Earlier this month, UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn stepped into the Octagon for just his second fight in the past 5 years. Penn of course was stepping into the Octagon to fight streaking featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez in a highly anticipated main event showdown in Phoenix, Arizona.
Unfortunately for Penn, when he stepped into the Octagon with ‘Pantera’, the young fighter picked him apart with kicks, ultimately picking up a second round TKO win over Penn, knocking ‘The Prodigy’ down for the first time in his career with a punch.
Although the fight was a rather one-sided one, one of Penn’s longtime coaches, Jason Parillo, believes Penn could likely fight again.
He spoke to MMAFighting:
“I can’t give a straight answer, like yes or no,” Parillo said. “Because I’m not a mind reader. But again, if you put a gun to my head and you say … ‘If you answer wrong, I’m gonna shoot you in the head. Do you think BJ Penn will fight again?’ I would say yes.”
“You’re going in to win no matter which way you’re looking at it,” Parillo said. “Disappointed? Yes, of course we’re disappointed. It’s just BJ figuring out what he’s gonna do from here. BJ is the type of guy that is never gonna want to not fight. BJ, he’s gonna fight until he dies. That’s where he’s gonna die — he’s gonna die in that cage.”
Parillo then shifted gears to discuss why Rodriguez was a poor matchup for Penn, and how ring rust likely played a part in the loss:
“F*ck no, that wasn’t the right matchup. Maybe? F*ck no, that wasn’t the right matchup. One fight, five years. Give me the No. 35 guy. Who’s ranked No. 35?”
“Not only did he not fight in 2-1/2 years, he’s only fought once in five years,” Parillo said. “The one time he fought in five years, he lost. He got stopped. So as far as ring rust, I say 1,000 times it’s the real deal. Especially when you’ve fought once in five years, that’s just insane.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/19/2017.