The Tuesday Throwback: UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz

October 29th. 2011, Nick Diaz exacts a one-sided beating of former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn, as he earns his first promotional title challenge. Over the course of their three round headliner, Stockton favorite Diaz battered grappling sensation Penn, before issuing one of the most iconic post-fight interviews in recent Octagon memory.

Originally paired with mixed-martial-arts legend Georges St-Pierre for the event, the polarizing Diaz was withdrawn from the bout after he failed to attend multiple press events in the lead up to the clash. Carlos Condit took Diaz’s place against St-Pierre, with the Canadian himself forced from the tie due to a knee injury. In his first fight with the organization in almost six years, Diaz was finally matched with Penn.

Diaz entered the expected title eliminator off the back of three straight defences of his Strikeforce welterweight crown, with victories over KJ Noons, Evangelista Santos and in one of the most entertaining single round affairs in the sports history, become the first man to finish Paul Daley via strikes. With a frightening output, Diaz landed almost over two-hundred and fifty strikes in just fifteen minutes to hand Penn his first loss since his welterweight return.

Where you at Georges, where you at motherf**ker.” Diaz was gunning for an immediate title challenge against reigning division best St-Pierre. “I don’t think Georges is hurt I think he’s scared, I think he’s scared to fight everybody right now. What’s up? Where you at Georges.” The striker unleashed a tirade at the Tristar trainee who in attendance, pretended to tremble at cage side.

In our co-main event, recent Bellator heavyweight title challenger Cheick Kongo clashed with Matt Mitrione, handing the former American football player, a unanimous decision defeat. The Paris native would go on to meet Mark Hunt in a high profile clash the following year, dropping his first promotional knockout defeat to the New Zealand born boxer. Iconic kickboxer Mirko Cro Cop featured in a heavyweight meeting next, as he matched with Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson. Croatian striker Cro Cop was revered during his PRIDE FC tenure, but during his run with the UFC, lost three bouts in succession due to knockout. Cro Cop and Nelson would meet once again eight years later, with Filipovic earning redemption with a unanimous decision victory last February.

In his second bout with the promotion, Scott Jorgensen met Jeff Curran in a bantamweight match. Submission specialist Jorgensen would nab a unanimous decision victory over Curran, but subsequently after his promising start with the organization, Jorgensen would go on to suffer eight losses over the next four years. Jorgensen did of course challenge for gold, in an unsuccessful attempt to hand Dominick Cruz his second professional loss, as he challenged for the WEC 135-pound championship.

In our opening main card bout, featherweight veteran Hatsu Hioki made a successful start to his Octagon stint, as he managed a close split decision over George Roop. WEC and UFC lightweight title chaser Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone featured on our Spike TV preliminary card, as he lodged a first round rear-naked choke victory over kickboxer Dennis Siver, extending his undefeated win streak in the promotion to four in the process. Polish finisher Bart Palaszewski scored a first round knockout of Tyson Griffin, in his final Octagon win. Palaszewski, who last featured in active-competition five years, dropped three losses in a row before his 2014 retirement.

ONE Championship heavyweight title holder Brandon Vera managed a unanimous decision win over Team Elevation head coach Eliot Marshall in our featured Facebook prelim. TUF finalist Ramsey Nijem picked up his first promotional win as he outpointed Danny Downes as part of a three fight win streak. Nijem met former interim lightweight champion and perennial lightweight contender Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson in the 2011 Ultimate Fighter finale.

French grappler Francis Carmont also found himself in the winner’s enclosure at UFC 137, as he beat veteran finisher Chris Camozzi. In our opening matchup of the night. Sacramento native Clifford Starks scored his one and only Octagon win, as he picked up a 30-27 unanimous decision win over kickboxer, Dustin Jacoby.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ross_Markey

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