an up kick in the process. He stands up and comes at Hioki hard and fast throwing solid punches and head kicks. The round ends. Despite a strong finish from Roop the round belongs to Hioki 10-9 once again.
Round 3- Roop plows forward and gets an explosive takedown. Hioki stands right up. Roop throws a flying knee that sort of lands. Hioki tries for a takedown but Roop sprawls out of it. Hioki gets a body lock and gets Roop up against the cage. Roop reverses it and lands a knee. Hioki returns with a knee of his own. Roop gets a few weak punches on the nose of Hioki. Roop has control of the situation but Hioki is preventing him from doing much damage. Blood starts to show up and I think it is coming from Roop, perhaps his nose. Knee from Hioki. Rosenthal breaks them up and we get a restart. The blood is coming from a cut on Roop’s face. Roop gets another pick takedown. Roop is working hard to muster some offense but Hioki has a nice defense. Roop gets some good punches in while Hioki tries out the rubber guard. Roop keeps turning up the pressure but isn’t getting close to a finish. Elbows from the bottom from Hioki. The fight comes to a finish. 10-9 Roop in a very dominant round, however the Inside Fights scorecard still has him losing the fight by a score of 29-28.
Hatsu Hioki def. George Roop via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Round 1- Joe Rogan goes ahead and repeats his mistake from earlier about Joe Warren being a “former” Bellator champ. Warren is a loud corner presence for Jorgensen. Boxing to start. Curran lands a few strong jabs. He throws a kick, Jorgensen catches it and takes Curran down. Jorgensen begins to work the body and Curran seems to be working for a standup. Full guard for Curran at this point. Curran has control of Jorgensen’s wrists. Jorgensen remains busy enough to stave off a standup. More shots to the body for Jorgensen. Curran gets a few in from the bottom. Sweep from Curran almost works. Jorgensen is forced to stand and dive back into the guard. Jorgensen gets a shot in but we have something of a stalemate on our hands. Curran stands and is taken back down right away. Curran gets a few more shots in. Finally Kim Winslow steps in and stands them up. Right from Curran lands and then an uppercut connects for him. Jorgensen gets another single leg takedown. The round comes to a close. 10-9 Jorgensen in a clean cut round.
Round 2- Inside leg kick for Jorgensen. Front kick from Jorgensen misses. Nice hook from Curran. Curran goes for a takedown but Jorgensen grabs him and knees him. He connects with a few more. He pushes Curran up against the cage and continues to go for the knees. Knee to the thigh for Jorgensen. Curran reverses and tries to go for some knees of his own. Curran goes for a high knee, Jorgensen grabs it and bodyslams Curran. Curran stands and Jorgensen hits a clean knee. Curran grabs for the guillotine though and they wrestle to the ground and he cannot quite close the deal. They break and start boxing again. They tie up and Curran hits a knee and Jorgensen takes him down. Curran goes for a triangle but Jorgensen sees it coming and avoids it. Jorgensen remains in top control and throws body blows. Another sweep and he gains control of this grappling contest. Curran goes for some sort of inverted triangle but the round ends. It’s 10-9 Jorgensen again, closer but still obvious.
Round 3- Jab for Curran to start. He then lands a few more shots. Big looping shot from Curran misses. He throws another and catches some of Jorgensen. Nice uppercut body kick from Curran. Jab from Jorgensen lands. Punch from Curran lands. Body kick from CurranCurran is bleeding out of the nose and Rogan hypothesizes that he has a broken hand to boot. Big uppercut from Curran. Combo from Curran. They tie up and Jorgensen goes back to the knees and gets Curran up against the cage. Most of this card has been fought against the cage. Jorgensen trying to get some sort of takedown but cannot. Curran starts putting his knees into the side of Jorgensen. They break and Curran hits another shot to the head of Jorgensen. Jorgensen seems to be slowing down and may be gassing. Inside leg kick for Jorgensen. More boxing from these two with Curran getting the better of it. He goes for a takedown but Jorgensen sprawls and gets side control. The fight comes to a close though. 10-9 Curran. Jorgensen takes the fight 29-28 on the Inside Fights scorecard.
