Why BJ Penn and Matt Hughes Should Complete Their Trilogy
UFC 112 was an important event.
It may not have been successful, but it probably was the event that determined the true No. 1 pound for pound.
Anderson Silva delivered yet another lackluster performance, which brought question to his ability to finish opponents, while BJ Penn actually lost. Although his loss was controversial, it definitely proved Penn isn't the most dominant of champions.
On the same card, Matt Hughes faced off against Renzo Gracie. Hughes won, and in the process became the only person besides Kazushi Sakuraba to defeat both Renzo and Royce Gracie.
Not an easy feat, but before you give him too much credit, Renzo was already 43 and the last fight he had was in 2007.
Hughes didn't even really dominate Renzo, instead choosing to inflict damage by throwing a series of kicks. He usually didn't follow them up with combinations either, or even move forward, he just waited until the third and final round where poor Renzo was busy falling to finally finish him off.
He seemed to have too much respect for his opponent in that fight, even going as far as helping Renzo up after dropping him with another kick. As I said before, he wasn't aggressive and he couldn't even take Renzo down.
The few punching exchanges between the two fighters seemed downright mediocre.
Hughes isn't exactly a young fighter himself. He is 37 years old and has had a 12-year career. His record of 44-7 is anything but unsuccessful. However, recently his performance has been deteriorating. He has only managed to put together a mediocre 50 percent record his last six fights, and even though two of his losses came from GSP, his wins haven't been impressive either.
A close decision versus Serra, a decision over Chris Lytle, and now his win over Renzo aren't exactly top notch victories. His recent loss against Thiago Alves was just degrading as well. As of now, Hughes needs to either retire or fight one more fight against an elite fighter to see if he can still hang with the best.
That's why he should fight BJ Penn.
Penn and Hughes have already fought each other twice, and neither fight was a disappointment. Penn won the first fight in a shocking upset in the first round to claim the Welterweight belt, but Hughes rebounded two years later to win in the third round and this time he kept his belt. The two have quite the history between them.
Penn is coming off a loss, and this fight would be perfect to build up his status to give him a shot to get his belt back. If he wins, not only does he win his trilogy with Hughes, but it also gives him yet another good win on his record. Hopefully it would also convince Hughes to retire; 37 is already pushing it.
If Penn loses, well, he could either retire or keep fighting, although if he loses against a slow, old Hughes he probably should hang up the gloves. At least it'll be a good win for Hughes.
*Note: I understand the UFC has already scheduled a rematch for Penn and Edgar, but I think this matchup would make much more sense.
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