One of the most exciting, dynamic fighters to ever step inside the UFC is B.J. Penn. The Prodigy is an apt nickname for Penn, as he burst onto the MMA scene at such a young age. Penn was the first non-Brazilian to win the black-belt division for the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship back in 2000, showcasing the type of natural abilities Penn has in terms of the grappling department.
Soon after this feat, Penn burst onto the UFC scene, defeating some quality opponents in Matt Hughes, Matt Serra and Takanori Gomi. He became a welterweight champion, and would eventually become the lightweight champion, defeating Joe Stevenson in impressive fashion. At lightweight, Penn was rolling until he met Frankie Edgar, who was able to defeat him twice. Since these losses, Penn has never really been the same. He would put on some exciting fights, but nothing that would indicate he had what it took to be a champion.
All of that can change now that Penn is heading to the featherweight division, coaching opposite of Edgar on The Ultimate Fighter. The only weakness in Penn’s armor has been his conditioning and fighting against fighters, such as Georges St. Pierre and Rory MacDonald, who have a superior size and strength advantage over him. This has never been the case in the lightweight division, and this should remain the same in the featherweight division.
Penn has yet to be knocked out or submitted, which is quite impressive in today’s era of the UFC. If Penn can indeed make the featherweight weight limit, he can not only resurrect his fighting career, but he can make a valid case to fight for the belt, which is currently being held by Jose Aldo. This will more than likely be Penn’s last run at a title, so he will look to do everything in his power to get a victory over Edgar, proving he still has a lot of things to showcase for fans and, more importantly, himself.