Mark Weber/The Memphis Commercial Appeal
Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 | 6:40 p.m.
- Complete Coverage: UFC 107
- UFC 107 results: Penn wins by TKO in final round
- Best B.J. Penn ever?
- Frank Mir runs his mouth, backs it up in Kongo fight
- Fireside Chat with Dana White
- Breaking down UFC 107: Penn v. Sanchez
- Breaking down UFC 107: Mir v. Kongo
- Breaking down UFC 107: Florian v. Guida
- Diego Sanchez looks to put pressure on B.J. Penn
- Kenny Florian optimistic third title shot a possiblity
- Frank Mir talks about past, present and future
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — B.J. Penn looked as dominant as ever Saturday night, defending his lightweight title for the third consecutive time with a TKO win over Diego Sanchez.
Many believed Sanchez would be the biggest challenge to Penn's belt yet, as the 27-year-old fighter had never been finished before in his career.
Penn (15-5-1) took care of that Saturday night, dominating Sanchez (23-3) in every aspect of the fight through four lop-sided rounds before opening up a huge gash over Sanchez's left eye with a right head kick that brought a stop to the fight.
After the fight, Penn admitted that he had been looking forward to fighting Sanchez for a long time.
"I kept my mouth shut before the fight but I always wanted to fight Diego Sanchez," Penn said. "I knew he wanted to fight me. I knew for years he wanted to fight me."
Penn dropped Sanchez in the fight's opening minute, landing a big right hand that had Sanchez in trouble immediately. Sanchez covered up and worked back to his feet to keep the fight going, but it was a sign of things to come.
Like many challengers before him, Sanchez turned to the takedown in middle rounds. And like many challengers before him, was unable in bringing the champion down.
With another successful title defense, Penn may look to return to the welterweight division where he lost to champion Georges St. Pierre in January. Prior to Saturday night, UFC president Dana White had said the organization would have to consider Penn's future if he won, considering he's nearly cleaned out the entire 155-pound division.
B.J. Penn (15-5-1) v. Diego Sanchez (23-3)
Round One: Sanchez comes forward with the first punches of the night and Penn steps back and makes him miss. Big right hand from Penn puts Sanchez down early. Pen is on him quickly looking to finish. Sanchez is hurt but he rolls forward and gives himself a second to recompose. Sanchez now on his back, works to his feet and breaks away from Penn. Big head kick from Sanchez misses. Both fighters showing patience now after the early fireworks. Sanchez comes forward looking for a knee but Penn backs up and its a clinch now against the cage. Good elbow from Sanchez off the break knocks Penn back a step. Sanchez comes forward in a burst but Penn eludes and counters. Sanchez shoots a takedown, Penn stuffs. Under a minute to go now, Sanchez swings with two hooks but misses. Now he lands an uppercut to Penn. Sanchez looks for a knee again, Penn too fast he counters. Another straight punch from Penn staggers Sanchez. Round ends.
Round Two: Sanchez is retreating here early in second round. Penn swinging at him but he's backing up. Now he shoots a takedown but Penn backs up, uses the fence to stay on his feet. It's the classic Penn takedown defense. Sanchez can't get him to the ground. Clinch breaks. Penn comes forward with strikes again, Sanchez wears them and goes for a takedown - defended. Good right uppercut lands from Sanchez. Sanchez comes forward aggressively but Penn is too fast, he dodges them and lands an uppercut. Penn lets the hands loose, connects on a combination. Good right cross from Sanchez lands. Penn swings and misses over the top and Sanchez shoots. Sanchez brings Penn to his knees but that's about it. Can't take him down. Second round ends.
Round Three: Sanchez starts third round with a right hand followed by a body kick. Penn comes forward and Sanchez ducks and goes for the leg, but Penn stuffs the takedown and backs up to the fence. Sanchez doing everything he can to get fight to the ground. He's got ahold of Penn's left leg and he keeps exploding trying to lift it up. Penn just balances on the right and lands shots to Sanchez's face. Sanchez gives the leg up and the fighters separate. Not for long, as Sanchez goes for the leg again. Penn defends it and lands a shot off the clinch. Now Penn wants to be aggressive. He throws a combination that lands. Blood is coming from Sanchez's mouth. One minute left. Sanchez clinches him against the fence the rest of the way.
Round Four: Penn couldn't wait for fourth round to start. He comes straight forward immediately. Penn lands a left uppercut in first minute. Penn lands a big right hook. Sanchez shoots but can't catch up to Penn, who backtracks to the fence. Sanchez feints, throws a combination, shoots - but gets nothing out of it. Penn is too good defensively. He blocks the shots and backs up to the cage to defend the takedown. Sanchez misses with a big right hook and then shoots again. Crowd starts to boo as Sanchez pushes Penn to the fence again. Big knee lands for Penn. Sanchez's face is badly swollen.
