FOXSports.com is on the scene for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Follow the live blog below:
B.J. Penn (16-8-2) vs. Nick Diaz (26-7)
The main event is on and Penn comes forward with some stiff punches. Diaz clinches up and Penn lands some uppercuts followed by a knee. A stiff jab connects for Penn. Diaz keeps coming forward and he lands a solid right hook. Penn answers with a quick combination. Diaz responds with a nice right hook to the body. Chants of "BJ" can be heard echoing throughout the arena. They scramble to the mat and Penn takes Diaz’s back. Diaz manages to escape from the bad position and Penn is on top inside his half-guard. Penn backs away, which allows Diaz to return to his feet. Diaz drops low looking for a single-leg takedown, but Penn keeps his balance and they trade knees in the clinch. Penn lands a nice short elbow followed by a right hook. Diaz is missing and eating counters from "The Prodigy." A nice overhand right lands for Diaz at the 1-minute mark and they are back in the clinch. Penn pumps out his jab as Diaz taunts. Penn lands a right hook.
FOXSports.com gives the first round to Penn, 10-9.
Penn comes forward with his jab and Diaz has his hands low. Diaz initiates a clinch against the cage and tries to work over the body. Diaz lands a nice combination. Penn shoots in for a single-leg takedown, but Diaz defends it well and makes him pay with two knees. A bloodied Diaz is now unloading on Penn with some combinations. The body shots could be taking their toll on Penn, who has slowed down since the first round. Diaz is mixing up his shots to the body and face beautifully. Penn is answering back with occasional counters, but the volume of strikes is clearly taking its toll. Diaz drops low for a possible takedown, but he finds no success. A straight left rocks Penn. Diaz is now teeing off and Penn is in serious trouble and his nose is bloodied. Penn is on wobbly legs as the punches keep coming from Diaz.
The second round definitely belongs to Diaz, who takes it 10-9 on the FOXSports.com card.
These welterweight warriors go right back to war in the middle of the octagon. Penn looks for a takedown, but Diaz is having none of it. He’s back to punishing Penn with shots against the cage, which forces Penn to circle away. They trade uppercuts in the clinch. Diaz is breaking Penn down with wild combinations. Penn answers back with a nice right hook. They take the center of the octagon and trade strikes. The crowd goes ballistic. Diaz is landing the better shots at this stage and he’s beginning to taunt the former two-division UFC champion. A nice left hand lands for Penn, but Diaz is still pressing forward like a man possessed. Penn is breathing heavy out of his nose and his left eye is almost shut. They trade solid hooks with one minute remaining. The crowd is on its feet. Diaz is rocking Penn with combinations, but "The Prodigy" is still going toe to toe.
This instant classic comes to an end and Diaz wins the last round 10-9 on the FOXSports.com card, taking the fight 29-28.
Official decision: Nick Diaz def. B.J. Penn via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
Post-fight, Diaz says he doesn’t believe Georges St. Pierre is hurt and accuses him of being scared.
Penn congratulates Diaz on his victory and says it may be the last time we see him compete.
Cheick Kongo (17-6-2) vs. Matt Mitrione (5-1)
Mitrione is talking to Kongo early on, urging him to come forward. Kongo is circling patiently and the crowd starts to boo the lack of action at the 3:30 mark. They clinch up and Kongo pushes him against the cage. Referee Herb Dean breaks it up after a prolonged period of inactivity. Mitrione comes forward with some looping punches, but Kongo avoids them. Mitrione catches a kick and trips Kongo, but he gets rihgt back up. Kongo lands a left at the end of the round.
A round with very little action, which FOXSports.com scores 10-10.
Kongo lands a right and Mitrione fires back with a left. Mitrione with a low kick. Kongo lands a series of straight right hands. Kongo starts teeing off, but Mitrione covers up and avoids any real damage. Kongo lands some low kicks. Mitrione lands a nice right hand, his best punch of the fight, at the 1:30 mark. Mitrione is coming forward and lands some punches at the end of the second round.
FOXSports.com gives the second frame to Kongo, 10-9.
Sensing some urgency, Mitrione comes out more aggressive for the final round. Kongo with a nice shot to the body, which he follows up with the first takedown of the fight. Mitrione fishes for some submissions and eventually returns to his feet, but Kongo stays on him against the cage. Kongo secures another takedown at the 2:30 mark. He fires away with short punches as Mitrione struggles to escape.
FOXSports.com gives Kongo the round 10-9 and the fight 30-28.