Scott Jorgensen def. Jeff Curran via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Roy Nelson (15-6) vs. Mirko Cro Cop (27-9-2)
Round 1- Nelson throws a haymaker so big that he nearly falls over when it misses. Nelson keeps pushing the tempo. Nelson comes in and gets a massive single leg takedown. Cro Cop falls into full guard. Nelson can’t find a way through it but cro Cop isn’t getting up anytime soon. Nelson gets an arm free and throws a few shots toward the face of Cro Cop. Nelson stands up and Cro Cop lands an up kick. Big kick from Cro Cop to Nelson’s body. Huge right from Nelson but Cro Cop gets an uppercut of his own in. Jab from Cro Cop. Big uppercut from Cro Cop. Jab from Cro Cop. Nelson gets a few strong blows of his own in, he seems to be hunting for a knockout blow. Jab from Nelson. A Kick from Nelson, rather ugly surprise, surprise. Kick from Cro Cop and the round ends. 10-9 Nelson, very entertaining stuff.
Round 2- Nelson comes in and gets pushed away. Nelson comes in with a massive shot that stuns Cro Cop. But Cro Cop recovers instantly and lands a big shot on Nelson. it slows him and Cro Cop begins to unload. Nelson covers up and Cro Cop hits him with maybe 20 shots to the facial area but he survives somehow. Nelson’s face is bloodied but he is still alive. Nelson begins to stalk Cro Cop. Head kick from Cro Cop. They tie up. Nelson tries to flatten him, pancake style, but can’t quite do it. With 2 minutes left Nelson gets his takedown and gets side control. Nelson begins working for a crucifix position. He doesn’t get it fully but is able to start landing shots to the head of Cro Cop. He gets the crucifix and Cro Cop begins to squirm like crazy trying to get out of it. Cro Cop can’t do much but he makes it long enough to survive the round. 10-9 Nelson in a close one
Round 3- Nelson still seems to have a spring in his step so props to him on that one. Big shot from Nelson staggers Cro Cop. He comes in throwing elbows. He moves in and lands two to the chin of Cro Cop. Cro Cop goes down and Nelson grabs his back and begins to pound away. It doesn’t take Steve Mazzagatti long to step in and save Cro Cop from any further punishment.
Roy Nelson def. Mirko Cro Cop via TKO (Strikes)- Round 3, 1:30
Cheick Kongo (16-6-2) vs. Matt Mitrione (5-0)
Round 1- Mitrione is bouncing and taunting to begin with. Mitrione bounces forward with a strike but Kongo brushes it off. At the 90 second mark Las Vegas starts to get restless. Kongo throws a combo but nothing does any damage. They come together and tie up. Kongo gets Mitrione up against the cage. Knee to the thigh of Mitrione. And another. Kongo has under hooks but can’t do much with it. Herb Dean shows some decency and breaks them up. We get a restart and Mitrione comes forward throwing straights. Leg kick lands for Kongo. Inside leg kick for Kongo. Kongo throw a kick, M itrione catches it and dumps him to the mat. Mitrione hits with a left and Kongo gets a counter strike in. Kongo throws a few at the bell. Dreadful opening round. 10-9 Kongo, I guess.
Round 2- Kongo comes out with punches and leg kicks. Mitrione hits a left. Another leg kick from Kongo. Mitrione misses with a bomb. Leg kick for Mitrione. Kongo returns the favor. A few big rights from Kongo are blocked. Leg kick for Mitrione, again it is returned. Kongo come forward and hits 2 brutal shots to the jaw. Mitrione lands a missile of his own. Mitrione begins to stalk. Leg kick for Kongo. Mitrione throws a few medium strength shots causing Kongo to slip. Lg kick for Kongo. Jab for Kongo. Leg kick for Kongo. Kongo comes in with some nice strikes but Mitrione gets a nice one of his own. Uppercut from Mitrione. He backs away but Mitrione wisely doesn’t follow. Jab for Kongo. Big straight from Kongo is blocked. Kongo is staying significantly busier here. Mitrione lands a sharp right. Mitrione gets a few more shots in at the bell. A better round but just as close. I’m going to say Kongo 10-9 again but the judges may disagree.
