Earlier this year, former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn made his long-awaited return to the Octagon. He did so against red hot featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez.
Though Penn fought valiantly, this fight unfortunately didn’t go his way, as he was finished by a volley of second-round Rodriguez strikes.
One of his big regrets in the Rodriguez fight, he explained, is that he didn’t shoot for a takedown – something that worked very well for Frankie Edgar, who recently beat Rodriguez.
“You know what, looking back, it’s just the way the fight got put together, and the way I was training for the fight,” Penn said of what went wrong. “But whatever, just looking back, why didn’t I just slam him on his head like Frankie Edgar and just fuck him up on the ground? You know what I mean? I pushed him on the fence, but I didn’t even grab his legs once. But you know, that’s how I was training back then. I was training for some different stuff. Now it’s the ABCs, the basics. But I believe I could have taken Yair down.”
Penn then touched briefly on a possible future rematch with Rodriguez – something he says he’s interested in, but not dying for.
“You never know what the future holds,” he said. “I’m not running around saying ‘I want to fight Yair,’ but if we ever got back in the ring again with each other, then we’ll see how it goes.”
Do you think BJ Penn could have performed better against Yair Rodriguez with a slightly different game plan?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/22/2017.