BJ Penn comes out of retirement to fight up-and-comer Yair Rodriguez in a featherweight bout. Penn “The Prodigy” has been retired since 2014 after losing his last fight to Frankie Edgar in TKO loss.
Both Penn and Rodriguez made weight at 146 and 145 pounds respectively, allowing the much anticipated return to occur. Everyone wanted to see if Penn has what it takes to fight his way back to the top after his almost three year absence from the sport.
Penn is a former UFC Lightweight Champion and UFC Welterweight Champion and is now looking to earn a championship in the featherweight division which would be an accomplishment all on it’s own. In eight years as a lightweight Penn was undefeated and eventually inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2015.
His attempted rise back to the top begins with Rodriguez in this 5 round bout.
At 38 years old, Penn strolled out to the ring in classic fashion looking focused, healthy and in great shape.
Penn came out pressuring Rodriguez but was overwhelmed by his strength and speed. Penn survived the first round after taking multiple kicks and clearly looking worn down.
Unfortunately, his signature strength and determination wasn’t enough as Rodriguez dropped Penn early in the second round; he caught Penn with a sharp front kick to the face, followed by a right hook. Penn dropped to the ground, and Rodriguez pounced, hitting him with enough force for “Big” John McCarthy to call it by TKO just 24 seconds in.
Rodriguez praised Penn for taking the fight and gave him all the credit he deserved for hopping into the ring again. Penn didn’t stay in the ring to comment; he was clearly upset with his performance.
It looked as if Penn didn’t believe the fight should have stopped, but I think we can all agree that McCarthy made the right move by stopping the fight.
In the end, Penn just didn’t have what it takes, and his Rodriguez completely overwhelmed the older, slower man, claiming the win in a superior fashion.
Hopefully we see BJ Penn again even, if it isn’t inside the octagon.
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