Round 3- Kongo coms out throwing punches. Leg kick for Kongo. Mitrione has some success with his shots. Kongo fires right back and backs Mitrione up against the cage and slams him down hard. Mitrione goes for a kimura, I would like to see that happen. Kongo transitions out of it. Mitrione is looking for a leg lock of some sort. Kongo gets to throw some shots in on Mitrione’s face. Mitrione stands up and has a wicked cut above his eye. Kongo is trying to drain his energy by pushing him up against the cage. Kongo then gets another takedown, this one not as emphatic. Two minutes left to go and Kongo is in control. Kongo works some elbows into Mitrione’s thigh. The crowd is really pissed but it doesn’t stop Kongo from trying to work his elbows from the top. Kongo continues to destroy a grounded Mitrione. Mitrione rolls but to no avail as Kongo just keeps landing strikes to the body. He takes Mitrione’s back and the final bell sounds. 10-9 Kongo, could have been a 10-8 though these scorecards should be very interesting. On ours we have Kongo winning the fight 30-27.
Cheick Kongo def. Matt Mitrione via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28)
BJ Penn (16-7-2) vs. Nick Diaz (25-7)
Round 1- It takes 4 suits to prevent Diaz from jumping Penn before the bell. Penn catches him with a straight to open the main event. Diaz gets control and works him against the cage. They break and Penn gets another shot in. Jab for Penn. Diaz comes in and gets a shot in over the top. They both exchange huge shot that seem to hurt the other. The crowd is 1000% percent of the corner of Penn. They fall to the ground and Penn takes the back. He starts working over the face of Diaz. Penn takes side control. Diaz gets control of Penn’s wrist and we’ll see what he does with it. Diaz is defending well. Penn stands up and Diaz grabs the leg and gets to his feet. Diaz working for a single leg while Penn lands shot to the head and body. Knee from Diaz against the cage. Two body shots land for Diaz. Penn lands a solid shot to the nose. Soft jab for Diaz. Diaz lands a few hooks that are on the weaker side. Diaz works some more jabs and an overhand punch to end the round. Close though I would say solidly a 10-9 Penn round.
Round 2- Jab from Penn. Diaz moves penn up against the cage and starts to work the Edgar strategy. A strong Diaz chant comes up through the crowd. Diaz starts to land a few punches. Penn goes for a takedown but has to eat some knees for his trouble. He lets go of the hold and Diaz cracks off a few body shots. More shots from Diaz start to land. Penn starts to slow down and show some wear from all these punches that are landing. Diaz is unrelenting. Diaz hits a few more and then a knee from the clinch. Diaz goes for a double leg takedown. He breaks it off and unloads with some huge shots. Penn is in big trouble and he can’t find a way to defend himself. Some more land to the jaw. Diaz hits him with 3 or 4 more. Diaz corners him and begins to work the body. Penn is barely still standing. The round comes to an end. 10-8 Diaz if I’ve ever seen one.
Round 3- Both of their faces are busted up as we enter the final round. They come together instantly. Diaz gains control with his punches. Penn goes for the takedown but is stuffed. Diaz goes right back to pounding in the face of Penn. Penn moves away from the cage but Diaz simply hunts him down and unloads some more. Penn gets one of his own back but Diaz will not quit throwing shots. Big shot lands to the back of Penn’s head. Diaz begins to taunt Penn by dropping his guard. Two minutes left and Diaz pins Penn against the cage. Penn comes out with a rush of his own. They both keeping punching with whatever they have left in the tank. Diaz throws a kick (who knows). A beautiful right from Diaz lands on Penn’s ear. The two are in the center of the cage boxing their hearts out. Diaz is clearly winning this fight at this point. Diaz starts in again with his kicks. Penn’s victory here will be surviving but what an amazing fight. 10-9 Diaz giving him a 29-27 victory on the Inside Fights scorecard.
Nick Diaz def. BJ Penn via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
Tags: B.J Penn, Bart Palaszewski, Brandon Vera, Cheick Kongo, Chris Camozzi, Clifford Starks, Danny Downes, Dennis Siver, Donald Cerrone, Dustin Jacoby, Eliot Marshall, Francis Carmont, George Roop, Hatsu Hioki, Jeff Curran, Matt Mitrione, Mirko Cro Cop, Nick Diaz, Ramsey Nijem, Roy Nelson, Scott Jorgensen, Tyson Griffin