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B.J. Penn’s Top 5 UFC Performances

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B.J. Penn's Top 5 UFC Performances

B.J. Penn
Mark J. Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubt that the UFC announcing that former lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn was returning to the Octagon was the biggest and most talked about MMA story of the week. While most didn’t think “The Prodigy” was ready to permanently shut down his fighting career, the truly stunning part of the story was that Penn would be returning as a featherweight for a trilogy bout with Frankie Edgar.

Penn lost a pair of lightweight title fights to Edgar at UFC 112 and UFC 118, and is bound and determined to get some revenge as the two will meet again after acting as coaches for The Ultimate Fighter Season 19. Penn has traditionally competed at weights of either 155 or 170 pounds, so the move to 145 definitely raised plenty of eyebrows.

Edgar, who gave featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo a solid fight in dropping a five-round decision, has looked comfortable in his move down in weight. Penn was last seen in the UFC losing a lopsided decision to welterweight contender Rory MacDonald. How will Penn look with the significant weight drop at this late stage of his MMA career and his body will respond are the two main questions that crop up. We will definitely have plenty of time before we get those answers.

What we do know is that Penn has had a truly remarkable MMA career. I thought with this week’s news, it would only be appropriate to take a look at what in my mind are his Top 5 performances in the UFC.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports

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5. B.J. Penn vs. Joe Stevenson

B.J. Penn
Mark J. Reblilas USA TODAY Sports

Penn turned in a truly dominating performance against Stevenson at UFC 80 to capture the interim lightweight title. The challenger was rocked by an uppercut early in the opening stanza and was left a bloody mess by well-placed elbows. Penn finished what was becoming a cringe worthy bloodbath in round two with a rear naked choke submission.

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4. B.J. Penn vs. Sean Sherk

B.J. Penn
Mark J. Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

Penn was too much for Sherk in a fight that unified the lightweight belts at UFC 84. “The Prodigy” was in control throughout, and a hellacious flying knee to Sherk’s head and follow up strikes at the end of the third round brought about the doctor stoppage. A bloodied and battered Sherk was in no condition to continue.

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3. B.J. Penn vs. Diego Sanchez

B.J. Penn
Mark J. Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

There were many who thought Sanchez had the skill set to give Penn quite a challenge at UFC 107, but it never materialized. Sanchez showed plenty of grit, but was no match for Penn’s tremendously precise striking game. Penn put together terrific combinations which rocked Sanchez on a number of occasions, showing off his terrific takedown defense against the challenger as well. Sanchez was on the receiving end of a brutal high kick to the forehead in the fifth and final round that left him resembling a cast member from a horror movie. The doctor had no choice but to halt the fight as Sanchez was left with a severe laceration in his forehead. It was one of the more gruesome sights in UFC history.

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2. B.J. Penn vs. Caol Uno 1

B.J. Penn
Joe Nicholson USA TODAY Sports

Penn showed the brilliance that he would be known for by stopping his talented opponent in a mere 11 seconds in their lightweight title eliminator at UFC 34. It was just Penn’s third career MMA fight, and to take out a quality opponent in such a blistering fashion was a sight to behold. The fight was the 20th of Uno’s career and marked the first time he had ever been stopped via strikes.

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1. B.J. Penn vs. Matt Hughes 1

B.J Penn
Mark J. Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

This was B.J. Penn on his greatest night in the Octagon. He destroyed the seemingly unbeatable welterweight champ at UFC 46 in a remarkable upset. Penn moved up to 170 pounds for this bout to battle the five-time defending champion, and eventually finished Hughes via a stunning first round rear naked choke.