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UFC Betting - UFC 123 Preview and Prediction: Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn III

Posted by Tony Bryant on 11/22/2010 10:26:58 AM
ufc betting

UFC betting fans are anxiously anticipating the completion in the trilogy of fights between BJ Penn and Matt Hughes. Set to go down at UFC 123 on November 20 from The Palace of Auburn Hills, in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Hughes-Penn III is an important fight for both men. With Penn coming off two losses, and Hughes enjoying success in his Zuffa-sponsored "retirement tour", both men will be eager to get the best of three in this series.

Many NFL betting and UFC betting fans will recall the bad blood and trash-talking that characterized the lead up to the previous two fights. Prior to UFC 46, Hughes spoke out about his derision towards Penn, a man he saw as an inflated lightweight coming into the division he ran to fight him. Fans will never know how seriously Hughes took the first bout, but Penn ran game. After landing a brutal punch on the ground - so hard it broke his hand - Penn sealed the deal with a rear-naked-choke.

Penn would never defend the welterweight strap he earned. Times were very different for Zuffa and the UFC then, and Penn could strike much more lucrative deals in Japan. He would sign with K-1, and go on to fight Duane "Bang" Ludwig, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida, and Renzo Gracie under different K-1 banners.

For his part, after the fight, Hughes continued dominance in the welterweight division as if nothing had ever happened - indeed, for a time, that is clearly what Zuffa brass wanted fans to believe. Wins over Renato Verissimo (a decision many contested at the time), Georges St. Pierre and Frank Trigg all made clear that Hughes ran things at welterweight in the UFC.

Finally, UFC 58 came around, and with fences mended, Penn was back in the UFC to fight Georges St. Pierre. The bout was touted as one to determine the next man to get a shot at the welterweight strap. Penn would lose and St. Pierre would go on to defeat Hughes for the title in their rematch. But not before Penn and Hughes would meet for the second time at UFC 63. Despite looking strong early, Penn gassed and Hughes got the TKO stoppage in the third.

These days, Penn appears to be taking training more seriously. He will go into Saturday's bout a favourite with most reputable sports wagering sites. Still, he was flat in his rematch against Frank Edgar - this bout may determine Penn's future viability as a fighter. Hughes has always struggled against Penn. In the first two rounds of their rematch, Penn dominated the former star of MFS, stuffing takedowns and out-boxing Hughes. This bout figures to look the same. Unless Penn comes in woefully unprepared, he will outstrike the former champion. This bout is a good bet to look much like BJ Penn-Sean Sherk. Expect a TKO win for Penn here later in the fight.

Pick: BJ Penn

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