Official decision: Cheick Kongo def. Matt Mitrione via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (27-10-2) vs. Roy Nelson (16-6)
Nelson is in considerably better shape for this heavyweight showdown with the aging Pride legend. Nelson misses completely on a right hand attempt as Cro Cop circles. Cro Cop throws a straight left and continues to circle. Nelson throws a few left hands before shooting in and taking Cro Cop down. Nelson is amounting virtually no offense inside Cro Cop’s guard. Nelson backs up and Cro Cop lands an upkick before quickly returning to his feet. Cro Cop continues to circle and lands a low body kick. Nelson connects with an overhand right and Cro Cop responds with a shot of his own. Cro Cop connects with a stiff uppercut followed by a straight right hand. Chants of "Cro Cop" begin to echo throughout the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Nelson is coming forward with sloppy punches, but he’s mostly being countered by the Croatian legend. Nelson misses with a high kick and eats another stiff kick to the body.
FOXSports.com sees the opening period 10-9 for Cro Cop.
Nelson rocks Cro Cop with a right hand, but Cro Cop responds with a big left shot that drops the Renzo Gracie Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Cro Cop charges in with a flurry of hard uppercuts, but Nelson survives the pounding and manages to create some space. A bloodied Nelson continues coming forward. A head kick grazes Nelson. They clinch up as a visibly exhausted Nelson looks up at the clock. Nelson uses his momentum to take Cro Cop down and land in side control. Nelson pins an arm down and proceeds to reign down punches. Cro Cop survives about 30 seconds of unanswered punches as time runs out.
FOXSports.com scores a close second round 10-10.
A big right hand wobbles Cro Cop. Another right hand puts Cro Cop down. Nelson takes his back and unleashes some heavy bombs. Cro Cop is no longer defending intelligently and referee Steve Mazagatti halts the contest 1:30 into the final period.
Official decision: Roy Nelson def. Mirko Cro Cop via TKO (punches) at 1:30, Round 3
After the fight, Nelson expresses interest in challenging the winner of Junior dos Santos-Cain Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight title.
Meanwhile, Cro Cop officially confirms his retirement and congratulates Nelson on his victory.
Scott Jorgensen (13-4) vs. Jeff Curran (33-14-1)
Nice jab lands for Curran. The Illinois native goes to the body and then lands an overhand right. Curran pushes Jorgensen’s head back with his jab. Jorgensen catches a low kick attempt and takes Curran down. Jorgensen is trying to stay busy in Curran’s guard, but he isn’t landing anything particularly damaging. Curran nearly gets back up, but Jorgensen stays on him and puts him back on the canvas. Referee Kate Winslow stands them up with about 30 seconds remaining. Curran is picking Jorgensen apart with his hands, but the Combat Fitness product catches a leg and takes him down again.
FOXSports.com scores the round 10-9 Jorgensen.
Curran goes back to using his hands effectively. The Team Curran founder drops low for a possible takedown of his own, but Jorgensen catches his head and unloads with knees. Curran breaks free as the fighters are now jockeying for position in the clinch. Jorgensen uses the momentum to take Curran down. Curran nearly gets back to his feet, but Jorgensen tries to take him down again. Curran catches him in a near-guillotine choke, but Jorgensen breaks free. They take the center of the octagon and Curran lands an uppercut. Jorgensen charges in and secures another takedown. Curran defends well in the guard, eating minimal shots off his back. Curran scrambles to a better position and hammers away to Jorgensen’s body as time runs out in the second stanza.
FOXSports.com sees a closer round 10-9 Jorgensen.
Curran pumps out his jab and follows it up with an overhand right attempt. Curran is now solidly mixing up his strikes. Curran is keeping his hands low as he looks for counters. A solid low kick lands for Curran, who follows it up with a two-punch combination to the body. Jorgensen initiates a clinch at the 2:30 mark and pushes Curran against the cage. Curran breaks free and goes back to using his hands to punish the former WEC bantamweight title challenger. Jorgensen secures a takedown in the final moments of the bout.
FOXSports.com gives the final round to Curran, 10-9, but Jorgensen should earn the 29-28 decision.
Official decision: Scott Jorgensen def. Jeff Curran via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Hatsu Hioki (25-4-2) vs. George Roop (12-8-1)
The main card is underway and Hioki quickly connects with a head kick. Roop is unfazed and they trade hooks. Roop lands a strong leg kick. A kick catches Hioki in the groin and he’s given a few moments to recover. They restart and go back to trading hooks. Hioki closes the distance and they clinch up against the octagon. The Japanese star is having a hard time taking Roop down as they exchange knees in the clinch. Hioki nearly trips him, but Roop maintains his balance. Roop gives up his back briefly, but manages to avoid any danger. Hioki finally trips him to the mat and lands in side control. Roop defends well and establishes a guard before returning to his feet. Hioki stays on him, but he eats a quick combination with 10 seconds remaining and the round ends in the clinch.
