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Tag: BJ Penn

Unforgettable: Kenny Florian Discusses His Greatest Opponents


(“I’ve never been knocked out in a fight and I’ve never been knocked out in training. But I’ve never been hurt the way that [Penn] hurt me.” / Photo via Las Vegas Sun)

By Matt Kaplan

Two weeks ago, Kenny Florian, the man who finished fights, announced that he is finished fighting.

Florian cited a November 2011 back injury and eventual numbness and tingling in his limbs as the impetus for closing the chapter of his life that’s been defined by five UFC Fight Night appearances, four weight classes, three UFC championship fights, two vicious elbows, and — lest we forget — one samurai costume.

As an undersized middleweight, Florian first appeared on our radars as the TUF 1 runner-up to Diego Sanchez in 2005, and after two victories at welterweight, Florian transformed his body and game, and established himself as one of the best lightweights in the world. Florian then made a brief run at featherweight in 2011, defeating Diego Nunes and losing to champion Jose Aldo, before announcing his retirement at the age of 36.

In a recent conversation with CagePotato.com — and in loving tribute to Ring Magazine’s “The Best I’ve Faced” feature — Ken-Flo looked back on his MMA career and remembered the opponents who stood out across a number of categories…

Fastest on his feet: I’d say Jose Aldo. He was the quickest. His explosiveness in general, his footwork, and his ability to move definitely are impressive.

Toughest chin: I remember hitting Sam Stout with hard shots. I hit him on the ground with a big bomb that connected real well, right on his chin, and he just ate it. And from seeing the rest of his fights, I see why. He’s got a real good chin.

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Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez ll Set for UFC 152

The seemingly inevitable rematch now has a date in place.

Immediately following UFC on FX 3, Dana White revealed his plan to have the heavyweight championship rematch headline UFC 152 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As of right now, a welterweight bout between BJ Penn and Rory MacDonald is also scheduled for the event.

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Friday Link Dump: Jones vs. Hendo Trailer, Wikipedia vs. UFC Drama, Zombies, Strippers + More


(Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson ‘Inspiration’ trailer via djil93100)

- THQ Sold UFC Video Game License After Failing to Break Even on It (Gamasutra)

- The Bizarre Connection Between the Miami Face-Eating Bath Salts Zombie and the UFC (MiddleEasy)

- Wikipedia Continues Its Absurd War on the UFC (BleacherReport/MMA)

- 14 Awesome UFC Head Kick Photos (Heavy.com/MMA)

- BJ Penn Talks Reason For Taking Rory MacDonald Fight (Fightline)

- Video: Anderson Silva Budweiser Commercial Behind-the-Scenes Outtakes Featuring Steven Seagal (MMAMania)

How to Live to Be 100 (MensFitness)

Pacquiao Will Receive $26M for Saturday’s Fight (MMA Payout)

The Women Available to Alpha, Beta & Omega Males: Where Do You Fit In? (DoubleViking)

A Gallery Of Hot Girls With Puppies, Babies, And Kittens (WorldWideInterweb)

Gina Carano Is Looking Thick ‘n’ Tasty. Do You Approve? (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

- Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ Official Trailer (Break)

- The 6 Best Stripper Portrayals In All Of Modern Cinema (ScreenJunkies)

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BJ Penn Comes Out of Semi-Retirement to Fight Rory MacDonald


(Whether you’re a Muay Thai fan or a foot-fetishist, that is one sexy kick.)

When BJ Penn turned down fights against Gilbert Melendez and Josh Koscheck, we figured it was because he was holding out for…well, a fourth fight against Matt Hughes, if you want to get specific. You know how it is with these old legends. They take a couple losses to younger contenders, and all of a sudden they’ll only consider fights that “make sense,” which usually means big-name opponents who are also on the downside of their careers.

