Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight warriors BJ Penn and Yair Rodriguez will clash last night (Jan. 15, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 103 inside Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
Questions swirled around Penn leading up to this match up. Did the Hawaiian train hard for this bout? Would it even matter? Fans were hopeful that he would look better than last time out, which was a near guarantee considering that spectacle.
As for Rodriguez, “Pantera” was simply looking to capitalize on his second main event in a row opposite a big name opponent. Rodriguez is a marketable and talented fighter, meaning this was an opportunity to further gain exposure on his climb towards the top.
It got ugly quick.
Penn opened the bout by stalking his foe and attempting to counter a spin by clinching. Rodriguez was undeterred and maintained his usual array of fast kicks and punches, and his speed advantage was immediately apparent.
At about the halfway point in the round, Rodriguez really began to dominate his opponent. Penn was no longer advancing, and Rodriguez’s kicks were getting through his opponent’s defenses over and over. Even when Penn did block his opponent’s kicks, the impact was obvious, as Penn would be knocked backward and wobbled a bit.
Penn survived due to his iron chin, but he ate a ton of hard shots without landing anything of his own.
Rodriguez opened up the second round with a flush front kick and follow up punch that sent Penn falling to the mat. Rodriguez swarmed his opponent with a massive flurry of blows, and while Penn attempted to hang in there, he was too badly hurt.
Before long, Big John McCarthy had called a stop to the bout.
Yair Rodriguez pretty much did whatever he wanted to in this bout. Penn was not able to really threaten him in any way, leaving Rodriguez free to kick to his heart’s content. The man kicks damn hard, as Penn found out in extremely unpleasant fashion. They also added up quick, and Rodriguez was able to end the bout in dominant fashion.
Really though, this bout was over about two minutes into the first round.
Moving forward, Rodriguez should face actual contenders again after this match up. Any foe in the top 15 would make sense, but another prospect like Brian Ortega would be a fun challenge.
As for Penn, this is his second straight knockout loss after a career of being incredibly difficult to finish. He’s clearly a lot slower than he once was, and there’s no real reason that Penn should continue fighting.
That said, Penn is a stubborn bastard and may continue to compete. In that case, he needs to be matched up reasonably, as there’s no reason for him to be competing with top opponents. Instead, a match up with someone like Artem Lobov would make more sense.
At UFC Fight Night 103, Yair Rodriguez mauled BJ Penn in about six minutes. Is Rodriguez a future title contender?
For complete UFC Fight Night 103 “Penn vs. Rodriguez” results and play-by-play, click HERE!