UFC 31 feels like a lifetime ago. I was getting ready to graduate from high school and still finding ways to feed my MMA habit when B.J. Penn exploded onto the scene with a destruction of Joey Gilbert. His explosive striking mixed with his Brazilian jiu-jitsu bona fides made him seem like one of the most special individuals to ever step into the cage.
Now isn't the time to provide a step-by-step recap of his career, but simply to reflect on the end of his time in the sport and the official "end of an era."
Frankie Edgar was in a rough spot. He had a job to do, and did so with ruthless efficiency. But it involved beating up on an aged fan favorite who clearly had nothing in the tank. While Edgar beat Penn up on the feet, threw him to the canvas at will and dominated on the ground, Penn pushed slow punches while plodding around the cage in an oddly upright stance.
Edgar was likely always going to win, and he just had to get through this night in a way that would allow him to move on to bigger and better things, like title shots.
The time of B.J. Penn in the Octagon is over. Where Frankie Edgar's career stands is still somewhat of a question, and tonight provided little by way of answers.
Frankie Edgar d. B.J. Penn via TKO 4:16 of round 3
Corey Anderson d. Matt Van Buren via TKO 1:01 of round 1
Eddie Gordon d. Dhiego Lima via TKO 1:11 of round 1
Derrick Lewis d. Guto Inocente via TKO 3:30 of round 1
Dustin Ortiz d. Justin Scoggins via split decision
Kevin Lee d. Jesse Ronson via split decision
Leandro Issa d. Jumabieke Tuerxun via submission (armbar) 3:49 of round 3
Adriano Martins d. Juan Puig via KO 2:21 of round 1
Patrick Walsh d. Dan Spohn via unanimous decision
Sarah Moras d. Alexis Dufresne via unanimous decision
Robert Drysdale d. Keith Berish via submission (rear naked choke) 2:03 of round 1