Penn righted the ship at UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida, and he did it in stunning fashion. Almost as quickly as his fight with Matt Hughes began, it was over.
Penn came out pressing the action and quickly dropped Hughes with a straight right hand, then followed him down and land a couple more solid shots before the referee stepped in for the stoppage… 21 seconds into the opening round.
And with that, Penn erases a loss to Hughes in their second meeting. He goes up two out of three in the series, but more importantly, he ended a two-fight skid that put a pall over his career.
He was ecstatic after the fight, letting all the fans, UFC president Dana White, and just about everyone else on the planet know how much he loves them.
Hughes, however, was left in bewilderment after the loss, unsure what comes next.
“He hit me pretty hard,” said the man widely regarded as one of the greatest champions in UFC history.
“I don’t know what the plan is now. This is one of those fights I would have paid my purse to Dana White to put on this fight. I had a lot on the line. This was a huge fight for me. To be honest, I don’t know what goes on now.”