Some of BJ Penn’s Greatest Moments

bj penn

BJ “The Prodigy” Penn is one of the legends of the sport, and in a few weeks, we’ll be able to watch him live and in action at UFC Manila against the very dangerous Ricardo Lamas.

The hall-of-famer and two-division world champ has had a crazy career so far with plenty of highlights. And to have him come out of retirement in Manila means we could see another golden Penn moment right in front of us.

Here’s a look back at of some of the craziest, most epic BJ Penn moments to date.

When he choked out Matt Hughes for the UFC welterweight title

Before Holly Holm KO’d Ronda Rousey, and before Matt Serra dethroned GSP, this was no doubt one of the biggest upsets in UFC title history. At the time, Matt Hughes was a freight train of a welterweight champ, and Penn was coming up from lightweight to challenge him. No one expected it to end the way it did, with Hughes tapping in the first round. Legendary.

His blood-licking celebration after beating Diego Sanchez

This fight was memorable on its own: Penn dropped an aggressive Sanchez early in the first round and cut open his forehead with a high kick late in the fight to bring it to a bloody close. But the craziest part about this fight was the post-win celebration of Penn, as he licked Sanchez’s blood off of his gloves.

When he knocked out Caol Uno in a flash

This is when Penn was just this promising kid from Hilo, Hawaii who was slowly showing people that he was something else. And what better way to do that than with a win like this?

When he beat Joe Stevenson in a bloody beatdown to capture the lightweight title, his 2nd UFC title

Penn was already a legend at this point, but he cemented it as he captured the UFC lightweight belt in dominant fashion. He cut Stevenson’s forehead open with a nasty elbow and then finished him off with a rear-naked choke. It was bloody, it was brutal, and it was the moment Penn became a two-division world champion.

When he knocked out Sean Sherk with a flying knee

This fight was a heated grudge match that Penn put to an end in emphatic fashion. After rocking Sherk with some punches, Penn went for the flying knee that finished him off.

When he fought Lyoto Machida, at heavyweight

This is why so many people love BJ Penn: he’s a scrapper, and he’s down to fight anyone, anywhere, at any weight class. In 2005, he fought Lyoto Machida at light heavyweight (Penn was 191lbs, Machida was 225lbs) in Japan. Penn lost via unanimous decision, but his performance was a testament to scrapper he is.

 When he knocked out Hughes in just 21 seconds

This was the rubber match between Penn and Hughes, and it didn’t last very long. Hughes was coming in on a win streak and Penn was moving back up to welterweight after losing twice to Frankie Edgar. Penn came out with a vengeance and knocked the former champ out cold in just 21 seconds.

What’s your favorite BJ Penn moment?

Gab Pangalangan

Gab Pangalangan is a former collegiate national Judo champ and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of You can find his other works in the Philippines' leading magazines and websites.
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