Every old-school mixed martial arts fan had high hopes for the return of BJ Penn. But at the same time, many also had doubts about him going in against the talented young fighter such as Yair Rodriguez, which in the end, proved to be warranted after all.
What was the high point of the fight?
Penn had a few flashes of old brilliance in spurts during the first round. He was able to close the distance and threaten from the clinch to possibly take the fight to the ground. “The Prodigy” was also able to land some punches, including a nice clean straight right.
Rodriguez, however, backed up all the hype that was behind him coming into the contest. He was in complete control of the stand-up exchanges through the majority of the fight. If not for Penn’s sheer toughness, the fight would have been stopped earlier.
Where do these two go from here?
He may have faced a depleted and aged BJ Penn, a victory over one of the sport’s legends is still a huge feather in the cap for a young fighter like Yair Rodriguez. Currently situated at the number ten spot at the UFC’s official rankings, expect him to move up some notches higher and to be matched up against a top five contender.
A two-division UFC champion and an all-time great, BJ Penn no longer has anything to prove. He was already able to put on memorable performances in his heyday, but as the old adage goes, Father Time is undefeated. At 38 years old, Penn should very well consider hanging it up, and for good this time.
Watch now, later, or never?
It may be a painful sight to behold for BJ Penn fans, but it was a masterful performance from the young stud that Yair Rodriguez is. Still a must-watch.