Wayne’s Walk Back Into Time

BJ “The Prodigy” Penn vs Frankie “The Answer” Edgar for the UFC lightweight Championship

27

Article courtesy of Wayne Carl of NickPortellaMMA.com and MMA Freaks

UFC 112 would bring together two future hall of famers in a co-main event.

This fight would start a massive decline in one combatant’s career and a steep incline in the career of one of the most popular mixed martial artists of all time.

BJ Penn, the pride of Hawaii was coming off an impressive TKO win over one of the craziest and most feared men in MMA, Diego Sanchez. He would put his 155-pound UFC Championship on the line against New Jerseys finest Frankie “The Answer” Edgar.

Frankie Edgar was 11 and Gray at this stage (Gray Maynard was responsible for taking Frankie’s 0), and although a strong prospect he wasn’t given a massive chance against one of the greatest fighters of all time. He did have impressive victories over Sean Sherk and Cub Swanson, yet most experts had their hard earned on “The Prodigy”!

The MMA community still debate whether the judges got this fight wrong!

As with previous editions, I will look to re-watch, re-score, and re-cap this career momentum changing fight!

** Please note the fight is re-watched without sound and below I will provide significant moments and a score of each round.

Round 1

Significant moments:

** Edgar comes out with fantastic lateral movement, constantly on his toes.

** Edgar landing low legs kicks to Penn’s lead calf.

** Penn controlling the center of the octagon.

** Great stiff jobs by Edgar.

** Penn looking flat footed and gun shy.

** Edgars movement side to side and in/out is frustrating Penn.

** Edgar not allowing Penn to settle. Keeps making him reset.

** Penn stuffs a takedown attempt.

** Finally, Penn lands a left/right combination.

** Counter left for Edgar and he exits out of the pocket.

** Knee lands for Penn.

Although a close round Edgars activity gives him the opening stanza.

10-9 Edgar.

Round 2

Significant moments:

** Edgar starts the round with more angles and feints.

** Penn stuffs another takedown. He seems worried by Edgars level changes.

** Stiff jabs from Penn as he takes octagon control.

** Hard 3 punch combination for Edgar.

** Penn trying to cut off the ring.

** Penn relying on boxing only seems one-dimensional.

** Takedown feints are keeping Penn’s hands low.

** Left jab-Right hook for Penn.

** Takedown Edgar (Penn had not been taken down in six years prior to that).

** Penn easily gets up and nullifies the takedown.

Close round. The takedown evened up the round as Penn was slightly in front due to the power advantage he has.

10-10 drawn round.

Round 3

Significant moments:

** Penn comes out aggressively stalking forward, just has to do something significant now.

** Penn still looks hesitant and wants to counter punch.

** Edgars movement is amazing.

** Penn lands a 4-punch combination – best moment of the fight for him.

** Edgar landing low leg kicks as Penn doesn’t check them.

** Boxing the only offense from Penn. No diversity.

** Edgar continues to level change and feint a takedown.

** Penn lands a few heavy stiff jabs.

** Body kick by Edgar. This was set up by the low kicks.

** Penn closes the distance and does nothing with it. He just isn’t pulling the trigger.

** Superman punch by Edgar.

** Edgar lands a left/ right punch combination and exits the pocket. Penn wanting to counter but just can’t set the traps.

** Penn stuffs another takedown. His takedown defense has been great. He needs to up his volume.

** Penn has the power advantage.

** Edgar a step quicker.

Another close round. Edgar just more active and Penn not landing enough shots.

10-9 Edgar.

Round 4

Significant moments:

** Edgar moving like it’s the first round and he is a flyweight.

** Penn looking to engage.

** Edgar level changes and Penn stuffs another takedown.

** Edgar controlling the tempo with his wrestling even though he isn’t getting the takedowns.

** Penn still waiting on a counter. His hooks are getting wider and wider trying to catch Edgar on the break.

** Attempted head kick from Edgar as he mixes up the strikes and stays unpredictable.

** More feints from Edgar as he threatens a takedown.

** Penn landing the odd stiff left jab.

** Penn stuffs another takedown.

** No diversity in Penn’s arsenal. Straight up boxing.

Even round with neither men doing enough to take the round.

10-10 drawn round.

Round 5

Significant moments:

** Edgar comes out, side to side lateral movement. It is like its round 1, he has cardio for days.

** TAKEDOWN, Edgar lands a quick explosive takedown.

** Edgar lands a huge punch from top position.

** Penn gets up off his back easily, Edgar couldn’t hold him there.

** Great left jabs from Edgar.

** Penn’s legs look heavy, he has slowed since the 3rd.

** Edgar lands an impressive head kick.

** Edgar follows up with a left hook.

** Penn still coming forward.

** Edgar lands a hard calf kick.

** Heavy right cross for Edgar.

** Penn finally uses his own leg kicks.

** Penn stuffing takedowns (his one big tick).

** Edgar too slick with a combination and exits from the pocket.

** Penn lands a wide hook.

** Another good left jab for Penn.

** A great knee to Penn. Where was that 25 minutes ago.

Edgar’s movement and a huge takedown ensures he takes the final round.

10-9 Edgar

Final Score

50-47 (3 rounds to Edgar – two 10-10 rounds).

BJ Penn did not do enough in any round in my opinion. He seemed flat footed and worried about Frankie Edgar’s takedowns.

His lack of diversity in strikes was bizarre. The lack of intensity cost him his championship belt.

Official judges score:

Douglas Crosby Sal D’Amato Andy Roberts

50-45 Edgar 48-47 Edgar 49-46 Edgar

The aftermath:

Frankie “The Answer” Edgar would go on to defend his 155-pound belt against Gray Maynard twice for one draw and an epic K.O come from behind win.

Multiple losses against Benson Henderson ensured a drop to a more natural weight of 145 pounds.

Losses to Jose Aldo and more recently Brian Ortega would follow but the relentless warrior would always be a threat and in title contention.

Wins over Cub Swanston, Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes, Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez ensure Frankie “The Answer” Edgar will be instilled into the Hall Of fame.

His pursuit of another title shot continues.

BJ “The Prodigy” Penn would only win one more fight after this loss. Racking up losses to Edgar (x2 rematches), Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald, Yair Rodriguez and Denis Siver.

His only success would be a win over Matt Hughes and a draw against Jon Fitch.

BJ Penn still hasn’t closed the book on his career, although I don’t think too many people are eager to ever see him back in the cage.

Sometimes enough is enough!

Until the next edition of “Wayne’s Walk Back Into Time”!

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