This is a digital drawing inspired by BJ “The Prodigy” Penn.
When I think of BJ Penn so many fight memories come to mind. His list of accomplishments could fill this page, but I’m just going to focus on the moments that really impacted me as a long time fan.
BJ Penn vs Joe Stevenson
BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson at UFC 80, Penn dominated in all areas of the fight and shut down all Stevenson's attempts at offense. BJ was able to open up a big cut on Joe's forehead in the first round of the fight, and the fight was almost called because of the blood getting into Stevenson's eyes. He was able to come out for the second round, but things did not get better, Penn sunk in the rear-naked choke to end the fight. Resulting in BJ Penn winning the UFC lightweight belt making him at the time only the second fighter in UFC history to capture championships in two weight classes.
Matt Hughes vs BJ Penn
At UFC 46 no one expected BJ Penn to beat the welterweight champion Matt Hughes. Hughes had been dominating the 170 pound division, winning 13 in a row including six in the UFC. Penn, a natural lightweight, from the beginning his hands were faster, opening up an opportunity for a takedown. Penn ended up on top and in Hughes' guard. Penn used his exceptional jiu-jitsu skills to methodically move from guard to half guard, almost getting side control. Then back on the feet Penn was able to take Hughes back and lock in the rear naked choke. This was not only a huge fight in BJ Penn’s career but also a huge moment in UFC history.
BJ Penn vs Diego Sanchez
Another one of my favorite BJ Penn fights was against another one of my favorite fighters, Diego Sanchez at UFC 107. Leading up to the fight Sanchez talked a ton of trash accusing Penn of being scared and not having the heart of a fighter, which did not sit well with BJ Penn.
In classic Sanchez fashion he did his “meet me in the middle” taunt, which the Penn obliged. With in 30 seconds of the opening bell the Nightmare was being overwhelmed with devastating blows. As usual even when hurt Sanchez fought on taking punishment from Penn’s pin-point accuracy, unorthodox dirty boxing, and outstanding takedown defense. It looked like the Nightmare was going to be able to go the distance when Penn landed a head kick that split his forehead wide open (on top of his already broken nose and split open lip) causing the fight to be stopped based on the advice of the medical staff.
These are just 3 of my favorite BJ Penn moments, and only from his fights in the UFC. There are many more fight moments to pick from both inside and outside of the UFC. His career is one for the MMA Hall of Fame for sure.