Josh Thomson praises BJ Penn for changing the sport of MMA in so many ways: “He was the first one to really stick it to the UFC”

By Harry Kettle - February 9, 2022

Josh Thomson has praised former two-weight UFC champion BJ Penn for the way he helped to change the sport of mixed martial arts.

While he may no longer be an active member of the UFC roster, nobody can deny the impact BJ Penn had during his time in the promotion. Even outside the scope of the UFC, Penn was still able to find success with Rumble on the Rock as well as in Japan.

For a long time there’s been an ongoing debate about who the best lightweight in UFC history is, and based on resume alone, Khabib Nurmagomedov holds the honour in the eyes of many.

However, Josh Thomson took some time during a recent episode of his podcast to explain the overall impact Penn had on MMA and the 155-pound division.

“When I look at BJ, BJ helped change the sport in so many different ways. He was the first one to really stick it to the UFC, ran off and started his own promotion, you know? Then he came back and made a tonne of money. He did things that just nobody understood, it was like ‘what are you doing, this is the UFC’ and he was like ‘I don’t give a s***, I’ll go start my own promotion and bring in the best lightweight Takanori Gomi and then I’ll smash him in front of everyone in my own promotion’. He did things that other guys wouldn’t even have fathomed to do, especially at that time. There was no real money in it.”

Do you think BJ Penn is in the conversation for lightweight GOAT? What’s your favourite moment of his UFC, or MMA in general, career? Let us know your thoughts on his run, the legacy of Khabib Nurmagomedov and more down in the comments, BJPENN Nation!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


BJ Penn Josh Thomson UFC