Making the “tough” call

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BJ Penn searches for new weight class while Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez chooses a new nickname

Inside the Octagon
Autumn McDowell
Sports Writer

It’s decision time in the UFC. While some fighters are trying to settle on a weight class, others are trying to settle on a nickname.

As BJ “The Prodigy” Penn continues to contemplate which weight class he would like his ass to be kicked in next, it seems he has settled on welterweight. This could be a strategic move on his part as Frankie Edgar, the lightweight champion, seems to have “The Answer” to all of Penn’s problems. However, the more likely reason is that Penn is simply too lazy to cut weight to try and get to 155 lbs., and has come to terms with his fat gut tipping the scales at 170 lbs.

In Penn’s current home of the 170 lbs. division, he recently took on Jon Fitch in a fight that would decide who would get the next title shot against welterweight stud Georges St-Pierre. The possibility that either of these two could possibly get another shot at GSP is enough to make a person puke. How Joe Silva, the UFC’s matchmaker, could somehow think that either of these two is worthy of being in the same cage as St-Pierre is laughable.

The mediocre contest between Penn and Fitch headlined an absolutely brutal fight card; if anyone spent fifty bucks on it they should feel truly ashamed. The back and forth headliner was apparently too close to call for the incompetent judges and was declared a draw. For those keeping score, a draw is worse than losing. You know you have wasted your money when the biggest fight on the card ends in a draw. The only positive aspect that came out of this draw was that, due to the fact that there was no winner, there is no top contender, and therefore no title shot for either of them, thank God.

In a rather bizarre turn of events, formally Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez has opted to change his nickname to “The Dream”. Sanchez feels that “The Dream” is a much more positive nickname and he does not want to be attached to the negative energy that he feels is associated with the nickname “Nightmare”. This is also why Sanchez annoyingly yells “yes!” repeatedly before he even steps into the octagon. Although Sanchez’s antics appear rather crazy, they also appear to be working.

Martin Kampmann should take a page out of Sanchez’s positivity book as Sanchez was able to earn the victory over him at UFC on Versus 3 on March 3. The win was slightly controversial as an uproar of “boo”s came over the crowd when Sanchez was announced the winner by unanimous decision. Most of the spectators believed that Kampmann should be the winner purely by the amount of damage he was able to inflict on Sanchez’s face. Sanchez’s left eye was dripping blood all over his body and was almost completely swollen shut, making him look eerily similar to Sloth from The Goonies.

However, by leaving it in the hands of the judges, Kampmann will now have to climb up the welterweight ladder once again. One can only assume that it was the nickname change that allowed Sanchez to secure the victory.

Kampmann wasn’t a complete loser, as the president of the UFC, Dana White, gave each fighter $160,000 bonus for their performances inside the octagon, setting a new UFC record for highest bonus. The fight was good and definitely entertaining but 160K? Really?

The next time fighters will step back into the octagon will be on March 19, when the light heavyweight title will be on the line. Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Hua will be taking on challenger Jon “Bones” Jones, as Shogun attempts to defend the belt.

This fight card is surprisingly good, as the co-main event features former WEC stud Urijah Faber, who will take on Eddie Wineland in the newly added 135 lbs. division. These two little guys will go toe to toe with the hopes of earning a shot at the bantamweight crown.

Other notable fighters on the card include Canadian Nate Marquadt, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Mirko “right leg hospital, left leg cemetery” Cro Cop to name a few.

This should be a great night of fights, so good in fact that I may just have to purchase it.

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