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Completed Bout

BJ Penn vs. Matt Hughes I

Co-Main Event | UFC Welterweight Championship | 170 lbs

BJ Penn defeats Matt Hughes via Submission at 4:39 of Round 1

Mmaweekly large "The Prodigy" BJ Penn
Mmaweekly large Matt Hughes

Round 1

BJ Penn Matt Hughes

"The Prodigy"

6-1-1   Pro Record At Fight   35-3-0
Climbed to 7-1   Record After Fight   Fell to 35-4
+200 (Moderate Underdog)   Betting Odds   -240 (Moderate Favorite)
Challenger   Title   Champion
Us United States   Nationality   Us United States
Hilo, Hawaii   Fighting out of   Hillsboro, Illinois
25 years, 1 month, 4 days   Age at Fight   30 years, 3 months, 4 days
169.5 lbs (76.9 kgs)   Weigh-In Result   170.0 lbs (77.1 kgs)
5'9" (176cm)   Height   5'9" (176cm)
70.0" (178cm)   Reach   73.0" (185cm)
Jackson Wink MMA   Gym   Finney's HIT Squad
UFC 46
  • Bout Information
  • Event: UFC 46: Supernatural
  • Date: Saturday 01.31.2004
  • Referee: Mario Yamasaki
  • Venue: Mandalay Bay Events Center
  • Enclosure: Octagon
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • Bout Billing: Co-Main Event (fight 7 of 8)
  • Pro/Am: Professional
  • Weight: 170 lbs (77.1 kg)
  • TV Commentary: Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan
  • Broadcast: N/A
  • Post-Fight Interviewer: Eddie Bravo
  • Penn Total Disclosed Pay: $50,000
  • Hughes Total Disclosed Pay: $55,000
  • Title on Line: UFC Welterweight Championship
  • Belt Status Before Fight: Held by Hughes
  • Event Links:

Penn vs. Hughes I Wiki Update Wiki

Ever since bursting onto the UFC scene in 2001 with three back-to-back first-round knockouts, BJ Penn had been known as “The Prodigy” by his fans. After defeating veterans Din Thomas, Matt Serra, and Takanori Gomi, Penn got his chance to make history by taking on the dominant, and significantly bigger, Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes in the main event of UFC 46.

Prior to the fight, Hughes, who was on an incredible winning streak, was considered to have the edge in size, strength, and wrestling ability. Penn, on the other hand, was one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the game, and had high-level boxing to go along with a granite jaw.

When the bell sounded, fans in attendance and watching on Pay Per View were shocked by the clear dominance demonstrated by the natural lightweight, BJ Penn. On the feet, he picked Hughes apart with jabs and straight crosses, and when they finally went to the ground, Penn had the wrestler on the defensive from the moment they hit the mat. BJ Penn was, in short, putting on a clinic against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of his time.

The beginning of the end came with a huge overhand right from Penn driven directly down into Hughes’s guard. Hughes continued to fight gamely, but his eyes were glazed by the shot as he scrambled for an answer. Utilizing his extremely flexible hips, Penn maneuvered onto the Champion’s back in search of the Rear Naked Choke. When the tap came at the 4:39 mark of the opening round, Hughes, and the audience, were stunned. Penn had talked a big game heading into the biggest fight to that point in his career, and he had backed it up in emphatic fashion. He was the new UFC Welterweight Champion.

Penn would go on to win the UFC Lightweight Championship in 2008, becoming only the second fighter in UFC history to win titles in two separate weight classes. This victory is still considered by many to be the crowning achievement of Penn’s professional career.

Following the loss, Hughes remarked that he had been surprised by the Hawaiian’s strength on the ground. In the rematch, which occurred two years later, Hughes found himself in a similar bit of trouble when he was locked into a tight Triangle Choke, but he managed to weather the storm and eventually took vengeance on Penn with a third-round TKO from the Crucifix position.

Last updated 09.26.2012, 11:47 PM ET
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