In two weeks’ time, our very own BJ Penn will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon. He will do so in the main event of the UFC’s January 15 return to Phoenix, Arizona, where he will take on rising featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez.
In advance of Penn’s hotly anticipated comeback fight, the UFC has released video of the second defense of his legendary reign as UFC lightweight champion. In this defense, Penn thwarted the dangerous Kenny Florian – who entered the fight on a six-fight streak – with a fourth round rear-naked choke.
Watch this fight in full at the top of this article!
When he defeated Florian, Penn tied the record for most title defenses in UFC lightweight history. When he defeated Diego Sanchez in his next fight, he set the new record for most lightweight title defenses in UFC history. Today, that record has been tied by Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson, but nobody has managed to surpass it.
Penn will enter his fight with Rodriguez having not fought since he was TKO’d by rival Frankie Edgar in 2014. Prior to that loss to Edgar, he gave up decisions to top-ranked welterweights in Rory MacDonald and Nick Diaz, fought welterweight great Jon Fitch to a draw, and knocked out welterweight legend Matt Hughes with first-round punches.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, will step onto the canvas in Phoenix having gone 5-0 since joining the UFC in November of 2014. During his run with the organization, he has decisioned Leonardo Morales, Charles Rosa, Dan Hooker and Alex Caceres. The undeniable highlight of his time in the Octagon, however, was a 2016 knockout of the year contender of Andre Fili. Though he has not produced an especially high number of knockout wins, Rodriguez is known as one of the most creative strikers in MMA.
How do you think Penn vs. Rodriguez will go down? Sound off, PENN Nation!