B.J. Penn will make his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) return on Dec. 29, 2018, taking on Ryan Hall at the UFC 232 year-end pay-per-view (PPV) event. While the bout was a bit of a head-scratcher at first, seeing as how Hall hasn’t stepped foot inside the cage in nearly two years, the pairing is the chance to see two of the best submission specialists get it on.
While “The Prodigy’s” Brazilian jiu-jitsu credentials are well-documented, Hall is no stranger to high-level submission accolades himself, winning numerous gold medals at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships, European, Brazilian and national championship events.
He’s also left his mark at various ADCC tournaments.
So you can’t blame Hall — who revealed on “The MMA Hour” that he’s been training despite his hiatus — for being confident in putting up his jiu-jitsu skills against anyone in his weight class, Penn included.
“I am not the least bit afraid of anyone on the ground. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t dangerous. Again, being better or worse doesn’t win, you know. I have won plenty of times when I have not been the more technically precision or the more experienced person. And I’ve lost sometimes when I have been. Ultimately it will come down to who is able to put it together on the night. But no, there is not a single person on this planet in my weight range that I am concerned about on the ground.”
Having competed in the Featherweight division for his last three UFC outings, Penn will move back to his normal weight of 155 pounds for his showdown against Hall in hopes of turning things around.
Despite suffering five straight defeats over the course of six years, Penn — the former UFC Welterweight and Lightweight champion — has yet-to-be submitted in his entire mixed martial arts (MMA) career, which spans more than 17 years.
Can Hall be the first fighter to tap the Hawaiian?