I posted a modified version of this in another thread.
I know I will get a ton of hate and grief for my comments (especially by the robotic fanboys and disingenuous haters)... but I think that speaking from a place of truth (in spite of the consequences) has its merit.
- Fought his heart out every time.
- Fought his entire career against guys 1, 2, 3, and 4 weight classes higher than him and challenged himself against the very best at EVERY LEVEL. In the era of weight-cutting - if he were like GSP, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, BJ Penn should have fought his entire career at 145.
- Almost every single time BJ fights at Welterweight - his opponents are anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds heavier than him come fight time.
- Beat a Rodrigo and Renzo Gracie (including mounting this BJJ legend) at 185.
- Was massively competitive against Lyoto Machida (when Lyoto was a Heavyweight and almost 40 pounds heavier) and BJ was a butterball.
- Beat and finished the greatest welterweight of all time in Matt Hughes (2 full weight classes higher than BJ could be fighting at) when he was scary and unstoppable.
- Put an unstoppable and exciting GSP (during his pre-pointfighting days) in the hospital and was arguably his most competitive fight (save the Serra and Hughes losses).
- The minute GSP wins the Championship belt at middleweight and light heavyweight... then and only then would he have accomplished what BJ has already done.
- The minute Anderson Silva manages to win the Championship belt at Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight... then and only then woould he have accomplished what BJ Penn has already done.
- Both legends Anderson Silva and Fedor have referred to BJ Penn as the greatest fighter in MMA history. Even UFC LHW legend, Chuck Liddell acts like an excited little girl with bulging eyes when he talks about BJ Penn or BJ's fights.
- BJ is probably the most revered fighter amongst all fighters in MMA history (save perhaps Fedor). When you hear other guys talk about him - they do so with a sense of awe. This is perhaps the greatest compliment any fighter could ever receive and a genuine testament to BJ Penn's greatness in MMA (praise from fans is one thing... praise from other fighters - especially the elite ones is another thing altogether).
Go ahead and rag on BJ and his record all you want... but he comes from a place of truth and an authenticity rarely seen in professional sports.
BJ - Gas or no gas... muscles or no muscles... win or lose... you are and will ALWAYS BE a God amongst men... or a man of strength, character and ethics in a league full of cheating, greasing, and roiding little girls.
My top 5 ever (the GOATS) in no particular order (Jones may one day be in this list):
- BJ Penn
- Anderson Silva