B.J. Penn UFC lightweight champion.
Can we put his work ethic into question? Yes.
Penn will put his belt on the line at UFC 101 against a dangerous opponent in Kenny "Kenflo" Florian. Will "The Prodigy" be able to beat Florian and put the questions to rest?
Penn was questioned in his preparation for GSP in the welterweight matchup. If the fight said anything about his preparation then I would definitely question it.
This is different this is Penn's chance to put all the questions and nay sayers to rest. Penn's last three losses have come to GSP twice and a Matt Hughes in his better years.
Those are three losses I can live with if I'm Penn.
Penn is still dominant in the lightweight division and anyone who questions that is crazy. Penn beat Pulver, Stevenson, and Sherk leading into the GSP fight. Those are three contenders in my book.
The Sherk fight stands out to me. This fight shows he knows how to prepare when he is focused. Sherk is a dangerous opponent and a cardio freak.
Penn is truthfully skilled on the ground and has outstanding boxing skills. Anywhere this fight goes Penn has a good chance to win the fight.
If Penn can win this fight this will give him the recognition he deserves. This can help propel Penn to that unquestioned championship state. The state that GSP and Silva are in. It won't quite get him there but it will be the next step on the ladder.
Kenny Florian has ripped off six straight wins.
Not an easy task to accomplish in the UFC.
In fact his only two losses in the UFC are to Diego Sanchez in the Ultimate Finale and Sean Sherk who he just wasn't ready for at the time.
I don't see this being the case against Penn. Assuming Florian is ready this should be a great fight for all fans.
Florian can prove his evolution as a fighter and show how dangerous he is. If Florian is able to beat Penn it will launch him to new heights. Seven wins in a row in the UFC is a huge statement for anyone.
Also this would give Penn two consecutive losses for the second time in his career. Which would definitely draw more attention to Penn's preparation and heart.
Kenny Florian has proved he likes to finish fights whether it be with submission or TKO. Only two of his fights have went to decision and he lost one of those to Sherk.
If your fighting Florian one thing you have to watch out for his elbows. "Razor Sharp" elbows as Joe Rogan calls them.
Penn has the better stand up and they are both excellent at submissions. I would still give the edge to Penn on the ground with that awesome rubber guard.
I expect this fight to be a lot like a chess match. It could be boring in the early going but should have some very exciting moments.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Florian take a chance or two.
The first one to make a mistake could cost them the fight.
In the end I am going to go with Florian. Looking at the skil sets I think Penn would be the safer choice. But I am going with my gut feeling and taking Florian in this win.
Win or lose I would like to see Florian in a rematch with Diego Sanchez.
If Penn wins I am interested to see who is next in line for the title. I would also be interested to see how quickly Florian bounces back.
I'm looking forward to the fight. I'll be watching I hope you will be too.