Round Five: Fan in between rounds yelled, 'B.J. knock this guy out.' Looked like Penn heard and started nodding his head. Sanchez grabs the leg, goes to the fence, crowd booing. Sanchez had the leg, tried leaning back to pull him down. Even that didn't work, as Penn regains his balance and is back on his feet. Penn lands head kick and follows with string of uppercuts. Referee Herb Dean looks ready to call this fight. If Penn gets him in trouble again this thing will probably be over. Now Dean stops it, but to let the doctor check out a huge cut over Sanchez's right eye. They show it on the big screen and no way. That thing is huge. Penn wins by TKO in final round.
Frank Mir (13-4) v. Cheick Kongo (24-6-1)
Round One: Mir 20 pounds heavier than he was in last fight. Looks enormous. Kongo throws first, feints a kick and then comes forward with the hands. Mir lands a huge left overhand that drops Kongo. Kongo survives, tries to get to his feet, Mir puts him in guillotine. That's the end of that. Welcome back Frank Mir.
Jon Fitch (24-3) v. Mike Pierce (9-3)
Round One: Fitch comes out aggressive to start round one, leading with kicks and punches. Now he catches a body kick from Pierce and looks to take his back but Pierce able to turn into him just enough. Not for long though, as Fitch ends up taking his back on the way to the mat. Pierce works to his feet but Fitch still on his back looking for the choke. Fitch gets too aggressive trying to pull Pierce backwards and loses his back. Pierce to his feet and works Fitch into a clinch against the fence. Referee Yamasaki steps and separates them. Pierce comes forward with a one-two. Good knee there by Fitch when Pierce leaves his head down. Fitch is winning the fight but bleeding from a cut near the left eye.
Round Two: Good left hook from Pierce. Nice jab by Fitch lands. Pierce looks for a leg kick and Fitch sees it coming and gets the takedown. Again Fitch looking to take Pierce's back. Pierce fights him off and both fighters go back to their feet. Pierce trying to make something happen but Fitch just always seems a half-step ahead of him. Pierce comes forward with a one-two that lands, but Fitch takes the shots and clinches him against the cage. Crowd becoming restless at lack of action. Pierce lands a few good shots to finish round.
Round Three: Fitch lands good knee to start third round, taken well by Pierce. Good straight right now by Fitch. Both fighters look to exchange, Pierce moves forward and puts Fitch's back to the fence. Fitch lands a few knees from the clinch and Pierce pushes him away. Quickly back to the clinch though with three minutes to go. Crowd again begins to boo. Pierce lands a few good shots out of the clinch. Fitch's activity starts to pick up, but Pierce doing a nice job of staying out of the way. One minute left and Fitch moves into the clinch and then looks to take Pierce's back again. But Perice gets away and just misses on an uppercut. Pierce is coming forward hard now with 30 seconds to go. Fitch lands a knee but Pierce keeps coming. He lands a few uppercuts with Fitch against the fence. Lots of activity at the end of a slow fight. Fitch ends up winning the fight by unanimous decision, 29-28 by all three.
Kenny Florian (14-4) v. Clay Guida (25-8)
Round One: Guida throwing leg kicks and bobbing and weaving to start the fight. Don't expect him to top moving. Good feint back and then coming through with a straight right from Guida. Florian goes for a head kick but it doesn't land and he falls back because of it. Guida immediately on top, we'll see if he can pass guard or just looks to control the fight. Florian nice job creating space and quickly back to his feet. He's already bleeding from a cut near his right eye though. Nice head movement from Guida gets him out of the way of a hook from Florian but he misses on the counter. Good left from Florian but better uppercut from Guida. Florian looks for the takedown but Guida defends. Guida misses on a straight punch and Florian able to capitalize on him falling forward and takes him down. Guida gets bcak to his feet though. Now Guida bleeding badly from a cut that looks to be near the top of his head. Body slam by Florian, Guida back up. Referee Mario Yamasaki stops the action to have Guida's cut looked at. It's next to his hairline on the left side of his forehead. Doc says it's good.
Round Two: Guida loks for the takedown early in second round but it's stuffed by Florian. The blood is really coming out of that cut on Guida's hairline. Really coming out. Both fighters trying to pick their spots on the standup but mostly coming up with air. Good left from Florian drops Guida and he's in trouble. Florian goes immediately to his back and sinks the rear naked choke. It was over when that punch landed, Guida was hurt.
"I want another shot at the title, it wasn't a good performance last time," Florian said. "You'll see the real Kenny Florian next time.
