The long awaited return of B.J. Penn took place on Sunday night, as the two-division champion made his featherweight debut against Frankie Edgar in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale. It marked his first and last fight at that weight class.
The third instalment of the Edgar vs. Penn rivalry began the way the second one concluded four years ago, as Frankie quickly took control of the contest and began landing a variety of quick combinations before taking Penn down to rough him up on the ground. That trend gradually increased over the second round, as Penn offered no resistance to Edgar's calculated onslaught.
The fight did not last much longer, as Edgar lived up to his promise in the third round and finished the former lightweight champion with strikes to close out the trilogy in emphatic fashion.
Official Result: Frankie Edgar def. BJ Penn via TKO (Strikes, Round 3, 4:16)
What was the high point of the fight?
That is a tough question depending on the perspective you take on the matter. Many old school fans would have found the entire contest unbearable to watch. Penn was a shadow of his former self and had absolutely nothing to offer Edgar in their third and final encounter. On the other hand, it was a exceptional performance from Frankie Edgar, who capped off International Fight Week with well-rounded showing, particularly in the third round of action.
Where do these two go from here?
Edgar made it clear that he is interested in either a title fight or a fight that will get him closer to a title shot. Therefore, a reasonable match-up for Edgar would be against Dustin Poirier, which would make for a compelling fight. He could also be slotted against Cub Swanson following the recent UFC 176 injury fiasco.
BJ Penn, however, fought his (supposed) last UFC fight on Sunday evening. The longtime competitor announced his retirement in the cage following the loss and stated that it may be time for him to move on with his life.
Watch now, later or never?
Watch later. It was a sad, one-sided beatdown that served no purpose than to simply send "The Prodigy" into retirement.