The following are three stories in the news five years ago this week published at MMATorch.com by Jamie Penick…
Alistair Overeem on Brock Lesnar bout at UFC 141 – “I’m going to kick that guy’s ass”
Alistair Overeem has a chance to burst into the UFC’s heavyweight title picture in a big way this December when he meets Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, and the now former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion made a prediction for their fight in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour on Monday.
“The winner of the fight between me and Brock [Lesnar] will fight the winner of Cain [Velasquez] and [Junior] dos Santos,” he said. “You know what? I’m going to be bold. I’m going to kick that guy’s ass… Brock is an amazing athlete. He’s a very strong guy, a very strong dude. He’s going to be at UFC 141 125 percent. That’s what I’m expecting. He’s going to be there full force, so some clip shot who knows when, where, whatever — I’ve not even seen it. I’ve got to imagine that if you’re going to accept the fight against me, you will be there 100 percent. In his case I expect 125 percent. He’s going to be motivated.”
B.J. Penn – “If I ever feel it again, I’ll come back”
B.J. Penn’s crushing loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 resulted in him emotionally telling Joe Rogan after the bout that he was done, and that loss would mark the last time he would be seen in the cage.
He’s since changed that stance, and instead says he’ll be taking some time off. In an interview on HDNet’s Inside MMA on Monday, Penn said he’s needed time off for awhile, and made it clear that he’ll return if he becomes ready to return.
“I kinda think this is something that I should have [done] after the first Frankie Edgar fight,” Penn said. “A bunch of my coaches pleaded with me to step away from the sport, take some time off. I don’t really like the results I’ve been getting.
“[I need to] take some time off. Take some time away from the sport. If I ever feel it again, I’ll come back… I don’t want to be sitting in the locker room saying, I can’t believe I’m still doing this.”
Penick’s Analysis: This is essentially what I was saying in the roundtable last week. Penn is eventually going to get the itch again, and then he’ll return to the cage. It doesn’t matter when that is, and he should take whatever time he feels like he needs to clear his head, get past the performances he’s not entirely happy with, and then return. He’ll be back, it’s just a matter of time.
UFC on Fox’s Ben Henderson bummed about lack of TV slot, but says all that matters is a win
When the lightweight bout between Ben Henderson and Clay Guida was announced for this Saturday’s UFC on Fox card, it was believed the UFC hoped to give some added exposure if time allowed to a fight that could determine the next Lightweight Title challenger. Unfortunately for them, the decision was made that the hour-long broadcast on Fox would only feature the Heavyweight Championship main event, regardless of the how long or short the fight lasts.
The news came as a disappointment to both fighters, and Henderson said it was definitely upsetting at first to know their bout wouldn’t be televised.
“I was pretty surprised when I first heard about it,” Henderson said in an interview with USAToday.com. “I’m not going to lie… When I heard that, to be honest, I was a little bit sad about that. I was a little bit bummed out. Of course, this is a historic moment. First time on Fox, it’s a huge, huge, big historic moment for the UFC, for my sport, for MMA. I’m happy I’m a part of it. I’m happy I’m on the card, the co-main event.
“I would definitely like to be on Fox, though. But whatever. It is what it is.”
That’s not to say he’s going to let it affect him come Saturday night in Anaheim. Essentially, whether the fight is broadcast or not, for Henderson all that matters is that he wins this fight.
“The more I thought about it, I was able to settle myself down and be like, ‘You know what? It doesn’t really matter'” Henderson said. “All that matters is me getting my hand raised, getting that W. Being on Fox or Facebook or Foxsports.com of Spike TV or Versus or pay-per-view, it all doesn’t really matter; what matters is you winning, you getting your hand raised.”
Penick’s Analysis: Henderson’s correct, all that matters for him is that he beats Clay Guida. It’s unfortunate that the fight won’t be seen by even more fans, but many will still see him online, and if he puts forth an impressive effort against Guida he’s still likely to be the next in line for a title shot. The fact is, neither Henderson or Guida has a name that is going to draw on Fox, and it would have been to their benefit and not Fox’s to have them featured in some capacity. It didn’t work out for them to be on TV this time, but a win in this fight puts one of them in position for a chance to move to the top of the division.