Archive for January, 2009

Penn OK, no serious injuries

January 31st, 2009
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B.J. Penn was taken to a nearby hospital immediately after the fight, but I just got off the phone with brother J.D., who says Penn is OK. Just a couple of bumps and bruises. They were about to leave the hospital. No serious injuries.

As for the fight, who would have thought it would be so one-sided? Even in the areas B.J. seemed to have the advantage heading in, especially in the standup, St-Pierre dominated. He was also smart while in Penn’s guard, never allowing B.J. to get his legs over his shoulders in order to set up a bunch of submission attempts from the ground.

We’ve never seen Penn beaten the way he was tonight. It will be a true test of character to see how he comes back from this. He’s still the best fighter in the world at 155 pounds, but how he bounces back against Kenny Florian in his next fight for the lightweight title will truly shape the rest of Penn’s UFC career.

St-Pierre romps Penn by TKO

January 31st, 2009
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B.J. is in the ring. GSP entering now. Here we go!

Round 1
Clinch immediately. Short knees from both. GSP leaning on B.J., trying to exploit the weight advantage. GSP trying to work a takedown but Penn stuffs it. Uppercuts by BJ. GSP leaning against Penn on the cage. Trying hard for the takedown. Finally separate 2 minutes in. GSP lands a combo. GSP back into the clinch and again pushes Penn onto the cage. GSP goes for the single leg again but Penn stuffs a third takedown attempt. Short left by Penn and they trade. Overhand right and left jab by GSP catches Penn. High knee by Penn. Leg kick from GSP. Rounds ends. Extremely close. Not much damage either way.

Penn chooses to stand in his corner during the break.

Round 2
Penn looks to counter early then explodes for a combo. GSP clinches and shoves Penn on the cage again. Single leg and finally GSP gets a takedown but BJ goes straight to rubber guard. Back to closed guard. GSP stands up and catches Penn with a big shot from the top. GSP gets side control and has Penn’s arm trapped. Raining down blows. GSP has side mount now. Big elbow. Penn finally works his way back to closed guard. GSP gets up and throws a coule of bombs and has side control again.

Round 3

GSP feeling it now. Leg kick and a straight right rocks Penn. Penn counters with an overhand left. GSP jabbing away at Penn. GSP gets Penn on the fence, gets the single leg and rushes Penn to the ground. Side control again for GSP. Penn takes some shots, but gets to his feet. Penn has GSP up against the cage, but GSP reverses it and goes back to work for the takedown. Another takedown for GSP, right up against the cage. Not a good spot for Penn. Big elbow. And another. Round ends with GSP on top of Penn, again.

Round 4

Leg kick from SP and a right jab. Another leg kick. Penn counters with a left. Easy takedown for GSP and into half guard. Penn doesn’t have an answer for GSP once he’s on the bottom. Side control and repeated elbows to the head. GSP working Penn over. Similar position as when Penn was stopped by Matt Hughes. Another elbow to BJ. GSP is just smothering Penn. Big shots. Herb Dean looks close to maybe stopping it. More shots. Penn just can’t find a way to escape. Big left by GSP. He is doing whatever he wants. All Penn can do is avoid letting the fight get stoppd. GSP doing everything he can to force a stoppage. GSP like an animal. He won’t stop delivering blows. Penn survives.

IT’S OVER!!

Herb Dean stops it on the doctor’s advice. GSP by TKO in four rounds.

*********

Here comes B.J. It’s on!

Lyoto Machida ended the decision streak with a dominant TKO of Thiago Silva in the first round.

Every fight can’t go to a decision, can it?

I was hoping the PPV would bring something different, but not to be. Karo Parisyan and Clay Guida ran the string of decisions to seven as both won by split decision.

Can’t say I agreed with the outcome of the Parisyan fight, but the lack of knockouts is starting to make the crowd antsy.

Jon Jones tried, flooring Stephan Bonnar in the first round with a wicked spinning back fist, but the streack reaches eight decisions in a row as Jones upset Bonnar by unanimous decision.
*******

Gotta give GSP the slight nod in fan support, although it’s close. Canada has definitely come out in full force, but Hawaii is right there with them. Unbelievable atmosphere.

Pay-per-view is ready to go…

Akihiro Gono had the best entrance as usual. Dressed in drag, Gono danced his way to the cage before being dominated by Jon Fitch for 15 minutes as Fitch wrapped up the undercard with a unanimous decision win.

No knockouts yet as Thiago Tavares beat Manvel Gamburyan by unanimous decision.

John Howard and Chris Wilson are fighting, but everyone in the crowd is too busy chanting BJ PENN or G-S-P. Hawaiian and Canadian flags everywhere in the stands. The atmosphere in here is amazing and it’s only the prelims.

ANOTHER split decision. John Howard beats Chris Wilson. The UFC production team must be sweating bricks right now.

Another split decision. This time it’s Jake O’Brien getting the nod over Christian Wellisch.

Ho-hum first fight. Dan Cramer def. Matt Arroyo by split decision. Don’t expect to see that fight on the pay-per-view.

Prelims just got underway

Posted in Fights | 6 Comments »

Penn weighs in at 168

January 30th, 2009
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Hilo’s B.J. Penn weighed in at 168 pounds for tomorrow night’s welterweight title fight against champion Georges St-Pierre, who tipped the scales at an even 170.

