Hawaiian fighting legend-turned-Hawaiian slow-motion punching bag BJ Penn is a shadow of his former self, and one of the saddest cases of a fighter who should retire but won’t around. But the UFC is pairing him up against TUF winner Ryan Hall for UFC 232, and that is the greatest BJ Penn fight we can hope for.
If you’ll recall, the greatness surrounding Penn began to crumble around when he first lost his lightweight belt to Frankie Edgar. He ended up losing to Edgar two more times, and in his last five fights, has remained win-less.
Penn has gotten the “L” against Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald, Yair Rodriguez and Dennis Siver, and some of those losses were both heartbreaking and ugly. Because Penn, you see, can no longer take a punch…
…Which makes this Hall match-up so awesome. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best, Hall’s jiu-jitsu is a solid eleven. However, on a scale of one to ten, Hall’s striking is about a two – which means that maybe he’ll beat Penn, but he BEAT Penn into a sad pile of hamburger meat.
When it comes to the UFC re-using these formerly retired fighters over and over again until they’re dead, this is the best possible match-up we could have hoped for. If Penn wins, it’ll be via his jiu-jitsu, and he’ll have defeated a recent TUF winner; if Hall wins, it’ll be via jiu-jitsu, and Penn will emerge from the cage without a scratch (or at least without a concussion).
At this stage, what more can you ask for in a BJ Penn fight?
Here’s the UFC’s official release on the fight:
A UFC Hall of Famer and MMA legend will return to the Octagon on December 29, as BJ Penn battles former Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Hall in a UFC 232 bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Back in the Octagon for the first time since June 2017, Hawaii’s Penn storied career has seen him defeat the likes of Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian, Matt Serra and Caol Uno en route to a pair of UFC titles at lightweight and welterweight. This December, “The Prodigy” will attempt to hand Hall his first UFC loss. A high level and decorated grappler, Hall will make his first UFC start in two years at UFC 232 as he hopes to add another win to a perfect Octagon record that has seen him defeat Artem Lobov and Gray Maynard.