MMAValor Store

Mixed Martial Thoughts: BJ Penn

| November 1, 2011 | Reply

I will remember UFC 137 as the event that BJ Penn cemented himself as THE best first round fighter of all time.

For the first round of past Saturday’s main event against Nick Diaz, BJ Penn displayed the boxing skills that many consider among the best in mixed martial arts.  He displayed the slick ground game that earned him the nickname of, “The Prodigy”; then the first round ended.

And with the end of the first round, so did BJ’s elite level MMA skills.

His talent gave way to what has plagued him throughout his MMA career; cardio issues.  From the second round until the end, Nick Diaz was able to punish BJ, almost at will.  He was able to perfectly mix punches to the body and head of the proud Hawaiian and with every punch landed, Nick’s confidence grew more and more. Penn’s response?  To stand in front of Nick’s punches and absorb the beating he was being dealt. Too tried to move or dance out-of-the-way from oncoming fists, Penn relied on his strong will to carry him through the end of the fight.

When you think back on his second fight with Matt Hughes, his first encounter with GSP, his battle with Jon Fitch, and most recently his fight with Diaz, BJ Penn looked unstoppable in the first round of each of those fights.  He looked like “THE PRODIGY”.  Except for the Jon Fitch fight, which was a draw, BJ went on to lose all of the previously mentioned contests.

I’m not sure what causes BJ’s tank to run on fumes when the first round ends, but it must be frustrating to all of his fans, as well as BJ himself.  Frustrating because the young kid who burst onto the UFC with three vicious (T)KO’s of Joey Gilbert, Din Thomas, Caol Uno, who seemed destined to be one of the true greats, instead sports a 16-8-2 record.

Not to take anything away from his accomplishments, two-time lightweight champion, welterweight champion, a career win percentage nearly identical to HOF’er Randy Couture, impressive wins over Hughes, Sanchez, Florian, Gomi, and his willingness to step up in weight to test himself against bigger men.  When BJ Penn was on, he was ON.  He could look like the greatest fighter in his division one fight, but in the next, like he just stepped out of a burger joint and into the cage.

He never put together an impressive string of consecutive wins, never held a long reign as champion, and he never evolved.

In many ways, he should have been what Anderson Silva is.

BJ declared his intentions to retire right after the Diaz fight but recently made a statement that he will “take some time off to enjoy life, train, and teach” and that he’ll keep us posted on what he decides to do.

Unless he decides to address his conditioning issues, he should stay retired, for good.

Until next time, Stay Focused and support the sport.

 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

Tags: BJ Penn, Mixed Martial Arts, Mixed Martial Thoughts, MMA, Nick Diaz, Opinion, The Prodigy, UFC, UFC 137

Category: Exclusive, Featured, MMA, Opinion, UFC

About the Author ()

I'm a freelance writer and photographer. I've been a fan of the sport since the very first UFC. I've been lucky enough to attend many mma events live; both as a fan and photographer. I began writing mma related article over 2 1/2 years ago and last year joined The Verbal Submission show with Brian Hemminger and Ben Thapa. I've had the pleasure to interview Roy Nelson, Bas Rutten, Cesar Gracie, Royce Gracie, Carlos Condit, Kimo, Shawn Tompkins, Chris Horodecki, Vlad Matyushenko, Jay Hieron, Demetrious Johnson, etc....keep checking back to see who I can add to the list.

Leave a Reply

Refresh Image