UFC 137 Results: A Look at BJ Penn's Legacy

Antwyn JacksonContributor IIOctober 31, 2011

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:  BJ Penn of the USA walks into the arena before the start of his welterweight bout agains John Fitch of the USA as part of UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

I remember seeing the UFC back in the brutal days of open weight class tournaments where blood was everywhere.  I said then that I didn't know if that would catch on to become mainstream.  It seemed too violent to be something that the masses would approve of.

I watched sparingly, and occasionally caught The Ultimate Fighter.  But when I finally watched an event, I got hooked and started studying the sport from a fan perspective. 

The first main event I saw was BJ Penn versus Sean Sherk at UFC 84.  When I saw BJ stagger Sean and go flying in with a knee then ending it with punches, I was all in.  BJ did that to me.  BJ did that to all of us.

BJ Penn has a ridiculous list of accolades and respect from people inside and outside of the sport.  He belongs on the pedestal that holds Matt Hughes, Randy Couture and Dan Severn.  A two division champion in the UFC.  Winning fights well above the weight he's used to.  Fighting former light heavyweight champions (Lyoto Machida).  Being the first non-Brazilian to win the World Jiu-Jistu championships in the black belt division.  Penn has done it all.

If he truly walks away, he will leave behind a legacy that will be hard for anyone to match.  People worldwide will recognize that BJ Penn was truly one of the best to have ever walked into an octagon.