B.J. Penn trains to face Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 5.

Pic by SHERDOG.COM -click for source- Credit: Dave Mandel

First of all, I want to take this time to thank all of our fans for all their support. I’m glad you all enjoy this new article, and love how involved you all have been. Every week you the fans will have the chance to vote for The Freak of the Week (look at the bottom of the page), and don’t worry, if one of your favorites didn’t make it, they will always have more chances in the future. Without further ado, the winner is………..

~ B.J. Penn ~

Jay Dee “B.J.” Penn (16-9-2) is a future hall-of-famer and will go down as one of the scariest fighters in UFC history. Who licks the other guys blood off their gloves? B.J. Penn does, that’s who!

Some don’t remember, but Penn was one of the few fighters that started his career in the UFC, making his debut at UFC 31 against Joey Gilbert. Penn finished the fight via TKO (punches) in the first round, putting the UFC on notice. From there, Penn went 3-0 (beating Din Thomas UFC 32 and Caol Uno UFC 34 impressive KO) finishing all 3 fights in the first round earning himself a lightweight title shot.

Penn has held the welterweight and the lightweight title (only second person to hold titles in two different weight-classes). Penn has to be credited with bringing the lightweight division back to life. He put it back on the map, was never finished at 155 lbs, and ruined a lot of guy’s chances of becoming champion.

A motivated Penn is a scary Penn, and a few guys found that out the hard. Penn has also had some bumps in the road in his career too, but that was mainly at 170.

~ Ultimate Fighting Championship Accomplishments ~

    • UFC Lightweight Championship (One time)
    • UFC Welterweight Championship (One time)
    • UFC 41 Lightweight Tournament Finalist (drew with Caol Uno in the finale of the 4-man tournament)
    • Fight of the Night (Two times) vs. Matt Hughes, Nick Diaz
    • Knockout of the Night (One time) vs. Matt Hughes
    • Submission of the Night (Two times) vs. Joe Stevenson, Kenny Florian
    • Most successful Lightweight title defenses (Three)
    • Most consecutive Lightweight title defenses (Three)
    • First and only UFC Champion to challenge another UFC Champion for a chance at holding two belts simultaneously in two different divisions
    • One of only two men in UFC history to win UFC championship titles in two different weight categories
    • First Lightweight to headline a UFC Event (UFC 35)
    • Most finishes in the UFC Lightweight division (Nine)
    • Most finishes in UFC Lightweight championship fights (Four)
    • Most championship fights in UFC Lightweight division (Eight)

~ Honorable Mention Losses ~

Penn has always been a gamer and left everything in the octagon, but sometimes he didn’t always get the best of his opponents. His first loss came at a young age via majority decision to Jens Pulver for the UFC lightweight championship (Pulver was the first champ).

A lot of fans don’t know this, but Penn’s second loss was actually against Lyoto Machida in 2005, and Penn weighed in at 190 and Machida at 220. Penn lost the fight by unanimous decision. “The Prodigy” has also had a pair of double losses to GSP and Frankie Edgar.

I still think Penn won the first Edgar fight, but Frankie really showed the passing of the guard in their second fight. From there Penn won one fight at 170 before going on a downward spiral, not too mention he got screwed out of a win over Jon Fitch at UFC 127 that was voted a draw. Penn ended his historic career with unanimous decision losses to Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald.

~ Worst B.J. Penn Loss ~

UFC 63 had all the makings for a great PPV card and was well hyped. The main-event was originally supposed to be Hughes vs. St-Pierre for the welterweight title. A groin injury, which was reported early in August, forced St-Pierre off the card. Former UFC Welterweight Champion, B.J. Penn, who defeated Hughes in a championship fight in 2004, and was beaten by St-Pierre at UFC 58, would step up to take on the champ.

The fight was so huge because at the time the Penn loss was Hughes’ only defeat in his last twenty fights. Hughes was very impressive in this fight and ended up getting the salivary/crucifix position on a smaller Penn, and finished the fight via TKO at 3:53 of round three.