FOXSports.com sees it 10-9 Hioki.
Roop lands some stiff punches on Hioki, but the UFC first-timer keeps coming forward. A head kick from Roop is blocked. Roop connects with some solid right hands to the body. Hioki ducks under a punch and takes Roop down. From side control, the former Sengoku and Shooto champion fishes for submissions. Hioki masterfully passes to the full mount and begins to suffocate Roop with his top control. Roop tries to escape by moving his hips, but Hioki sticks to him like glue. With 20 seconds left, Roop pushes Hioki off and lands an upkick. Roop is coming forward with strikes as time expires.
Another 10-9 round for Hioki on the FOXSports.com card.
Roop quickly takes Hioki down, but the Nagoya native instantly gets back up. Hioki shoots low for a takedown of his own, but it’s blocked by Roop. Hioki pushes Roop up against the cage, but he can’t do much with it and Roop reverses the position. Blood is now streaming from Roop’s nose as referee Josh Rosenthal breaks up the clinch. Roop fakes with a left hand to set up a takedown and he gets it. Hioki closes his guard and nearly sets up a triangle choke with 45 seconds remaining. Roop stays clear of any major danger, but he can’t amount any offense on top.
Roop takes the last round 10-9 on the FOXSports.com card, but the fight should go to Hioki, 29-28.
Official decision: Hatsu Hioki def. George Roop via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Post-fight, Hioki says Roop was stronger than he expected. He also sends a message to the world that Japanese MMA is not dead.
Dennis Siver (19-8) vs. Donald Cerrone (17-3)
Siver lands several hard left hooks. They trade kicks. Cerrone rocks Siver with a switch high kick and storms in looking for the finish, but Siver survives the offensive onslaught. Cerrone puts Siver down again with a combination and takes his back, sinking in a fight-ending rear-naked choke at the 2:22 mark. A sensational performance for "The Cowboy."
Official decision: Donald Cerrone def. Dennis Siver via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:22, Round 1
Tyson Griffin (15-6) vs. Bart Palaszewski (36-4)
They exchange some punches in the early going. Palaszewski wobbles Griffin with a big hook and the Xtreme Couture product buckles. Palaszewski stays on him, throwing wild left and right hooks. Griffin falls limp to the canvas and referee Steve Mazagatti jumps in to save him from any further damage. A tremendous UFC and 145-pound debut for Palaszewski.
Official decision: Bart Palaszewski def. Tyson Griffin via KO (punches) at 2:45, Round 1
Brandon Vera (12-5) vs. Eliot Marshall (10-4)
Vera lands some low kicks. The Alliance MMA pupil jumps in with a flying knee and they clinch up against the cage. Marshall separates and tees off with uppercuts, but Vera closes the distance and they clinch up again. Referee Kate Winslow breaks the fighters up and they take the center of the octagon. Vera stalks the Grudge Training Center product and punishes his legs with a series of kicks.
A mostly uneventful opening round, but FOXSports.com scores it 10-9 Vera.
Vera continues to dissect the legs of Marshall with low kicks. Marshall shoots in for a takedown, but Vera maintains his balance. Vera ducks low and puts him on his back. Marshall gets back to his feet and Vera immediately lands a high knee.
It’s another 10-9 round for Vera on the FOXSports.com scorecard.
Marshall turns the tide as he lands a furious right hand and unloads with punches, dropping Vera to the mat. Vera wraps up a leg and survives the near finish before returning to his feet and initiating a clinch. Marshall gets a takedown and takes Vera’s back, fishing for a rear-naked choke. Marshall beautifully transitions to an armbar, but Vera hangs on. Vera ends up on top and he lands a series of blows as the round ends.
FOXSports.com gives Marshall the final round, 10-9, but the fight 29-28 to Vera.
Official decision: Brandon Vera def. Eliot Marshall via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Ramsey Nijem (5-2) vs. Danny Downes (8-3)
Nijem lands a combination running in before securing a takedown 30 seconds into the round. Downes gives up his back, but he manages to escape to his feet. Downes dodges a combination and counters before getting taken down again. Nijem targets the body with elbows as he controls Downes from the half-guard. Downes returns to his feet, but Nijem gets another takedown against the cage. Downes gives up his back again and Nijem sinks in the hooks this time. Nijem tries to set up a rear-naked choke, but a resilient Downes survives the dangerous predicament. Nijem immediately drops levels and shoots in again. He has Downes’ back again and tries to set up another rear-naked choke as time expires in the first round.
FOXSports.com gives Nijem the round, 10-9.
