UFC 63 Ultimate Fighting Championship Winner Hughes Beats Penn In Three Rounds. Matt Hughes, who survived a poke in the eye, blood, and crippling submission attempts from the last man to beat him, BJ Penn, to stop ‘The Prodigy’ in the third round at the Arrowhead Pond tonight and extend his reign as the UFC welterweight champion.
Georges St. Pierre was replaced by BJ Penn in the UFC 63 main event, had submitted Hughes in their first bout in January of 2004, and after two rounds, it looked like Penn was going to repeat, but Hughes wouldn’t let him.
As soon as referee John McCarthy waved the mma UFC fighters into action, Hughes immediately tried a surprising high kick that missed. After that brief exchange, Hughes looked for the inevitable takedown, but Penn fought it off, instead being pushed into the fence where the two came to a stalemate. Once the two separated, Penn landed a big right hand, drawing blood from Hughes’s mouth and nose, but that didn’t stop the UFC champion, who kept looking to trade on the feet. Seconds later, Hughes inadvertently was poked in the right eye by Penn’s left hand and the bout was halted.
Penn appeared to stuff Hughes’ first takedown attempt of the round, but a quick follow-up put the Hawaiian on his back moments later. The champion tried to work his ground and pound attack, but the flexible Penn kept out of serious danger as he looked for a submission. Hughes stayed in control on the ground though and eventually broke through with a couple of forearms. Hughes’ attack allowed Penn the space he needed to escape though and he quickly grabbed Hughes’ back, bringing back memories of their first fight as Penn tried to lock up and submit his opponent. Hughes barely survived the onslaught as the bell rang.
Hughes landed with a leg kick and a few good punches early in the third, pushing the attack hard on the feet as Penn looked listless and exhausted from his late round attack. The bout went to the mat and Hughes imposed his might on Penn from the top, and suddenly the challenger was taking quick shots to the face. Penn became defenseless, leaving McCarthy to stop the fight at 3:53 of the third round.
With the defeat, Penn falls to 11-4-1. Source: UFC
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UFC 63 Ultimate Fighting Championship winner Matt Hughes retains the UFC welterweight champion status.