Paul Buentello (25-11) v. Stefan Struve (23-3)
Round One: Good straight right hand from Buentello lands. Struve kicks but it's caught by Buentello and Struve looks to pull guard but his back is against the cage. Good takedown by Struve on a trip and he takes Buentello's back. Buentello is keeping his chin down but Stuve has got three minutes to work from this position and it doesn't look like Buentello can get him off. Once those long legs are wrapped around you, it's tough to get out. Crowd booing for more action, but one mistake from Buentello in this position and the fight is over. With 30 seconds left, Buentello finally turns around and gets top position.
Round Two: Nice overhand right from Buentello lands. Struve ran forward it looked like to throw a flying knee, but Buentello caught him with a straight and dropped him. Struve OK though, and Buentello lets him back to his feet. Struve works into the clinch. Struve bends down to get hold of Buentello's leg, but Buentello stays on his feet and continues to control the standup. Again, Struve goes for a flying knee and Buentello drops him again. Struve survives and wanted Buentello to come to the ground for him but Buentello won't do it. Struve gets to his feet again and he looks frustrated. Nice right hand from Struve off a clinch and the two stand and trade for a few moments. Struve keeps walking into punches though. Again they stand and trade and Struve backs off and the two fighters touch gloves. Unbelievable second round. Fight looks tied heading into third.
Round Three: Nice straight right from Struve lands. Answered by straight right from Buentello. Struve lands a few good straight hands, but he's still coming forward with knees with his hands down. Fighters clinch with Buentello's back to the fence. Good uppercut and straight from Buentello as the clinch breaks. Two minutes left in a still close third round. Struve not throwing many punches now, he's sitting back on Buentello and throwing the leg kick. Buentello lands a good jab. Buentello knocks Struve down after catching a leg kick and that may be enough to win the fight at this point. Twenty seconds left and Struve still backing up after Buentello lets him to his feet. Ten seconds left, Struve winds up for the home run but it doesn't land. Majority decision comes out in favor of Struve. Crowd boos decision.
Alan Belcher (14-5) v. Wilson Gouveia (12-7)
Round One: Belcher comes out with the crowd on his side and takes control of the center of the octagon. Belcher loads up for a right hand but Gouvei beats him to the punch and lands a couple straight hands. Good right hand from Belcher lands under the chin of Gouveia but it seemed to wake him up as he comes forward with a few consecutive hard shots. Few more straight hands from Gouveia land and both fighters just going at it now. They've both ate some shots early, there's still 2:30 left in the round. Belcher lands a hard combination with Gouveia's back against the fence and a right uppercut drops him. He covers up on the ground and that's all referee Herb Dean needs to see. Belcher scores the TKO win.
Matt Wiman (11-5) v. Shane Nelson (13-5)
Round One: Fighters mirror each other coming out of the gate, throwing leg kicks then punches. Wiman claims he got poked in the eye, action stops briefly. Wiman lands a couple leg kicks. Now nelson catches one and almost lands a great counter, but Wiman gets out of the way. Nelson countering nicely and now a few consecutive shots have Wiman in trouble. Now wiman acting a little more conservative and pace has slowed down considerably because of it. Nelson waiting for Wiman to come forward. Good body shot from Wiman now followed by a body kick. Fighters clinch against the cage and a big right hook from Wiman staggers Nelson. He goes down but manages to put Wiman in his guard and survive for now. Nelson is able to work to his feet and he's bleeding badly from a cut on the top of his forehead. Great one-two from Nelson to finish the round though.
Round Two: Both fighters swinging aggressively to start second round. Nelson just misses on a head kick. Wiman lands a nice head kick himself but Nelson shoots and takes him down. Nelson unable to do much from top and referee stands them up with three minutes to go. Wiman starting to find his rhythm, landing shots, countering effectively, stuffing takedowns. Wiman gets a takedown with two minutes left in the round and throws some good elbows from top position. Nelson looks for a kneebar but Wiman rolls out of it and finishes the round on top of Nelson.
Round Three: Wiman lands accidental groin shot beginning of third round and action stops for awhile. Looping overhand right from Nelson misses. Good combination thrown by Wiman, then he shoots and takes Nelson to the ground. Nelson works back to his feet and needs to put something together with three minutes left. Good knee from Nelson. Now good body shot from Nelson, but Wiman comes forward and lands a takedown when Nelson tries to clinch. Nelson again looks for a kneebar but Wiman escapes easily and takes his back with 40 seconds left. Nelson defends the choke but Wiman lands some great shots from the back to finish the round.
