BJ Penn, fresh off his defeat to Lightweight Champion, Jens Pulver, returned to the Octagon looking to out his first ever MMA defeat behind him.
His opponent was debutant, Paul Creighton. The first round saw Penn control Creighton in his guard before Penn found better position in the mount in the second round. He rained down unanswered punches to achieve another notch in the win column and erase from memory his loss to Pulver, months earlier.
Penn was on the title trail once again.
The headline bout saw Middleweight Champion, Murilo Bustamante defend the title successfully versus Matt Lindland. Lindland had defeated UFC legend, Pat Miletich at UFC 36 to earn his shot. However, the fight was not without it's controversy. Early in the bout, Bustamante had Lindland trapped in an armbar. Lindland appeared to tap and the champion released the hold as he believed he had won. However, Lindland denied he had submitted and the bout was restarted. What a mess.
Bustamente did force Lindland to tap again in the third round to retain the title. Lindland tapped out twice! At least justice was done.
Heavyweight contender, Ricco Rodriguez beat Tsuyoshi Kosaka in a fight fought at a furious pace with stiff shots and moves and counter moves. Rodriguez found himself in side control and rained down punches on a helpless Kosaka and earn the win and a Heavyweight title shot, which he would take full advantage of at UFC 39.
Phil Baroni beat Amar Suloev in a hard-hitting war. Baroni was put down by a slick combination but bounced back in style with a massive shot to put Suloev down for the win via Knockout.
Caol Uno, who had been battered by Penn at UFC 34 in 11 seconds bounced back to winning ways himself when he defeated Yves Edwards via Decision in a passable opener. However, it was far from an exciting opener.
The card pulled 50,000 buys on pay per view.Published 09 Jan 2019, 23:40 IST