From lightweight to heavyweight, B.J. Penn has fought all of the top fighters he could get his hands on throughout his storied mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting career that spans more than one decade.
Winning world titles with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions and being a shoe-in for the promotion's Hall of Fame, "The Prodigy" has accomplished what many may never get close to in this sport.
With that, it's safe to say Penn's legacy is set and will forever be considered one of the all-time greats.
Then again, as Penn declared at today's UFC on Fox 5 media conference call, it's not about being known for past accomplishments, he is more of a "what have you done for me lately" kind of guy, saying it bothers him when people don't mention him in the same breath as pound-for-pound greats such as Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva.
"I actually texted Dana a while back and said, 'Dana, I watch all these interviews and all these people talking and no one says my name when they talk about the greatest fighters anymore and I really don't like that.' That really bothers me. I know that's my fault. I know I'm the reason why people don't talk about me when they talk about GSP or Anderson Silva. My name was always in the mix, it's never in the mix anymore and I told Dana I had a real problem with that. That was actually a big part of my motivation to come back and look strong and do a good fight here on December 8th. As far as you talking about people saying they admire me and different things, I want to thank all those people and even Ben Henderson always comes up and praised me for what I've done over the years and gives me kind words, but everything is current. I'm a glass half empty kind of guy, everything is current. I don't want to be known as being good back in the day. I want to be known as one of the best. I don't want to sit here and sound like I want more admiration, but, I still think I have something left to accomplish."
Not wanting anyone to simply stroke his ego, "Baby J" looks to cement his legacy further by taking some steam out of the Rory MacDonald train at UFC on Fox 5 as the two collide in Seattle, Wash., next weekend (Dec. 8, 2012) in a pivotal 170-pound match up.
Though he says he doesn't have any plans after the "Ares," his short-term goal is to remind everyone he is still one of the best fighters in the world.
How about it Maniacs, will the outcome, of his highly-anticipated showdown against MacDonald affect Penn's legacy whatsoever? Where does the proud Hawaiian stand on your list of all-time greats?