T Nation

Hughes or Penn?


Neither fighter is at their peak and I'd be surprised if either were ever champion again, but, I do love the rivalry. Currently they've each won one fight with the tie breaker coming up.

I'm curious as to who the body elect of T Nation thinks will win this one. Be as specific as you possibly can as to why you think one fighter will be victorious over the other.


I'll bite.

This is a strange one- there is allot of hype imaginary or real over Hughes last few fights
other forums are joking calling him K1-hughes for his new striking prowess.

His last few fights , he is on a 3 win streak. Good for him for finding what works
as an aging athlete, something I can respect.

He did dominate- Almeida and gave Renzo a pretty one sided Beating of Renzo - both of whom
are B or B- , I like Renzo allot, and do know him but he is like retired this was his first Fight camp in years.

Hughes also beat Serra- that fight was a bit of a struggle for him to pull off.
While not cans- It is easy to look amazing when you fight lesser fighters.

Apparently Hughes spent a good bit of time with Jeremy Horn working on grappling and the like.

Penn has all the advantages on paper, striking defensive wrestling-
the submission aspects go without saying
and the ability to force Hughes into a stand-up fight Hughes wants no part of.

While Hughes has lost to the Top tier welter weights
Penn has destroyed all of the lightweight challengers except for the Current Champ.

Penn at 170 is a mystery- who is showing up.
Penn split from Marv Marinovich- who is crazy but his shit kept Penn in good condition.
the Hilo training camp always seems alittle off- sometimes he brings in good guys
sometimes he doesn't but he is surrounded by a ton of yes men-
so is Hughes, but Hughes clearly has never ever had issues doing the work needed
as far as physical prep.

This fight should go down like the first.
all BJ Penn.

except that I have no idea how motivated or smart BJ has trained.


although i fucking hate cry baby Penn, i see him winning this easily. Hughes just seems more worn out and just in it for the pay check. That might be the same for Penn as well at this point, but i think his tank might just have a little more in it at this point.

skill wise penn has it also, but if he doesn't show up then it will be a long drawn out UD in which he wins on points. either way, probably a lackluster fight.


man, i dunno...Hughes seems to b born again with his recent wins. he seems to know he's not gonna get the title, but still wants good fights.

Penn seems to have developed some cardio recently, but he's also walking around about 20lbs less than Hughes right now, accoredign to some reports.

i really wuldn't be surprised to see this go toa decision...no real idea who will get the "W"

this card looks good, though.


Neither fighter has developed tremendously since the last bout, but Hughes has looked better, and has the benefit of seeing GSP assault Penn's ass in his guard (and elsewhere). Even so, I'll still say Penn takes it; he's better skilled all round and is in general a bad matchup for Hughes.

On the feet, Penn outstrikes Hughes all day (assuming the marshmallow man doesn't show up). Hughes will press for the takedown, and will probably take damage doing so. If he's persistent enough, and he is, he'll get it, but will have to deal with Penn's dangerous guard. I don't think Matt can pass BJ's guard (only GSP has managed this consistently) so he'll have to deal damage from inside it.

How he fares while doing this is what makes me interested. He certainly has the grappling chops and the intelligence to learn from Georges' fight, but will he be able to avoid those submissions and sweeps?

Awesome card. G.Sot/Lauzon, Lyoto/Page, and this. Can't wait.


Penn and Hughes both are of my favorite fighters.
Strenght always has been a major factor in Matt game, but he's aging, and he has to be more tactical now, Bj penn is one of my favorite fighters due to his technique.
Hughes looked good in his last fights, he's aware that he has to be more techy now.


Like others have said, it seems like both fighters may be in the twilight of their careers.

Hughes is on a roll, and momentum can be a good thing, but he's not the fighter he once was. Penn is just coming off of two losses and may either be very hungry for a win, or may have kind of "mailed it in" and is just looking for a paycheck/to finish out his contract with some entertaining fights.

I honestly think that, other than Edgar (who's speed and style of fighting Penn just can't seem to figure out), Penn could probably beat anyone else at LW. So, if Maynard bullies Edgar again like he did the first time and gains the title, I think that Penn has a much better shot at regaining that title than he does of taking it from GSP at WW.

Hughes on the other hand I don't see ever taking the belt back from GSP and couldn't make LW or would not make much of a dent trying to go up to MW. So, I honestly don't see him ever holding a UFC belt again.

However, I think that Hughes wins this fight. Penn's Achilles heel has always been his conditioning and it's always been worse at 170 than at 155. Unless Penn finishes the fight in the first round, I think that Hughes will eventually wear him down and wind up with the victory.


