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BJ Penn vs. Matt Hughes rubber-match rumored for UFC 123

At UFC 46 in 2004, BJ Penn gave fans new hope by submitting then-reigning champion Matt Hughes in the first frame of their welterweight title bout. A little more than two years later, Hughes struck back by disarming a defenseless Penn en route to a third round TKO victory. This November, a classic trilogy looks to be in the making, as UFC 123 will apparently mark the return of the Hawaiian to 170-pounds in hopes of besting Hughes two-out-of-three times.

News of the possible match-up was reported by MMAFighting.

“The Prodigy” has not competed outside of the lightweight division since losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94 in January 2009. He is 0-3 as a welterweight since 2006 with an additional loss to “GSP”, as well as the previously mentioned mugging by Hughes at UFC 63. Penn is 15-7-1 in his career and will be coming off back-to-back losses to current 155-pound champ Frank Edgar.

While Penn has been struggling as of late, Hughes is presently riding a three-fight win streak including a “Submission of the Night” performance over BJJ blackbelt Ricardo Almeida at UFC 117. It was also the third consecutive victory for the self-professed “country boy” over opponents who were highly proficient at Jiu-Jitsu (like Penn).

UFC 123 is scheduled for November 20th at The Palace of Auburn Hills outside of Detroit, Michigan. On top of Penn vs. Hughes III, the event is slated to feature a light heavyweight bout between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida, as well as top contendership on the line when lightweight George Sotiropoulos puts his grappling to the test against 19-5 Joe Lauzon.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I like it…

    Switch gears up for Penn & Hughes gets another big name lil gain match up

  • hindsightufuk says:

    yep damn fine match up, cant wait for this one

  • toondonjuan says:

    I like this fight a lot! If Hughes wins he should get GSP if BJ wins he will put himself well and truly in teh title hunt!!

    Although neither of tehm has a chance of beating GSP. The man in an MMA god!

  • Creature says:

    I am seriously pumped 4 this matchup, ive wanted a rubber match between these to 4 a while, even tho i doubt bj is gonna become a top 5 WW im really looking forward to his 170 return especially since its against hughes, my prediction.. hughes via dec.

  • boomnutz says:

    AWESOME!!! this should be an old fashioned grudge match, but i bet no matter the outcome these 2 will leave it all in the ring and show a ton of respect for each other after the fight. I thought Hughes was taking the rest of the year off??? anyway, i’m pumped, i got BJ taking this one, probably via rear naked, i think BJ’s takedown defense is still good enough to to stay upright and his boxing should prove to be the decisive edge.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I to thought Hughes was taking time off, but like they always say about him he does what the UFC wants. This is a great fight to make, I acually am hoping for Hughes to win here but out of the 4 rounds these two have fought Hughes has only won 1, and Penn was very tired and hurt then. The way Penn trains now I dont see him getting gassed in a 3 round fight at all. Penn by tko round 2.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Hughesy gets the Decision in a 3 round all-out war! and no, I won’ t put my money where my mouth is.

  • Dufresne says:

    When I first read the title for this I was kinda disappointed, but after thinking about it for a minute or two I’m actually kinda excited.

    If my memory serves me right, Penn was winning their second match-up in the first round using his boxing and crazy, gumby-hip takedown defense. But after the first round BJ did his traditional “WW gas-out” and Hughes got the better of him.

    I’m wondering if Penn comes into this fight timid or out of shape or if he comes in like his ass is on fire and his hair is catching.

  • Angry Mike says:

    They last fought in 2006, and if I recall correctly, that was before BJ got serious (or at least more serious) about his conditioning. I suppose that two straight losses to Edgar has affected his confidence, but if it hasn’t, I’ll have to go with BJ. Traditionally Hughes hasn’t had ko power, and BJ has pretty good take down defense and good submissions off his back. BJ also has ko power and can finish.

  • JBAR says:

    I hope the fact that BJ does not have to cut weight for this fight does not cause him to get lax in his training. Takes a lot of work to pull that 15 pounds off to get to 155 that he will not have to do for this fight.


    Honestly-I am a huge fan of both of these modern day gladiators-I just think at this point in time that Hughes is a resurrected wrecking machine and if Penn doesn’t come fully prepared he is going to be manhandled and submitted by some form of farmer choke


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