UFC Fight Night 103 was this past weekend and it featured what is likely the last fight in the career of a UFC Hall of Famer. Let’s get right to it.
GOOD: Sergio Pettis vs. John Moraga
Pettis dropped Moraga in the first round, and continued to get the upper hand throughout the fight, on his way to the decision win. This was a really good win for Pettis, and one he can hopefully build upon.
GOOD: Ben Saunders vs. Court McGree
I appreciate the effort from both guys. There were times where there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot going on, but there was also moments where they were both throwing and landing some heavy shots. I like both guys, so I’m a little biased, but I thought this was a pretty good fight. Saunders won the decision. It was really close, though, and I could definitely see McGee winning the decision, but Saunders picked up the win.
GOOD: Joe Lauzon vs. Marcin Held
Lauzon had success early, but then Held came on and took control. Lauzon won the split decision, though. It’s hard to argue against Held winning. I thought the second and third rounds clearly had to go to Held. Two of the judges had scores of 29-28 Lauzon, though, so they obviously felt differently. The third judge scored it 30-27 Held so the scorecards varied wildly. It’s a shame, too, because this was a pretty good fight. Maybe I’m still in that NFL Playoffs glow, but I’ve liked the card tonight.
GOOD/UGLY: Yair Rodriguez stops B.J. Penn
Rodriguez was all over Penn from the start and pummeled him with repeated headkicks. Penn survived the first round but was immediately taken out at the beginning of the second round. Rodriguez looked really good, fast and powerful. As for Penn, this only confirmed (yet again) that he’s done. He’s reached that point in his career where he’s only placing himself in danger by continuing to fight. He ate some huge headkicks in this fight and had no answer for them. Yeah, he’s super tough, but there’s no reason for him to keep fighting and getting worked over like this.
Penn is a UFC Hall of Famer. He’s a legend in the sport. He deserves respect and recognition for the things he’s done over his career. He should also never be in another MMA fight again. To me, it’s not about legacy or anything like that. I think you can only build upon your legacy the longer you fight. The only way you can diminish your legacy is through some type of scandal, some crime or heinous act. This is about health. Penn just got completely demolished in this fight. There’s no question that Yair Rodriguez is a fighter on the rise, but Penn looked like he had nothing to offer in there. He looked quick, but he was just getting beat the hell up. It just seems like it’s time to give it up. Penn should retire and do whatever he wants, whether that be coaching or leaving MMA behind entirely.
Penn is incredibly tough, but you can only take so much. You can only be in so many wars before the toll it takes on your body is too much.
It’s time to start thinking long-term. Penn has nothing left to prove. He’s done a lot in the sport. Now is the time to reap the benefits of that time and effort. Maybe he can find the next Prodigy? Maybe that’s where he makes his next impact? Or maybe he walks away from it all and enjoys the quiet life? Whatever he chooses, he should walk away now while he still has the ability to do so.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: HYDEN’S TAKE: Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov, the idea of Michael Bisping vs. Tyron Woodley, UFC 207 buyrate estimates
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