Hughes looked very dominating and us the fans have never seen Penn get man handled like he did. This is also the fight that made GSP famous when he entered the octagon at the end of the fight and claimed to Hughes that, “I’m not impressed by your performance.”

~ Honorable Penn Wins ~

Penn has always been a beast in the cage and all of his opponents knew it whether they wanted to admit it or not. The more a Penn opponent would talk, the more they showed me how scared they were. Penn’s first big win in his career was a huge upset at UFC 46 when he defeated Matt Hughes via rear-naked choke in the first round, capturing the welterweight title and living up to his nickname “The Prodigy.”

Penn won the UFC Welterweight Championship and then vacated the title when he signed with K-1. He never defended the belt after the win over Hughes. Penn and rival (at the time) Jens Pulver coached TUF season 5 and the coaches would face off in the lightweight division, slowly reviving the “dead division” in the UFC.

Penn looked very focused and scary. Not only did Penn look scary, but you really saw the fear in Pulver’s eyes. Jens was finished via submission in the second round.

Penn’s return to lightweight was one of destruction after his Hughes loss at UFC 63, but Penn would not be done with Hughes, knocking him out in the first round at UFC 123 in 2010 to end their feud. Fighters like Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez were a few of the names mentioned as future title holders. Both guys talked a huge game, but got derailed.

Florian actually compared himself to a samurai warrior ready to dethrone his master by taking off his head. Penn felt very disrespected by “Ken-Flo” and disrespected his face in their fight, winning the fight by rear-naked choke, and received the submission of the night award. Sanchez was another big talker that got ran over via TKO doctor’s stoppage and stated after the fight that he had never been hit that hard, ever.

~ Best Penn Win ~

This was a very hard one to pick, and I have two, but I think we all know the win that mattered and meant the most to “The Prodigy.” When Penn beat Pulver, he made it very clear that he wanted the division to rise, with him as the face.

The main event for UFC 80 was originally scheduled as an interim lightweight championship fight, but  then-lightweight champion Sean Sherk was stripped of his title after the California State Athletic Commission upheld his suspension for testing positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone.

With the lightweight championship vacated, the Penn vs. Stevenson bout was altered to be for the undisputed lightweight championship and the fans would not be disappointed. Penn looked like the most dangerous version of himself, and literally ran through Stevenson in one of (if not the most) bloodiest fight in UFC history. Penn busted “Daddy” open early, profusely beat his face in and got the rear-naked choke on a bloody Stevenson in the second round. Penn not only dominated Stevenson, but after the win looked right at the camera and licked Stevenson’s blood off of his gloves. Penn won the UFC Lightweight Championship, received Submission of the Night and was dubbed the 2008 Beatdown of the Year.

After Penn’s win over Stevenson I thought this was the scariest Penn we had ever seen, until his next fight. Four months after becoming the champ it was time to defend his newly won championship, and it was against the man that felt he never lost it in the first place.

The card featured the return of Sean Sherk, who was suspended and stripped of his UFC lightweight title after he tested positive for steroids at UFC 73. The two would wage a war of words leading up to the fight, Sherk’s main gripe being he never lost the title.

A huge group of fans (including myself) thought Sherk’s wrestling and strength would be too much for the champ to handle and that he would be a tough fight for him to handle. The fight was evenly matched for the first round. The second round Penn was starting to find his range and land his jab with ease.

The third round was a bloody war for Sherk. At the end of the round Penn heard the 10 second clock hit and went for broke. Penn was slowly backing a hurt and scared Sherk against the cage, and when Sherk thought it was a perfect time for a takedown, Penn capitalized by delivering a devastating flying knee and punches at 5:00 of round 3 to retain his championship, and again he licked his opponents blood off his gloves.

Not only do I think this was one of Penn’s best wins, but the event was awarded Sherdog’s 2008 Event of the Year.

I hope you all enjoyed this week’s MMA-Freak of the Week (you voted for it). Make sure to get your voted in for next weeks Freak of the Week. You can vote 2 ways: leave a comment on here, or send me a message on twitter @mmawriter1.

Vote 1 for- Dan Henderson

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Thanks again for your time and support.

Watch highlights from BJ Penn’s career in the video below.