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Three Fights Worthy of Ending B.J. Penn's Retirement

by Michael Roberts   May 24, 2012 at 4:15PM  |  Views: 2,303
BJ Penn Retirement article photo

MMA Uncensored Live gets a very special guest tonight, as UFC legend B.J. Penn joins the gang in-studio. The former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion shares the distinction along with Hall of Famer Randy Couture as the only fighters to hold UFC titles in multiple weight classes. After dropping a decision at UFC 137 to Nick Diaz, Penn announced his retirement. Whether or not "The Prodigy" returns to the Octagon is up in the air, but one certainty is it won't be this year. Despite two-time title challenger Josh Koscheck's efforts to score a fight with Penn, the Hawaii native declined saying he wouldn't be coming back anytime soon. But hey, all hope is not lost. Penn has openly maintained a love/hate relationship with fighting over the years, so here's to hoping Penn's retirement becomes a temporary hiatus. Here are three fights worth coming out of retirement for. Don't miss B.J. Penn on MMA Uncensored Live tonight at 11/10c.

Josh Koscheck: Between a big name like Koscheck calling out Penn and Kos content being a heel, this one is a no-brainer. Koscheck has never been known to keep opinions to himself, and a motivated Penn is a dangerous Penn – ask Diego Sanchez. The pre-fight banter between these two would undoubtedly provide humorous content and the fight itself has all the makings of a fun outing. Koscheck, a wrestler at heart, has fallen in love with his overhand right over years, and "The Prodigy" would be more than happy to stand and trade with him. Penn has some of the best hands in the game, especially his jab. He also mixes in knees and kicks when appropriate, and has finished fights with them both. The thought of these two on the ground is immensely intriguing; it would Penn's world-class jiu-jitsu and incredible flexibility against Koscheck's explosive wrestling. It's a fascinating stylistic matchup, regardless of where the fight is contested.

Carlos Condit: Here's a matchup that was originally planned for UFC 137 before Nick Diaz's press conference no-show and Georges St-Pierre's injury shifted the card. It's one that deserves a second effort. Condit, like Penn, is a natural finisher who is incredibly difficult to stop. In 59 combined fights, Condit and Penn have only lost via stoppage five times. Penn has never been submitted, Condit has never been knocked out. So what would this produce should the pair clash? Most likely 15 minutes of back and forth action between two of the most dynamic fighters the sport has seen. Both have ended fights with everything from flying knees, to rear naked chokes. It has the potential to look a lot like Penn vs. Diaz, a dominantly standup affair with "The Prodigy" getting the better of the action early before Condit's usually superior conditioning takes over. But that's simply how it looks on paper, and the unpredictably of this sport is one of many reasons why they fight in the cage.

Anthony Pettis: Penn has been very clear about wanting to stay at 170 should he return, but if there's one matchup that could get him to drop to lightweight it's this. One of 2010's breakout fighters, Pettis' Matrix-like head kick off the cage was heard round the world, but the former WEC champion has plenty more in his bag of tricks. Sure head kicks are his specialty, as both Joe Lauzon and Danny Castillo found out the hard way, but you can't sleep on his ground game. His lengthy frame allows him to slap on slick triangles, which he did several times in his WEC days. The twice-beaten Pettis has never been stopped in his career and has a remarkable ability to escape submissions; in their epic fight, Benson Henderson had his back and locked in a rear naked choke but "Showtime" was able to escape. Penn has the skills to test Pettis' ground defense and chin like they never have been before. Regardless of who came out on top in this one, the biggest winner would almost certainly be the fans.

Photo credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images


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