May 25, 2008

B.J. Penn knocks out Sean Sherk!

Last night, B.J. Penn defended his UFC Lightweight title against Sean Sherk. Through three rounds, Penn outboxed Sherk, using his reach/height advantage and pinpoint accuracy to continuously deliver jabs to Sherk's face. The fight never went to the ground. Penn drew blood from Sherk from the very first round, and both men continued to eschew grappling in favor of a straight boxing match. At the very end of round 3, Penn hit Sherk with a series of punches that threw him backward against the cage. When Sherk tried to duck another Penn punch, Penn rushed in with a flying knee to the head, followed by a barrage of punches once Sherk went down. Though he was saved by the bell, the referee declared Sherk unable to continue when he didn't get up.

I was betting that B.J. would win, but I never thought he would win with a knockout. During Sherk's last fight with Franca, Sherk was hit with four or five hard knee shots to the head, and he kept moving forward, eventually winning the Franca fight by decision. So the fact that B.J. won by knockout was even more impressive. If you have a chance to see B.J.'s performance, do. It was definitely one of the better fights I've seen. The best thing was that both fighters wanted to fight. B.J. never backed up, and neither did Sherk. They just kept going at it until one of them fell.

In other fights last night, Vanderlei Silva knocked out Keith Jardine in less than a minute, but that should have been expected, since Jardine never came close to Silva's level of skill.
Lyoto Machida out-boxed Tito Ortiz in what was promoted as Tito's last UFC fight, and he kept his perfect record. Machida basically avoided Tito's attacks and aimed punches and kicks into the gaps that Tito was leaving in his attack plan. He was moving backwards the whole time. Chuck Lidell fights the same way. Some say it was a good technical fight; I say it was boring.

(For those who care, Penn is half Korean, and Machida is half Japanese. That's my excuse for posting this here. Oh, and Catty, we had some technical difficulties, so we had to watch it on the internet. Believe it or not, the quality was very good. So even people without TV's can satisfy their need to see blood.)

(Picture above from the Washington Post.)

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