Merely two fights ago, former UFC champ BJ Penn was unquestionably the planet’s baddest lightweight. It was a foregone conclusion the Hawaiian would sleepwalk his way to becoming the division’s G.O.A.T. since he was trouncing every 155-pounder that dared to cross his destructive path.
Fast forward 50 forgettable Octagon minutes and “The Prodigy” now finds himself with back-to-back championship unanimous decision losses to reigning king Frankie Edgar. While their first tango resulted in a controversial verdict, their mulligan on Saturday was the epitome of UNANIMOUS.
On paper, Penn’s 15-6-1 professional record isn’t anything to write to Hawaii about. However, that’s what happens when you consistently pit yourself against the world’s best – even if that means chasing after bigger and stronger adversaries. Despite all of his achievements and spectacular highlight reel moments, UFC president Dana White is unsure where Penn sits among the sport’s greats after getting thrashed in consecutive outings.
“BJ Penn should be undefeated,” White told ESPN.com. “All-time, his legacy … I don’t know where he sits now. He couldn’t do anything against Edgar. He got completely dominated.”
They always say sequels never live up to the original, however Edgar’s masterpiece on Saturday night has the brash promoter thinking the 31-year-old Penn may have lost a step … or two.
“It looked like it the other night,” White matter-of-factly stated.
Penn addressed the lofty expectations fans have had for him prior to his showdown in Beantown.
“When you come out and you start beating people the way I did 10 years ago, people are naturally going to think that you’re going to have a great career,” Penn previously said. “At certain times I’ve lived up to the expectations and at certain times I definitely haven’t.”
While concerns used to revolve around Penn’s questionable work ethic, it appears the attention has now shifted towards his future in the sport. Will he merely be a gatekeeper for a shot at Edgar’s lightweight title, climb his way back up the 155-pound totem pole, simply seek mega fights in other divisions or just sail off into the Hilo sunset?