Having watched Frankie Edgar outwork BJ Penn for five straight rounds tonight in Boston, it seems we've figured out how to definitively beat Penn. You need to be quicker and outwork BJ. You need to be in constant motion. Tenacity, determination and great skill... you need to fight like Frankie Edgar. That was the best fight I've seen Frankie ever fight and he deserved that 50-45 more than anything.
One other thing we've definitely been able to pin on BJ? He's terrible at changing his gameplan midfight. Midway through round 3, Joe Rogan said (and I'll paraphrase, since I don't remember word for word) "I never thought I'd be saying this, but BJ is getting outclassed." and he's right. Part of being the top of the class is being able to adjust to problems people throw at you, and BJ has not been able to do that in any of his losses. Part of this is the fault of his corner, as Rogan pointed out. Trying to motivate him and to "get that cocksucker" as opposed to technical advice and changes is clearly not a help.
Just looking at his modern losses, GSP out-muscled him and BJ was never able to stop the takedown (very few have been able to stop a GSP takedown, but shrug). In both of these last two fights, he wasn't able to answer the quickness, the in-and-out, the fast pace and the wrestling of Edgar. So congratulations to a fellow New Joysian in Frankie Edgar and best of luck to BJ in the future, because he's clearly and definitely not the best lightweight anymore and needs to fix those holes if he ever wants to be champion again.