In other words, we just assumed that Penn felt Melendez and Koscheck were too dangerous, and that facing either of them could be harmful to his legacy. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Penn has now accepted a fight against young welterweight killer Rory MacDonald, who is not a superstar, but is one of the most dangerous sons-of-bitches in the UFC.

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Moving Up In Weight: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly


(Overeem, before adding horse-meat and anti-inflammatory meds to his diet.)

By Josh Hutchinson

Whether it’s Jon Jones wanting to move up to heavyweight, or everyone wanting Frankie Edgar to cut to 145, weight-class-shifting is a hot topic for MMA fans and pundits alike. And while we’ve recently covered the perils and benefits of dropping to a lower weight class, the same can be said for moving up in weight. After jumping to heavier divisions, some fighters’ proverbial stars have shined brighter, some have dimmed, and some have gone God-damn-supernova — and it’s never easy to predict which fighters will have success. Check out some notable examples below, and tell us which other fighters you think would do well with some extra meat on their bones.

The Good

Alistair Overeem

(Same guy as above, same backdrop, and yet something is different…)

All insinuations aside, Overeem is a prime example of success at moving up a weight class. As I previously mentioned, Overeem has gone 12-1-1 since making a full commitment to heavyweight, and while the quality of opponents he faced was often questionable, that is still a hell of a good run. If you take a look back at his time at light-heavyweight, the stats are not nearly as impressive. Overeem’s losses usually came at the hands of the light-heavyweight division’s top guys, like Chuck Liddell, Antônio Rogério Nogueira, and Ricardo Arona. His run at light-heavyweight showed that he couldn’t hang with the elites of the respective weight class, and was vulnerable to being manhandled by stronger opponents.

After doing whatever it is he did to bulk up, he turned his fortunes around and achieved the greatest stardom of his career, becoming the poster child for successful jumps up the weight-class ladder. If it wasn’t for some bad decision-making, he would be fighting for the sport’s highest prize this weekend. Here’s to hoping he gets his shit together soon.

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Retirement Can Wait: BJ Penn vs. Josh Koscheck Reportedly in the Works [UPDATED]

bj penn val kilmer
(Val Kilmer isn’t the most experienced strength-and-conditioning coach that BJ’s trained with, but he works cheap, and he’s available pretty much all the time.)

BJ Penn may have tried to retire after his crushing loss to Nick Diaz last October, but the UFC hasn’t given up on him yet, and is reportedly trying to lure the future Hall of Famer back to the Octagon with a bout against Josh Koscheck. Here’s what Kos said via twitter last night:

#UFC just offered me to fight BJ Penn…I said YES!!!!! Just waiting on him!!!!!! Let’s scrap bra?

UFC president Dana White revealed earlier this month that Penn turned down a fight against Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. A return fight against Koscheck — who’s coming off a split-decision loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC on FOX 3 — might be more attractive to Penn, in that it wouldn’t require the Prodigy to cut to 155 or make a “downgrading” appearance in Strikeforce.

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Dana White Says he Tried to Make Penn vs. Melendez Happen, And That Penn Will Return at 170lbs


(Sadly, the fight between Penn and Jon Fitch was ruled a draw and the puppy was left without a home)

UFC President Dana White continues to say that future hall of famer BJ Penn will indeed return to the Octagon, despite Penn’s coyness. But Thursday, White provided more details to MMA Junkie on what weight the pound for pound great will fight at, and revealed that Penn declined a bout with Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez.

“I tried to do [Melendez vs. Penn], but it was at the time when B.J. was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not fighting for a while,’” White told Junkie.

Apparently, he didn’t say if that match up would have meant Penn going to Strikeforce or Melendez going to the UFC.

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According to Dana White, BJ Penn and Tito Ortiz are “Definitely” Headed to the UFC Hall of Fame


(My qualifications? HERE’S my stinking qualifications!)