^On the topic of weightclass, I believe Penn is coming in under 170. Hopefully this will mean conditioning isn't a factor like it was in the GSP fight, or it could simply mean Hughes has less weight to move. Depends on how much time they spend grappling and on the feet I suppose.


from what i've read on other sites, Penn's walking around at about 165....and Hughes is walking around at 185 or 190


bj moved his training camp to oahu for this fight. im not sure if thats better or worse. im not sure how to guage is fight prep this time around, he doesnt look as motivated, but penn always seems to be at his best when we expect his worst. but losing 2 consecutive fights to the same guy is probably pretty hard to rebound from as well...i dunno, maybe hughes will show up overtrained and bj's relaxed atmosphere will have him loose and ready to rock. personally i think the skillset penn has is goign to always be a problem for a fighter like hughes, much as frankie edgar probably represents the one type of lw fighter that presents problems for penn.

as usual with penn, i think conditioning will be the determining factor, so im going to go with the common train of thought and say penn in the first round by rnc, or hughes pounds him out in the 3rd


BJ looks to be a lean 170 which is a good sign, that with him doing road work again I think it's his fight to win.


As a whole I think people remember BJ as the the Prodigy of <2005. If you look at BJ over the last 5 years retrospectively, he's lost the big ones to Edgar, GSP and Hughes (but his rib was broken!). He's beaten Jens Pulver who went on to go 1-6, Stevenson who's been ~.500 since, Sanchez who looked lack luster against Hathaway and pretty good against Thiago, a Sherk who refused to wrestle and KenFlo who looks a lot like Milhouse. Objectively, I know that BJ Penn is good. But I don't really see the same Prodigy that tore through Caol Uno 8 years ago.

Hughes is also looking pretty old. But I think GSP laid out the template to stifle Penn with wrestling. Hughes might have just enough old man strength to do the same. I do think his last few fights have been flattering but haven't really said much about his abilities.

So basically two guys that haven't looked so great recently go at it for potential retirement match. I can see it going either way, but I'll be rooting for Hughes by chest hair and farmers tan.


let's not get crazy here, you're taking things out of context and completely dimishing bjs accomplishments...big fighters? bj was on his way to running out of contenders when he hit the wall that is frankie edgar. i think bj still beats everyone else in the lw division.


besidesedgar imean


Admittedly I'm biased against BJ. I always thought he wasn't as talented as he was made out to be and it would only be a matter of time before he'd get out worked by harder working athlete. I thought it was going to be Sherk. I think Sean Sherk 1.0 had the tools to stifle BJ. Cardio for days, a fast shot, great top control and tough to submit. I also despise that there always seems to be an excuse for a BJ loss. Lyoto Machida was too big. GSP was greased. Separated a rib against Hughes. Judges robbery.

As Matt Hughes would say: When you win, say little. When you lose, say less.

Anyway, I realize I'm diminishing BJ a bit here, but I don't think the quality of his recent defenses was as impressive as some of the other title holders. I'd say Aldo over Brown, Faber and Gamburyan or St. Pierre's streak are both more impressive.

I also don't think the UFC lightweight division is as stacked as some of the other divisions. Outside of Mousasi, Henderson and a few exceptions, I'd be hard pressed to say there could be contenders outside of the UFC worthy of a shot. Whereas at lightweight Melendez, Alvarez, Aoki, and Kawajiri could credibly be close to title contention if they were in the UFC.


Good analysis. Although Penn "cleaned out" the division in retrospect the guys he beat aren't that impressive in todays game.

Of course the same can be said of Hughes.

I like the match up because I like interesting fights that don't have impact on the title picture.

I think Hughes can win on size and strength if he plays it smart but if he tries to go beyond his talents Penn can finish him.


ridiculous. the mma 'fan' you guys have the attention span of a kid with ADD. retrospect as if those fighters were not the top contenders when bj fought them. you do realize that a lot of fighters fall off after getting title shots and failing to capitalize. the mental strain of climbing the ranks and then failing breaks a lot of guys who have been toiling for years for a title shot and then fail to win.

fucking ridiculous. hughes has one way to win - bj gases. in every other facet besides offensive takedowns and cardio, bj dominates hughes and it isnt even close.


looking objectively at those lightweights outside the division, melendez cant beat penn - he utilizes quick shots from the outside, whereas edgar utilized takedowns from clinching situations. aoki wouldnt have shit for bj, i wont even entertain an analysis. alvarez's striking, well good, is not on level with bjs and his ground control is not enough to keep bj down. contenders and good fighters all, but they benefit from fighting outside of the ufc against less intense competition. they do fight each other every so often, but they dont have the grinder the ufc does in level of competition.


It's funny you say that because I would pick Gil and Eddie to win against Frankie. Still I doubt he gets past Maynard. The only person with the tools to beat Gray imo is BJ.


I never said Melendez, Alvarez, Aoki or Kawajiri could beat BJ Penn. But I did say they could be contenders for the title. It's always been made out that BJ Penn was head and shoulders above the rest of the UFC lightweights. With the exception of Edgar thus far, that's been true. But I do think the lightweights from Strikeforce, Dream and Bellator could fill that gap.

Anyway, I could see Matt Hughes beating BJ by separating a rib, taking the crucifix and landing some unanswered elbows. That's certainly never happened before. If I were putting money down on this fight, I would probably still be leaning towards BJ. But I'm not going to be surprised if Matt Hughes grinds over BJ, then goes home to drive his John Deere.