Nijem connects with a nice combination to set up his shot. Downes capitalizes on the position and tries to set up a reverse triangle choke. Nijem is patient, however, and he finds a gap to escape. Downes tries to roll for a kneebar, but he ultimately gives up his back again. Nijem pounds away before trying to sink in a rear-naked choke. It looks deep, but Downes finds an escape route. Nijem is now looking for an armbar, but Downes escapes again. The 25-year-old Roufusport product gives up his back and Nijem stays on him. Nijem lands a series of elbows to the side of Downes’ face before quickly transitioning to a rear-naked choke. Amazingly, Downes continues to survive the dangerous position.
It’s another 10-9 round for Nijem on the FOXSports.com card.
Nijem lands several shots before securing another takedown. It’s the same old story as Nijem takes his back on the mat. This time, he’s hammering away with punches. Downes survives the 5-minute onslaught, but it’s going to be a one-sided decision.
FOXSports.com sees the final round 10-9 Nijem and the fight 30-27 for "The Ultimate Fighter" finalist.
Official decision: Ramsey Nijem def. Danny Downes via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27)
Chris Camozzi (14-5) vs. Francis Carmont (17-7)
The two fighters exchange some kicks. Carmont catches a low kick and takes Camozzi down. The Factory X product works his way back up to a vertical base and pushes Carmont up against the cage. Carmont separates and attempts a jumping knee. Camozzi keeps pushing forward and lands a straight left hand before initiating a clinch against the cage. They go back and forth in the clinch before Carmont drops levels and tries for a single-leg takedown. Camozzi defends it well and Carmont throws a spinning elbow before separating. Camozzi continues to be the aggressor and he lands a knee before clinching up again.
A very close opening stanza, but FOXSports.com sees it 10-9 Carmont.
Camozzi goes back to the clinch game after eating a shot from the Tristar Gym product. Camozzi is unsuccessful on a single-leg takedown attempt as Carmont lands some knees and punches in close quarters. A nice combination lands for Carmont before they separate. Carmont initiates a Thai plumb and lands several jumping knees. They clinch up and Camozzi gives up his back, which allows Carmont to land a punishing slam. Carmont follows the American to the canvas and hammers away from inside his butterfly guard. Camozzi lands an upkick and Carmont looks up at the clock and allows Camozzi to get back up. Carmont connects with a vicious left hook to drop Camozzi, but the California native survives. Camozzi tries to sink in a standing choke as time expires.
10-9 round for Carmont on the FOXSports.com scorecard.
Carmont is busy with his strikes early as he unloads on a bloodied Camozzi. They clinch up again before separating. The fighters exchange low kicks in the center of the octagon. Camozzi is pushing forward, but he’s having trouble finding the chin of the France native. Carmont takes him down before standing back up and taunting. Carmont looks up at the clock before signaling for Camozzi to return to his feet. Camozzi jumps in with a knee and clinches up against the cage. Carmont appears very calm as he listens to instructions from Firas Zahabi and Georges St. Pierre in his corner. Camozzi gives up his back again, which allows Carmont to take him down. Carmont nearly gets caught in a tight kimura as the fight comes to an end.
FOXSports.com sees the round 10-9 Carmont and the fight 30-27 for the Montreal resident in his UFC debut.
Official decision: Francis Carmont def. Chris Camozzi via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Dustin Jacoby (6-1) vs. Clifford Starks (8-0)
The first fight of the night is underway as Jacoby circles around the octagon. Starks presses forward and lands several overhand rights while Jacoby looks for counter opportunities. With about 30 seconds remaining, Starks secures a takedown and pummels the body from half-guard.
FOXSports.com sees it 10-9 Starks.
Jacoby begins finding some success with his jab, but he’s hesitant to let his hands go. Jacoby connects with a nice straight right. Jacoby grazes Starks with a spinning back kick and goes back to his jab. Starks continues to press forward, throwing his overhand right, but Jacoby is more successful with his counters in this round. Jacoby is circling to his left, leaving him susceptible to the overhand right. Starks shoots in at the 2-minute mark and lands in Jacoby’s guard. Starks is landing some shots to the head and body as time expires.
Another 10-9 round for Starks on the FOXSports.com card.
A strong overhand right landed by Starks. They clinch briefly and Jacoby grazes Starks with a knee to the head. Starks wastes little time shooting in for another takedown and he’s successful. Starks tries to pass to half-guard, but Jacoby defends well. Starks unloads with punches and finally passes the guard as Jacoby tries to sink in a kimura. Starks patiently waits to escape and he hammers away with punches as the fight comes to an end.
FOXSports.com sees the final period 10-9 Starks and the bout 30-27 in his favor.
Official decision: Clifford Starks def. Dustin Jacoby via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)