Say it isn't so, BJ.
As the excitement of BJ Penn's return continued during his walkout to the Octagon on Saturday night, it soon faded into another poor performance for the future Hall of Famer.
Leading up to his fight against Rory MacDonald, Penn said all the right things. He said he was now at the right weight, he said he was fighting for his legacy and he promised he would be prepared for this fight. None of those things were backed up in his fight in Seattle.
Penn looked horrible. There's no other way to sum up his fight. It looked as if he had no real plan at all for MacDonald. Sure, we saw him go for the takedown a couple of times, but Penn looked like he was told of his opponent within the last few days.
Give MacDonald credit—he said he wanted to come in and hurt BJ, and he did just that.
The common theme leading up to the Penn vs. MacDonald fight was that it was Penn against the new breed of fighters. That statement couldn't have been more true. It's why we saw people like Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz fade away. It's why we are seeing Rampage Jackson barely hang on to his UFC career. These young fighters are starting their training with every discipline, making it tough for those who spent most of their lives learning one.
So where did it go wrong for Penn?
Quite honestly, Penn was completely overmatched. There were times during the fight that it looked like it was you or me in the Octagon against MacDonald. Penn would go for a takedown, fail at it and then settle back into a stand-up position while MacDonald teed off on him.
It appeared Penn had an "oh sh--" moment when he realized he wasn't going to be able to get MacDonald on the ground. The best chance Penn had to land significant strikes was when MacDonald took him down, and Penn started to fight from his back.
There were a couple of shots that gave Penn fans a split second of hope, but those were few and far between.
Penn is now on a Tito Ortiz type of losing streak—well, not quite that bad. Penn has lost four of his last six fights. I'm never going to call for somebody to retire, because I don't think anybody but those close to the fighter should make that kind of statement, especially for a guy like Penn. I will say, however, that he has never looked worse in his career.
Joe Chacon is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report and a staff writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.
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