The Return of The Prodigy

B.J. Penn has an upcoming fight with Yair Rodriguez. This fight will happen on January 15th, In Phoenix Arizona, at 145 pounds. We last saw B.J. Penn take on Frankie Edgar on July 6th, 2014. Frankie outclassed Penn, complete dominance. It was Penn’s first fight at 145 pounds. B.J. Penn hired Mike Dolce to help him with his weight cut, B.J. felt like Mike Dolce didn’t do his job. Most importantly, B.J. felt he let him down when it came to re-hydrating and putting the weight back on after the cut. B.J. said he paid Mike Dolce 22 thousand dollars. Dolce claims he had little influence on B.J, While B.J claims he followed everything Dolce said.

The last time we saw Penn get his hand raised in the octagon was his fight against Matt Hughes, way back in November of 2010. B.J. knocked Matt out in 21 seconds, this was a welterweight fight. He fought Jon Fitch after that, where we saw B.J. take the first and second round but get dominated in the 3rd , which led to a 10-8 round and a draw. That was the last time we saw B.J. have a competitive fight. His next 3 fights were with Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald and Frankie Edgar,

While he did land some good shots on Nick Diaz, he was still beat up pretty good and he had little to no success against Rory MacDonald and Frankie Edgar. It would be easy to write B.J. off at this point and just assume he was done, but I believe these fight cancellations have been a good thing. B.J. Penn even admitted that he wasn’t ready to fight and that the recent fight cancellations have him more prepared for his comeback. A big trend for B.J. has been, the guy takes a bunch of time off, comes back and fights a top ranked guy with little success.

While Yair is a tough guy, he’s not on the same level as a Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald or Frankie Edgar. To be fair, not many fighters are. Rory and Nick had way more reach and were much bigger. Frankie Edgar is on another level then most guys and has seemed to be Penn’s kryptonite. Frankie is the man who ended B.J. Penn’s lightweight championship run.

You have to ask yourself what does B.J. have left in the gas tank? what does he have left to prove? Fighters often don’t know when to call it quits, the thrill of getting your hand raised, the thrill of fighting in sold out arenas with millions of fans at home watching, an addicted many of us will never know or understand.

B.J. has been training for almost a year now to get back in there and fight, not just some 8 week training camp to get ready that he did in the past. Maybe he’s shaken off the rust, he’s training with Greg Jackson now. B.J. should be in great shape and ready to make some noise at 145 pounds.

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