T Nation

Matt Hughes vs BJ Penn


I think BJ Penn choked out Matt Hughes from what I heard. I didn't see the fight, but everyone is making it out like Matt Hughes has no chance against him. Did BJ woop Matt that bad? Is Matt a better fighter now than when he fought BJ or is Matt just simply fighting weaker or less knowledgable opponents?


My opinion:
Matt did not fully appreciate BJ's skills the first time they fought. BJ's standup is a hell of a lot better than he realized and a lot better than most people give him credit for. Matt would not make the same mistake of underestimating him again, so I don't know how their next fight would go.

BJ has been coming off of some lackluster showings. Yes, he took Ryoto Machida the distance in a decision loss where he was fighting up a few weight classes...yes he beat two of the Gracie's(both of whom, in my opinion, are better versed in MMA than Royce) but he didn't come close to finishing either of them. His loss to St Pierre(while I still think was bullshit) had me pulling my hair out while he sat back and didn't do anything in the third round.

On the other hand...Matt Hughes' opponents have not been good enough to crown him the best welterweight ever. GSP is good, and he took that match. However, while Frank Trigg is a decent figher, two victories over him are not enough...Riggs is a chump on the ground, Sherk was too small for him, and his victory over Charuto was questionable.

Matt Hughes and BJ need this fight to happen in order to solidify their respective standings in the division...it is just a matter of which BJ and which Matt Hughes shows up.


Good points. I think BJ has the superior stand up and submission skills, but I question his conditioning, and Matt has a clear strength and takedown advantage. BJ is kind of a soft 170 and I felt was more dynamic at lightweight. He just seemed to gas in the second and third round with GSP. I think if BJ comes conditioned, he could be a handful for Matt. If not, then Hughes will impose his will and whoop up on him.


Hughes will win a rematch. I don't think Hughes will make the same mistake again. Problem is, Hughes is fighting GSP in a few months. The outcome (Hughes by TKO, on the ground, second round) will put BJ in line to fight either GSP again or Hughes depending on if Dana White has a good hair day.

I really think BJ should cut back to 155lbs and win the belt there. There is some good competition there, but I think he is by far the superior fighter. Fighting at 170lbs is far tougher I think for BJ who had to go on the "SEE FOOD" diet to get to 170lbs to fight hughes the first time around. I think the true BJ is at 155lbs. 170lbs he is a bit sluggish. He is still top 2 or 3 in that weight division (I think he is a better fighter than GSP, but that's just an opinion). I just think BJ will be more at home at 155lbs.


After GSP beats Hughes he can fight Penn for the number one contender spot.


You are a bit harsh there I think. As champion Hughes fought and defeated everyone (but BJ) that they threw at him in his weight class. He even beat a legend the other night!

I mostly agree with this.

However, I think it is a matter of which BJ shows up. Hughes has gotten consistantly better over time.

But I will give you this, he underestimated Penn the first time out. I doubt that will happen again.

They do need to fight and I wish they were fighting this year instead of Hughes and GSP.


Tell me, why do you think GSP will beat Hughes.

What has GSP improved on in order to outperform someone who has already beaten him?


Matt Hughes and BJ need this fight to happen in order to solidify their respective standings in the division...it is just a matter of which BJ and which Matt Hughes shows up.

Yes, but though Hughes hasn't fought chumps, with the exception of GSP, none of those guys are top 5...he needed that Karo Parisyan fight that got cancelled due to injury[to Parisyan.] Not too many casual fans know who Karo is, but he is a good fighter nonetheless. The Riggs bout was a joke, I guess it was impressive that Hughes took him down and won so easily, but still not a top 5 guy. Sherk is good, but too light to compete with Hughes though Hughes wasn't able to finish him either.

I'm not faulting Hughes for his last few opponents, but he still needs to step up against better opposition. And I'm not saying he isn't at the top of the weightclass because obviously he is(I'm saying in the top two, not neccesarily number 1.) If he can walk thru GSP again then that will prove something, in my mind at least.


I'm actually liking Hughes more and more, and though I do think GSP could pull out a victory, I think the odds favor Hughes...the dude is an animal.


He's been drinking Surge! :wink:


But Hughes has the country breakfast! American bacon > Canadian Bacon :slightly_smiling:


I don't think Hughes will tear up GSP in the first round as he did in their last encounter.

But I do think he will win a decisive decsion at worst. At best he will stop him at some point prior to the 5th round.


Did everyone forget GSP beat Penn? Also GSP has improved more than any fighter in the last year, IMO. GSP is hungry and dude has the best elbows around. I'm not saying he will win. Hughes is a monster, but I do think it will be alot more level than people think.


Decision[bullshit] victory over an underconditioned Penn, and, maybe more importantly, uninspired. Also, Hughes' loss to Penn was over two years ago, and Hughes has looked more and more impressive in each of his victories since...I'm not saying he'll destroy GSP, but you'd be crazy not to give him the edge in the matchup.


Considering Sherk has two wins against Karo (including one where Karo's corner had to throw in the towel), I don't see how you can claim beating Karo would have elevated Hughes standing while running down Sherk as being 'too small'. Sherk has run through every 170 pounder he has faced except for Hughes & GSP.


How long ago were those matches between Karo and Sherk? I'll save you the trip to fightfinder, January 2001 was their last meeting. Karo is the only opponent on Sherk's record besides Hughes and GSP even worth mentioning, with the exception of Nick Diaz(and if any of you watched that fight you were probably wondering what the hell Nick was doing,)

I like Sherk, but I'm pretty sure that if he and Karo met today, Karo would take that match up, and to say Sherk has run thru every 170 pounder they've put in front of him is true, albeit misleading in the sense that the level of competition hasn't been there for him.