The last nine years haven’t been kind to B.J Penn.
As a fan, it would be nice to just wipe out the last eight fights off his record. But then you have his extracurriculars outside the Octagon, which definitely rubs salt into the wound.
Sure, “The Prodigy” (if we can still call him that), has taken a lot on the chin, both literally and figuratively, but not all of his Ls were that forgettable.
Take his 2005 fight with Lyoto Machida as an example. It happened a couple of years after winning his first UFC title as the welterweight champion.
Feeling undaunted by the opposition at the time, Penn just went ‘screw it,’ bailed from the UFC while still under contract, and decided to sign with K-1. He was then stripped of his title which led to him suing Zuffa… It was a messy situation all around.
But let’s get back to the Machida fight. Given his pudgier figure, Penn likely did a lot of carboloading to add those extra 20 some odd pounds to his 5’9” frame. But that didn’t seem to hamper his performance, at least for the first round and a half.
Penn showed his trademark blitzes against the bigger Machida, who tipped the scales at 225 pounds. He was getting outmuscled in the clinch, but he did have his moments.
Like this perfect landing to top half-guard off of a failed trip attempt.
Or this straight right to counter the spinning back kick.
Penn’s output began to dwindle in the third round, likely because of fatigue. Then he pulls off this nicely-timed sit out off a sprawl to create a scramble.
Machida eventually ended up with the unanimous decision victory. But for the 27-year-old Penn to step up and put on the performance that he did, that does deserve a good amount of props.
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