The UFC 137 results and Bleacher Report is here with your real winners and losers from tonight's big event from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV.
Top-level welterweights Nick Diaz and BJ Penn battled in an epic, three-round standup war, with Diaz winning a unanimous decision in the end. In the end, it was Diaz's boxing and Penn's lack of cardio that seemed to be the difference in the fight.
But like most MMA events, tonight proved again that you don’t necessarily have to have been involved in the fight card to have been affected by its outcome. The real winners and losers often don’t show up in the record books, and tonight was no different as many outsiders were affected.
So with that said, let’s take a closer look at UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz as we examine who the real winners and losers really were.
If there was ever someone who needed a win, it was Brandon Vera tonight in his fight against Eliot Marshall.
Vera had actually been cut in his previous fight against Thiago Silva, but his contract was reinstated when we found out that Silva had submitted a falsified drug sample, and the fight was erased from the record books.
The former top-level heavyweight prospect had his job back but desperately needed a victory tonight. It wasn’t pretty, but he got the job done by winning a unanimous (29-28) victory over Eliot Marshall.
Former lightweight contender Tyson Griffin recently made his return to the featherweight division and had been enjoying a career resurgence of sorts in that short time with a victory over Manny Gamburyan earlier this year.
Griffin was unable to keep things going in the right direction tonight, though, as he was knocked out early by Bart Palaszewski, who repeatedly tagged him against the cage on his way to ending the fight in the first round.
He has now lost four of his past five fights and has been pushed out of the top 10 at 145.
“Cowboy” has been on an amazing streak and made it six straight victories tonight when he defeated fellow lightweight Dennis Siver with a rear-naked choke.
The fight lived up to expectations that it was going to be a great standup bout as Siver and Cerrone threw back-and-forth bombs. Cerrone caught Siver early with a few punches but was unable to finish. However, before the first round was over, Cerrone had caught Siver with a shin to the face that essentially finished things off.
This time, to avoid his opponent getting away, Cerrone opted to take Siver’s back and finish him with the rear-naked choke. Another excellent performance from “The Cowboy.”
Japanese fighter Hatsu Hioki made his debut in the Octagon tonight as he battled American fighter George Roop. Hioki is widely considered one of the top five featherweights in the world, but he didn’t exactly look like it tonight.
A normally very exciting fighter, Hioki looked slow and unenthusiastic in his split-decision victory over Roop. Though Roop is a good opponent, Hioki was a -300 favorite and was expected to easily run through him.
Former WEC competitor Scott Jorgensen made a successful UFC debut in June against Ken Stone. Tonight, he made it two straight wins in the Octagon with a unanimous decision victory over veteran fighter Jeff Curran.
It wasn’t the typical exciting Scott Jorgensen fight, but he got the job done and has to be getting close to his shot at a UFC bantamweight championship.
After a tough time in the WEC where he lost four straight fights, Jeff Curran turned around his career outside of Zuffa where he has won four of his past five fights.
He made his UFC return tonight against Scott Jorgensen and made it a point in his pre-fight interview to say that he needed to get a win in the UFC to really feel like he has made it.
He was unable to get it done tonight, though, as he lost a unanimous decision to Scott Jorgensen at UFC 137.
A trimmer, more athletic-looking Roy Nelson looked good tonight in what might have been the most important fight of his MMA career against Mirko "Cro Cop."
After being criticized for being out-of-shape by UFC President Dana White, Nelson jokingly wore a fat suit to the weigh-ins, but he was all business when he stepped into the Octagon.
The standup between him and Cro Cop was close, but when Nelson brought the fight to the ground in the second round, it was all over. "Big Country" completely smashed Cro Cop from the crucifix position, using his big frame to weigh down the Croatian and wear him out.
In the third round, an exhausted Cro Cop was unable to recover, and Nelson eventually took his back where he finished the fight with punches.
The legendary career of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic might be over after another knockout loss, this time at the hands of Roy Nelson.
Cro Cop actually looked pretty good early in the fight and even had an intense start to the second round where he looked like he was tagging Nelson quite a bit against the cage. But after Nelson took him down near the end of the second round, Filipovic was just completely out of energy.
He might be the second-best heavyweight of all time, but this was the final fight of his UFC contract, and it is very unlikely that he will get another.
Heavyweight prospect Matt Mitrione came into UFC 137 as one of the most highly-touted fighters in the division. An impressive athlete, Mitrione has completely outclassed everyone he has fought, but Cheick Kongo was a massive step up in competition.
He started off the first round in a borderline cocky fashion, practically daring Kongo to try to hit him without actually throwing much of his own strikes. It was a very odd start to the fight, and Kongo was up one round to none before we knew it.
Mitrione battled back in the second round, tagging Kongo repeatedly, on his way to winning that round.
It looked like Mitrione was going to run away with the fight, but Kongo battled back in the third round, slamming Matt to the ground where he kept him for the remainder of the contest.
In the end, the judges put an end to the winning streak of Mitrione who essentially gave the fight away by not actually fighting in the first round.
The hype is for real.
Strikeforce's welterweight champion made his UFC return tonight in triumphant fashion when he outworked former UFC welterweight champion BJ Penn on the feet on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Diaz looked to be struggling early, but he took over in the second and third rounds, using his unbelievable body-head combos to pick the Hawaiian apart. No one has ever done anything like this to Penn.
After this performance, a UFC title shot against Georges St-Pierre is very likely on the horizon.
The end of an era? Perhaps.
Though he came into tonight's event as a slight favorite, BJ Penn's age showed as he was completely out of energy late in the fight after being picked apart by the jab and body shots he took from Diaz.
He stayed on his feet and battled back, landing some of his own punches that made Diaz look like he had been through a war. But no one has ever messed up BJ's face like Nick Diaz did tonight. There's no way he'll be able to see out of his left eye tomorrow.
At the end of the contest, Penn very strongly hinted that this will be his final fight.
If it is, it is the end of what has been one of the greatest careers in the history of the sport. He will be missed in the Octagon, but it's hard to argue that he has done everything there is to do.
I hate to say that the organization that put on this event was a "loser," but the truth is that tonight's event was just stacked against the UFC.
The Saturday night before Halloween is just not a great night to have an event due to all of the parties happening, but the biggest thing going against this event was that welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was removed from the card.
Certainly an event featuring BJ Penn and Nick Diaz will still do a decent buy-rate, but you have to imagine that St-Pierre being on it could have been one of the most-purchased UFC pay-per-view events of all time.