UFC 127 Fight Card: 5 Fights BJ Penn Should Take At Welterweight

Andrew MahlmannCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2011

UFC 127 Fight Card: 5 Fights BJ Penn Should Take At Welterweight

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    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23:  BJ Penn of the USA poses during a Press Conference ahead of UFC 127 at Star City on February 23, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    In recent years, "The Prodigy" has been smashing lightweights in what is arguably his most competitive weight class.

    The former lightweight and welterweight champion now, however, has decided to return to 170lbs. After losing his lightweight strap to Frank Edgar, Penn is taking some exciting fights in the heavier division.

    First he knocked out rival Matt Hughes in less than a half-minute, and now he faces number one contender, Jon Fitch, at the Acer Arena in Australia this Saturday.

    Fans are excited to see how the legendary fighter stacks up against the creme of the crop in the modern era's welterweight division.  He may be a little undersized, but the fighting dynamo is more than a handful for any fighter on the planet.

    Win or lose this weekend, these are the five matchups BJ Penn should take at welterweight (outside of GSP). 

5. "The Natural Born Killer" Carlos Condit

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    It is almost impossible for either man to have a boring fight, so it makes perfect sense that fans would want to see this scrap.

    Condit is one of the top welterweights in the world right now.

    He is 11-1 since June 2006, with his lone loss being a contentious split-decision dropped to highly regarded Martin Kampmann.

    In his last bout, Condit KO'ed recent world title challenger Dan Hardy.

    The fight would undoubtedly be fireworks as both men are naturally talented in all areas and love going for the finish when they smell blood.

4. Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann

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    "The Hitman" is technically proficient enough to give anybody fits in any aspect of the game.

    Penn would have an edge in punching power, but Kampmann's kickboxing is slightly crisper, with better range.

    Penn is more flexible and has better hips on the ground, but Kampmann is a smart fighter and has strong submissions.

    Coming off of a disappointing split-decision to ranked p4p fighter, Jake Shields, Kampmann is going to keep gunning for the top.

    A match against Penn would give Kampmann the biggest name on his résumé to date. For Penn, a victory over Kampmann means "The Prodigy" can stick it to any welterweight at any phase of the game.

3. "Stun Gun" Dong Hyun Kim

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    BJ Penn has fought and defeated all kinds of martial artists, but he has never fought a Judo black belt.

    The undefeated Kim is a fourth degree black belt in Judo.

    Kim is perhaps the only one, besides St-Pierre and Fitch, to have the size and technique to be very problematic for Penn.

    Would the larger Kim be able to control Penn for three rounds or would Penn's amazing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills and powerful strikes be able to turn the tides on the surging Korean?

2. Thiago "Pitbull" Alves

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    This is a fight fans have been clamoring for for quite some time.

    Both men are 5'9'', with Alves being the much thicker and powerful man.

    One of the premiere weltwerweights in the world today, the only people to give Alves problems in the past five years or so, has been fighters with an acutely adapted wrestling game.

    Penn is excellent at adaptng all kinds of skills into the overall MMA game, but he simply does not have the wrestling background.

    BJ Penn can beat just about anybody in the world, but at welterweight, Alves is the kind of fighter that just might be able to push Penn to his breaking point.

1. Matt "The Terror" Serra

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    A fight against former welterweight champion Matt Serra could be the perfect high-profile fight for the both men.

    These two warriors squared off against each other in an entertaining lightweight bout all the way back in 2002. Penn earned the unanimous decision in a fight that several pundits felt could have gone the way of Serra.

    These days, Serra is much better in the stand-up department and less likely to be surprised by Penn's techniques.

    Often underrated, Matt Serra is still one of the toughest guys around.

    Former lightweights, welterweight champions, and knockout punchers with world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu would square off in a battle of two champions responsible for helping make the UFC what it is today.

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