A packed house at the weigh-in seemed pretty 50-50 between GSP and Penn. GSP got a louder ovation when he stepped to the scale, but he also had much more boo’s.

Penn made weight first and waited on the corner of the stage, shaking out his arms like a caged animal. Once St-Pierre made his way over for the stare down, B.J. took a step closer, followed by GSP and then B.J. one last time as the two got nose-to-nose for the final time before they step into the cage tomorrow.

The only other highlight from the weigh-ins came when Akihiro Gono showed up in a wig. After the Penn/GSP fight, the thing I might be looking forward to the most tomorrow night’s is Gono’s entrance.

I think it’s encouraging to see B.J. weigh in at 168 pounds. When Penn faced Hughes in his last fight at welterweight, he weighed in at 166. Not only is he two pounds heavier, but his arms are clearly bigger and he’s as built as we’ve seen him. I think before it was just about gaining weight to get to 170. Now, it looks like he’s only put on solid muscle weight, which is the right way to go.

I’ll be honest. On the plane ride to Vegas, I really thought St-Pierre had the advantage. Now? I just don’t know. Watching Penn, it’s impossible to see him losing. Between the determination etched on his face at the weigh-ins and his overall attitude in general, it’s impossible to see a scenario where he loses anything other than a decision.

I’m stumped. It’s a 50-50 fight.

Penn/GSP II.
24 hours away
Who wins, how and in what round?

LIVE from the UFC weigh-in

January 30th, 2009
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It’s not looking good on the live stream from today’s weigh-ins, but to make up for it, I’ve got some news on a big local event.

Expect an official announcement on Monday, but it sounds like a new MMA promotion in Hawaii will make its debut in late March. The promoter, someone very familiar with the local scene, already has a main event “90%” in place.

Who is it?

Kala “Kolohe” Hose vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller at the Blaisdell Arena….

Live updates from the UFC weigh-ins coming in a few.

UFC to open Hawaii gym in Penn’s name

January 30th, 2009
By



Here’s the official release from the UFC:

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The UFC® and New Evolution Fitness Company (NEFC), announced today that UFC Gyms will partner with Georges “Rush” St-Pierre, UFC’s Welterweight Champion, and BJ “The Prodigy” Penn, reigning Lightweight Champion to build “St-Pierre” and “Penn” UFC Gyms, with locations planned for St-Pierre’s native city of Montreal and Penn’s home state of Hawaii.

St-Pierre and Penn, who compete in a historic rematch for the UFC Welterweight Championship belt at UFC 94: ST-PIERRE vs. PENN 2 this Saturday, Jan. 31, live from MGM Grand Garden Arena, are the first UFC athletes to have UFC Gyms featuring their name and likeness.

“Besides being a great way for us to connect with UFC fans on a daily basis, UFC Gyms is another way that UFC is providing economic opportunities for UFC athletes outside of the Octagon,” said Dana White, UFC President. “Combining the UFC brand with superstars Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn gives them an exciting business venture that is unprecedented in the fight industry.”

“When you are presented with the opportunity to work with two of the greatest athletes, Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn, in the fastest growing sport in the world, the UFC, in two great destinations, Montreal and Hawaii, with the best promoter in sports, Dana White, and the business talents of Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, your decisions come fast and easy,” said Mastrov.

“UFC Gyms” will be the first major brand extension for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the all-time industry leader in the sport of mixed martial arts. In alliance with NEFC owners Mark Mastrov and Jim Rowley, developers of many of the world’s most successful fitness brands, UFC Gyms will give UFC enthusiasts and fitness seekers alike the opportunity to practice the training techniques of famed UFC athletes, including Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn, in their respective UFC gyms.

“It is a dream come true to have a St-Pierre UFC Gym in Montreal,” said St-Pierre. “Ever since the UFC came to my country, the sport has been so huge – I know this gym will be very popular.”

“I’m very excited to be a part of this tremendous opportunity, I look forward to working with the UFC to make UFC Gyms a huge success,” said Penn. “It will be such an honor to have a UFC gym in my name, and right in my homeland of Hawaii.”

With a diverse, loyal fan base of millions in the United States and abroad, UFC Gyms will become the fitness destination of choice, providing all-around training, conditioning and health options for men, women and children of all ages.

For more information about UFC Gyms, please visit UFCgyms.com.

About The Ultimate Fighting Championship®

The Ultimate Fighting Championship® is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization and offers the premier series of MMA sports events. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over twelve live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed residentially through North American cable and satellite providers including iNDEMAND Networks, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN Entertainment, Bell ExpressVU, SaskTel Max™, Shaw Pay-Per-View, Viewers Choice, and WOWOW in Japan, and via the Internet worldwide on Yahoo! Sports, and commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada. In addition to its North American distribution, UFC programming is distributed in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world. For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit ufc.com or uk.ufc.com or ufcespanol.com.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa™, The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, trademarks, trade dress or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC or other respective owners.

About New Evolution Fitness Company

Based in Northern California, New Evolution Fitness Company (NEFC) is a private equity firm focused on the Health and Fitness industry, providing capital and operating partnerships, management oversight, and expertise to emerging brands around the world. NEFC was founded by Mark Mastrov, an industry visionary and developer of some of the world’s most successful fitness brands and Jim Rowley a long time fitness professional.