Lightweight champion BJ Penn dominated Diego Sanchez the entire fight...

Lightweight champion BJ Penn dominated Diego Sanchez the entire fight en route to a fifth-round TKO at UFC 107 in Memphis, Tenn., on Dec. 12, 2009. Credit: UFC Photo

Left with nothing in the UFC's lightweight division -- not even the championship belt -- Penn is moving up to welterweight to complete his trilogy with Matt Hughes at UFC 123 in Detroit on Nov. 20.

Smart move for Penn, seeing how he lost his title to Frankie Edgar in April at UFC 112 and the rematch in August at UFC 118. There's no one left for Penn to fight at lightweight, even if he had won either of those bouts. Who was he going to fight, Gray Maynard? Kenny Florian again?

No, and no.

Penn needed to make this move for his career. And this makes Hughes, an attraction fighter more so than a title contender now, more interesting. Should he beat Penn, maybe there's a title run in him once more. Perhaps fans would be more interested in a George St-Pierre-Matt Hughes title fight than they would a GSP-Jon Fitch rematch. Surely, UFC president Dana White would be, too.

Oh yeah, by the way, the main event at UFC 123 will be Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida. That should make for an interesting lead-in to the fight. Machida is quiet. Rampage, eh, not so much.

Just give a read to Rampage's quote about this fight.

“If Machida decides to fight me, it will be an exciting fight for one round before he goes to sleep," Rampage said. "I am expecting him to run from me, though. He’d wear sneakers into the octagon if he could! But don’t worry, I will hunt him down and get him anyway.”

 

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