Johny Hendricks (7-0) v. Ricardo Funch (7-1)
Round One: Hendricks looks for immediate takedown but Funch defends well and works for a takedown of his own. Hendricks uses the cage to get back to his feet and thw two fighters are back in a clinch against the fence. Few knees here and there but they are canceling eaach other out for the most part. Finally Hendricks gets low after Funch looked to throw a punch and body slams him to the ground. Funch defends well from his back though and Hendricks lets him get to his feet. Funch shoots but Hendricks sprawls and lands a knee. Now good uppercuts from Hendricks. Hendricks catches Funch in a guillotine but unable to finish it. Good first round for Hendricks ends.
Round Two: Good left hook from Hendricks seemed to have Funch in trouble and he follows it with a body slam that gets a good reaction from the Memphis crowd. Hendricks unable to advance though and he lets Funch to his feet again. Funch continues to back up as Hendricks stays aggressive in his standup. Good knees from Hendricks after he stuff a takedown from Funch. Second time this round, Hendricks gets Funch to his feet, can't improve position and lets him get back up. With 40 seconds left in the round, Hendricks takes Funch's back. Funch eats some shots to the side of the head but avoids the choke. Horn sounds, dominant round by Hendricks.
Round Three: Hendricks feints a jab and shoots on Funch to start third round. this time Funch gives up his back immediately and already in defense mode. Funch is able to get back to his feet and land a hard leg kick, but Hendricks doesn't seem slowed by it and charges again. Two minutes left, Hendricks has side control on Funch against the cage. His corner is yelling at him to finish the fight, but Funch is proving to be hard guy to finish, especially when that's become his only goal now in this fight. Hendricks looking for a kimora attempt, Funch breaks away. Huge body slam from Hendricks as he lifts Funch over his back and drops him to the mat. Final 10 seconds, Hendricks drops as many elbows as he can but can't finish the fight. Still, a great performance, he wins by unanimous decision.
Rousimar Palhares (19-2) v. Lucio Linhares (13-5)
Round One: Palhares throws an overhand right and then lands a takedown in the opening seconds. Linhares doesn't want to be on his back against this guy and works to his feet, only to have Palhares pull guard and then reverse the position and get back on top. Palhares puts Linhares against the fence and works some ground and pound. Palhares can't improve position though and after a minute fight gets stood up. Palhares throws another overhand right and then transitions to the ground looking for a kneebar. Linhares breaks away, but is back to his back with Palhares working out of his guard. First time tonight, we're headed to second round.
Round Two: Palhares goes for a takedown and Linhares puts him in a triangle choke but Palhares breaks free. Linhares works to top position and lands some decent ground and pound. Now he gets the full mount, but Palhares is so strong. He shakes him off. Fight gets stood up again and Linhares lands a good leg kick, fight goes to the ground. And it's over? Fight is over but no one even knows who won. No cheers or boos, very weird, but replay shows Linhares taps immediately from a heel hook.
DaMarques Johnson (15-7) v. Edgar Garcia (7-2)
Round One: Fighters come out touch gloves. Johnson lands a couple straight punches that knock Garcia back a step. Nice left hook from Garcia answered by same from Johnson. Nice exchanges go back and forth before Garcia wrestles Johnson to the ground. Johnson on his back, tries to roll over but Garcia catches him in a peruvian necktie. It looks pretty tight, but Johnson trying to slip out. Johnson's right arm is up and keeping the choke from sinking too deep and he gives a thumbs up to the referee. Now he's out and back to his feet. Garcia works into a clinch against the cage and both fighters land great shots. Johnson backs away from him and signals to Garcia to keep bringing it. Garcia drops him with a big shot and goes to finish but Johnson catches him in a triangle choke and gets the immediate tap.
When asked how tight the peruvian necktie was, Johnson responds, "It was pretty friggin tight."
Kevin Burns (8-4) v. T.J. Grant (15-3)
Round One: Lot of people here for a prelim fight, Memphis is excited about its first event. Burns come out looking to strike, Grant times a takedown well but Burns gets back to his feet. Burns lands a big right cross that puts Grant down in the first minute of the fight. Grant surviving and grabs hold of Burns. Now back to his feet. Dodged a bullet there. Nice right uppercut from Burns followed by a great takedown by Grant. After a bit of work, Grant improves position to side control and then full mount. Nice work from Burns to reverse and get back to his feet where he wants to be. Whoops, Grant lands an accidental right leg to Burns's groin. Oh man, direct right kick to his groin after seeing the replay. That's the kind of thing you don't just walk off. Burns does though and action resumes with 20 seconds left. Immediately Grant lands some devastating knees and a right hook that puts Burns down with only seconds to go. Grant gets on top and finishes the fight at 4:57 mark of first round.
Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or brett.okamoto@las[email protected].