Penn Is Super Natural, 49-second Doctor Stoppage Delivers Belfort Ufc 46 Gold
Penn Is Super Natural, 49-Second Doctor Stoppage Delivers Belfort UFC 46 Gold
By Loretta Hunt
It’s hard to judge UFC 46’s merits on its main event, because despite an abrupt and unfortunate occurrence that saw the UFC light-heavyweight belt change hands in the final moments, the night was an extremely entertaining one for the 11,405 in attendance. The fans were game, the stars turned out, and the night seemed to buzz along with one shocking outcome after another. From brawler Lee Murray’s submission to jiu-jitsu guru Frank Mir’s knockout of relentless juggernaut Wes Sims, unpredictability was the way of the day. But, jumping up from the lightweight division, Penn pulled off the upset of them all with a first round choke over champion Matt Hughes.
Here’s the rundown:
Not much can be said for Randy Couture and Vitor Belfort’s 49-second rematch. With a missed kick and a punch by Couture, Belfort returned fire with a lightening-fast left hook. The punch (and more substantially, Belfort’s glove) grazed the eye of light-heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who quickly clinched and pushed his aggressor against the fence. But, something was very wrong as Couture squinted and tried to stabilize for a takedown that never came. The fight was halted for medical officials, but the monitors told it all. With a ripped eyelid, Couture could not continue, forfeiting the match as well as the belt to Belfort in one fell swoop. Couture had to be rushed to the hospital for stitches.
Tonight, BJ Penn did what Carlos Newton, Hayato Sakurai, Gil Castillo, and Frank Trigg couldn’t. He choked out reigning champion Matt Hughes, putting to an end a successful run seen rarely in this unpredictable sport. Initially, both competitors were willing to tie up for some knees and punches, but when Hughes went in for his first takedown, Penn sunk in a single underhook to throw the usually unstoppable champ down and into his guard. Taking Hughes’ back in the struggle and then moving back to guard and then to side control, Penn seemed too shifty to slow down. Landing a few shots before securing Hughes’ back a final time, Penn sunk in the rear-naked choke in the final 30 seconds.
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