Somewhere in Stockton California there are celebrations going on this evening. But here in my hotel room in Las Vegas and in homes and bars across Hawaii we mourn.
BJ Penn took defeat to Nick Diaz tonight in their UFC 137 main-event clash. Diaz was able to put a pace on Penn that eventually broke the two-time UFC champion and battered his face worse than any of us have ever seen.
From my standpoint, just so everyone knows, BJ trained hard for this fight. I talked to him nearly every day and he was training hard, was mentally focused and did everything he could to put on the best performance of his career. Unfortunately, fate had a different plan for our brother in tonight’s battle.
For 10 years BJ Penn has gone out and put his heart and soul into his work for his fans and homeland. He has been an ambassador for fair and honest fighting and the picture perfect example for showing how to love his fans as much as they love him.
Every time BJ steps in the cage, he brings all of us with him. The nerves set in, hard to breath, hard to walk, the anxious inability to talk. You want him to win so badly, but the thought of a loss makes the fight almost impossible to watch. But we owe it to him, to stay glued to the cage or TV screen while keeping our fingers crossed he can blow through the guy in 30 seconds and come out untouched.
I walked out of the Arena tonight at the conclusion of round 2. I knew BJ still had a chance to win, but to see one of my best friends and someone I consider a brother be tired and bruised and bloody was something I was not willing to do. I saw the look in BJ’s face, I knew the Diaz victory was a foregone conclusion and I had seen enough.
I titled this article “The Post-UFC 137 Victory Article” because BJ is still a champion, still a winner, still victorious. We are talking about a man who fights with his heart, who defies the odds and who challenges himself with every breath he takes. He is a natural light-weight fighter who just took on a reigning, major promotional champion at a weight class above where he should be fighting.
A street fighter from the streets of Hilo Hawaii, born to fight and captivate millions across the world, BJ Penn has been an inspiration to everyone who has ever seen him step into the cage. From my standpoint, he is the reason I watch MMA. When I saw him run out of the cage after destroying Uno I was hooked on the “Prodigy” for life.
A regular member on BJPENN.COM, BJ messaged me one day and asked me to help with the website. I didn’t know how to act, I remember just jumping up and down and screaming like a little girl. Now I sit here as an employee, someone who’s voice, sometimes matters to thousands of readers every day. He changed my life forever, and that’s just a testament to who he is and how he operates.
BJ may have lost tonight, in fact, he lost badly, and we have never seen BJ take such a whooping before. But if he had to lose, at least it was to a real fighter like Nick Diaz and not some roiding, cheater of a fighter who has no respect for the martial arts. He put on a valiant effort in what I have been told was one of the very best Mixed Martial Arts fights of all time.
The sky is the limit for Nick Diaz; he very well may take over the division and be the next big thing in the sport. He has looked unstoppable for a number of years now and tonight was no different. BJ did what he does and took the challenge, tested himself and put it all on the line in one of the gutsiest performances I have ever seen and for that alone, he is still victorious.
Thank you for reading everyone, and from our entire team, thank you for your support!
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