Pride was taken and fighters looking to recapture some of their glory were disappointed on Saturday night (May 24), when Sean Sherk’s hopes of regaining a title disappeared, and Tito Ortiz left the octagon bloodied and beaten.
UFC 84 went down pretty much how we at BallerStatus.com expected, but we thought Penn would take Sherk with a submission.
Sean Sherk being beaten like a drum by BJ Penn was no surprise though. Sherk was attempting to regain his UFC lightweight title in a scheduled five-round bout at the sold-out MGM Grand, but instead ran into the Penn’s left knee late the third, followed by a series of right hands to his head. Although the round ended, Sherk could not continue.
Penn proved, once again, that he’s the undisputed UFC lightweight champion.
“I finished with the lead punch, and I was thinking, it’s got to be finished. I know the time is done [in the round], but I don’t want to keep [beating him like] that,” said Penn after the fight.
Penn had the height advantage, by three inches, and a longer reach, and came in as the better boxer and striker, but Sherk the better wrestler. It didn’t matter, though. Sherk only made one attempt at a takedown in 15 minutes of fight time.
“B.J. is really hard to take down,” Sherk said, following the fight, according to the Washington Post. “I wanted to establish a striking game before I took the fight to the ground. I thought I was pretty competitive on the feet so I kept the fight on the feet.”
Penn improved his record to 8-3-1 in UFC fights, 14-4-1 overall, while Sherk fell to 5-3 UFC, 36-3-1 overall.
Earlier in the event, Tito Ortiz took on Lyoto Machida for the final fight of his UFC contract, and hopefully leave with his head held high.
Things didn’t work out that way for Ortiz though. The 33-year-old Huntington Beach native lost all three rounds on the judges’ scorecards, according to reports, while his opponent, Machida, dodged Ortiz’s blows from the jump all while avoiding his patented take-down attempts.
Ortiz did, however, pulled Machida into a Muay Thai clinch in the third, landing a few knees to the body, but Machida followed with the biggest bout’s biggest blow, a knee to Ortiz’s ribs that dropped the former champion to the canvas.
Ortiz, in the final seconds of the match, nearly had Machida in a submission (by securing a leg triangle around Machida’s head), but Machida escaped. And Machida took it in a three-round decision.
Tito, a five-time light heavyweight champion, dropped to 15-6-1, and said after the fight that he is likely to leave the UFC, but not retire from MMA.
“I gave 11 years to this octagon and it’s too bad that I’m leaving right now,” he said. “I’ll be going to greener pastures, I hope, for the future.”
Also on the undercard, Brazilian Wanderlei Silva defeated Keith Jardine by first-round knockout.
UFC 85 is scheduled for June 7th at O2 Arena in London, England. Former two-time welterweight champion, Matt Hughs, Brazilian slugger Thiago “Pitbull” Alves.