It looks like we’ll have to start drafting up new t-shirts to falsely promise you guys, because according to a recent interview with MMAFighting, UFC President Dana White was rather frank about his desire for both former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and former lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn to be placed in the UFC Hall of Fame in the near future. Though the jury is still out on whether or not Penn will return to the octagon following his hasty retirement in the aftermath of UFC 137, DW had nothing but positives to say about “The Prodigy” when asked on the possibility of his placement in the HOF:

Definitely. The thing about B.J. Penn is that what he brought to the lightweight division, there was a point in time when we first bought this company when people thought guys in the lighter weight divisions couldn’t be stars and couldn’t see pay-per-views and couldn’t cross over. B.J. Penn was definitely that first crossover guy for us. He’ll be back. It’s tough, when there are 16,000 people in the arena chanting your name, it’s tough to walk away from that. B.J. Penn is a fighter. You hear some of these guys, and Tito was one of these guys, he said he wanted to be famous. B.J. Penn is a fighter.

So there you have it, Penn will join long-time rival Matt Hughes, as well as Randy Couture, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, Royce Gracie, Chuck Liddell, and Tapout co-founder Charles “Mask” Lewis in that deluxe octagon in the sky. After a pair of unsuccessful title bids at 155, Penn won the welterweight title in his welterweight debut by defeating the then untouchable Hughes by first round rear-naked choke at UFC 46. Penn would vacate the UFC shortly thereafter, citing a lack of challenging fights, and would not taste UFC gold again until beating the ever-loving shit out of Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 to claim the vacant lightweight strap. He would defend the belt three times until being upended by Frankie Edgar at UFC 112.

When addressing the possibility of Tito Ortiz joining those illustrious ranks, White did not shy away from the pair’s well-documented rocky history, and in fact stated that, in retrospect, it helped make the UFC what it is today.

Hear more from The Baldfather after the jump. 

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Dana White Says BJ Penn Will Be Back

Bj Penn Matt Hughes UFC 123

Last week we showed you a BJ Penn video interview from Karyn Bryant in which the former champion vaguely spoke about his future, saying he had no plans to fight but refusing to say the word “retire.” However, according to UFC president Dana White, Penn told him that same week in Stockholm that he would in fact fight again.

“I heard some sh_t that he said he was going to retire and all this stuff,” White said. “[BJ] was like, ‘Nah, I’m going to fight again,’” MMA Fighting reports.

So there you have it. Despite saying that he was “done,” after losing to Nick Diaz last October, BJ will scrap again, according to his boss. I suppose we all figured as much, considering how much Penn loves fighting and how much money he makes doing it.

But the question is, who would BJ fight? Penn has only won one bout in his last five, albeit all against very top competition. At lightweight, the 33 year-old has seemed to have lost a bit of of quickness and reaction time — which is death in the lighter weight classes, and specifically for astalking counter-puncher like Penn. At welterweight, Penn is forced to pack on 15 pounds of unnecessary bulk, which has always been unfair but his crazy talent still allowed him to be successful there.

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[VIDEO] BJ Penn Discusses Retirement Without Ever Using the Word Itself


(Come on brah, would you give up this life to wrestle with a bunch of fence holders? | Photo via FIGHT!)

My good friend Karyn Bryant, host of MMA Heat, recently interviewed former welterweight and lightweight champion BJ Penn and asked him if he was still retired. Penn said he was grateful for the attention but that he doesn’t intend to fight right now.

“At the moment, I don’t have any plans to fight,” Penn said. “I have nothing scheduled, I’m just kind of taking it easy at this point in my life. As of right now, yeah, I’m not entering the Octagon anytime soon.”

Penn says that losing to Nick Diaz last fall was not the only reason he decided to stop competing. “The fight was a tough fight but I don’t think it was just that fight. I’ve been thinking about this for a while,” he said.

Bryant revealed to Penn that she had spoken to his boxing coach Jason Parillo, and that Parillo said he recently held pads for BJ. So why would Penn be hitting pads if he was retired?

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