The UFC Fight Night: Penn vs. Rodriguez main event was a classic Legend vs. Prospect matchup. Former two-division champion B.J. Penn returned from his three-year retirement to fight #10 ranked featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez. The fight wasn’t remotely competitive, as the 24-year-old shined inside the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rodriguez fired off a kick to start the fight. A spinning kick was missed and Penn was in on a body lock against the fence. Penn connected with a jab and evaded a jumping kick. Rodriguez stung Penn with a big head kick, and another one. The speed advantage for the young Mexican was staggeringly obvious. A flying knee and a knee to the body by Rodriguez caught “The Prodigy.” An inside leg kick buckled Penn. Another flying kick backed Penn up. BJ got in a counter right hand but was otherwise getting kicked everywhere imaginable. Rodriguez was getting serious snap in his kicks and putting on a show.
Penn was immediately dropped in the 2nd round by a front kick and a right hand. It was the first time that Penn had ever been knocked down. Rodriguez swarmed with a billion punches on the ground before Big John McCarthy stopped the fight. Penn was out of it and really was never in the fight.
Official result: Yair Rodriguez def. B.J. Penn via TKO (strikes) at :24 of round 2