B.J. Penn has decided to hang up his gloves. | Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa/UFC/Getty
Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn’s trilogy concluded Sunday in the same way it began, with Penn suffering a loss.
The only difference at “The Ultimate Fighter 19” finale was the style in which the bout ended and the effect the loss will have on Penn’s dwindling MMA career.
Edgar pummeled his opponent for three rounds, showing his striking prowess and superior speed advantage. “The Prodigy” had no answer and was clearly outmatched in every facet of the one-sided fight, which had many MMA fans cringing with each unnecessary shot absorbed before referee Herb Dean’s stoppage.
Statistics tell a similar story: Edgar scored 159 total strikes, 90 of which were deemed significant. On the flipside, Penn was only able to muster 60 strikes, 13 significant.
Following the main event, Penn all but hung up his gloves for the final time, admitting to commentator Jon Anik what many in attendance at Mandalay Bay Events Center already knew.
“I shouldn’t have came back. I shouldn’t have been in the ring tonight,” Penn said. “Dana said it was over, and I have to agree with him at this point. I’m glad I took the chance.”
For Penn, the loss does little to diminish what amounts to a UFC Hall of Fame career. But, one must hope that at the age of 35, the Hawaii native truly considers never returning to the Octagon again.
UFC President Dana White did not mince words about his feelings on the fight during a post-event appearance on Fox Sports 1.
“Fighting is a young man’s game. I say it all the time,” White said. “B.J. has nothing to prove. He’s won two world titles in two different weight classes. He’s one of the greatest ever, but that’s who he is. He’s got that fighting spirit, and it’s hard to watch when fights like that happen. But, sometimes you’ve gotta jump in there and that has to happen for him to realize that it’s time to hang them up.
“I didn’t want to see him fight tonight, but B.J. wanted it. I respect him.”