B.J. Penn throws a jab at Joe Stevenson during their championship bout at UFC 80: Rapid Fire. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In a night of quick fights and surprising stoppages, one thing remains the same: B.J. Penn is still that damn good.
Penn submitted former Ultimate Fighter contestant Joe Stevenson with a rear naked choke in the second round to claim the vacant UFC lightweight title and become the second fighter in history along with current heavyweight champ Randy Couture to win championship gold in two different weight classes.
The lively 8,412 inside the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England saw Penn surprise Stevenson with an uppercut that sent the California native down to the mat in the opening seconds. Penn pounced on his opponent but Stevenson was able to maintain his composure and survive Penn’s initial assault.
The former welterweight champion controlled Stevenson on the ground for the remainder of the first round, opening up a vicious cut in the middle of Stevenson’s forehead with just over a minute left in the round. Stevenson would end up donning a crimson mask for the rest of the fight.
The two had an even exchange on the feet to start the second stanza but that ended once Penn started to pick Stevenson apart with looping lefts and uppercuts. The bout was stopped at one point to have the doctor check Stevenson’s cut but the stream of blood avoiding Stevenson’s eyes already gave those watching the doctor’s answer.
Stevenson fell victim to another Penn (12-4-1) uppercut once the bout was restarted, signaling the beginning of the end for “Daddy.” Penn used punches and elbows to force Stevenson (28-8) out of position enough to be able to give up his back, which Penn quickly took without a second thought.
Penn was able to sink in a rear naked choke and Stevenson was forced to tap out without putting up much of a fight. The win finally gave Penn the UFC lightweight title in what was his third career attempt at the belt.
After the fight Penn acknowledged that he was trying to make his third try a successful one.
“Joe is a great guy,” said Penn. “I knew he was going to be tough, but I put everything into this. I wanted to make sure it was three times the charm and not three strikes you’re out.”
Penn also went out of his way to send former champion Sean Sherk a message now that Sherk will be challenging Penn in his first title defense later this year.
“Hey Sean Sherk, you’re dead,” Penn shouted during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
Sherk, who was cage-side doing color commentary on the bout along with Rogan and UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg, stormed into the Octagon and picked up a microphone right after Penn made his comment.
“That belt belongs to me,” said Sherk. “You’ve got one more fight before you can be called lightweight champ.”
We will be going live at 1:00 PM EST with live results of UFC 80: Rapid Fire, which will take place live from the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England.
UFC 80 features a lightweight championship bout between former welterweight title holder B.J. Penn and top contender and Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Joe Stevenson. Also on the card is a rematch between Gabriel Gonzaga and Fabricio Werdum and a welterweight clash between Marcus Davis and Jess Liaudin.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the afternoon and night.
Live results are shown after the jump.
Joe Stevenson weighs-in for UFC 74: Respect. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow afternoon’s UFC 80: Rapid Fire are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
MMA on Tap will start live coverage of the event starting at 1:00 PM EST tomorrow.
BJ Penn (154 lbs) vs Joe Stevenson (154 lbs)
Fabricio Werdum (247 lbs) vs Gabriel Gonzaga (255 lbs)
Jess Liaudin (170 lbs) vs Marcus Davis (169 lbs)
Wilson Gouveia (205 lbs) vs Jason Lambert (204 lbs)
Jorge Rivera (185 lbs) vs Kendall Grove (186 lbs)
Antoni Hardonk (244 lbs) vs Colin Robinson (238 lbs)
Paul Kelly (170 lbs) vs Paul Taylor (170 lbs)
James Lee (206 lbs) vs Alessio Sakara (206 lbs)
Per Eklund (155 lbs) vs Sam Stout (155 lbs)
Mark Gilbert of The Sun is reporting that Colin Robinson and Antoni Hardonk will clash in a heavyweight affair at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England.
Northern Ireland’s Colin Robinson (8-3) made his UFC debut in June at UFC 72: Victory. Robinson fell victim to the hands of Eddie Sanchez early in the second round of their heavyweight bout.
Dutch kickboxer Antoni Hardonk (5-4) is coming off of a tough submission loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Frank MIr at UFC 74: Respect. Hardonk sports a UFC record of 1-2 with his sole victory coming over Sherman Pendergarst,
Here is a preview we put together for UFC 72: Victory.
Main Card Bouts:
Rich Franklin vs. Yushin Okami
Forrest Griffin vs. Hector Ramirez
Tyson Griffin vs. Clay Guida
Jason MacDonald vs. Rory Singer
Ed Herman vs. Scott Smith
Marcus Davis vs. Jason Tan
Eddie Sanchez vs. Colin Robinson
Dustin Hazelett vs. Stevie Lynch
Also be sure to tune in at 3 PM EST as we’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’ for the PPV.
The Fight Network is reporting that heavyweights Eddie Sanchez and Colin Robinson will collide at UFC 72: Victory on June 16th…
Officials from both of the fighter’s camps are confirming that the two will indeed meet. Sanchez is coming off a devastating TKO loss to Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 67. Robinson was actually scheduled to meet Wes Sims at this Saturday’s Cage Wars event in Dublin, Ireland but has withdrawn from the bout to prepare for his UFC debut.
Robinson has also been rumored to be traveling to Holland in order to train with the Golden Glory team for this bout…