UFC 137 Results: 5 Significant Achievements from BJ Penn's Career

Brandon ChillingworthCorrespondent IIOctober 31, 2011

UFC 137 Results: 5 Significant Achievements from BJ Penn's Career

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    BJ Penn lost at UFC 137 to Nick Diaz, and informally announced his retirement after the fight. If he does choose to retire, it will mark the end of a legendary MMA career. UFC and MMA fans everywhere should tip their caps to a man who has had an illustrious career and put his stamp on the sport forever as an innovator and pioneer.

    If he retires, Penn will finish his career with 16 wins and eight losses. That record doesn't look good at all. The names on his record are all big-time fighters, who have winning records themselves. Penn took no tune-up fights and no easy matchups; he fought guys who were true fighters and martial artists.

    Today is a sad day for the sport, and Penn should be remembered as a champion. His highly-decorated career will be remembered forever.

    This article will contain five achievements, but don't be fooled, BJ Penn has many significant moments in his incredible career.

Penn Is Awarded Black Belt from Andre Pederneiras in Only Three Years

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    BJ Penn is considered by many people as the fastest practitioner to ever receive a black belt in Brazillian jiu-jitsu.

    BJ Penn is a natural and did something that takes many people over a decade to do in less than a third of the time.

    Some people might think it was premature. It most certainly was not.

    When a black belt gives a belt down to one of their students, it is sacred. They not only give that student a prestigious rank, but give that student their reputation to protect and honor. The level of students that a master has underneath him is a testament of his standards and ability as a jiu-jitsu practitioner himself.

    BJ Penn would go on to honor that belt very well.

2000 BJJ World Champion for the Blackbelt Level

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    BJ Penn won the world championships for Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 2000, and it was the first time that a non-Brazilian won the tournament.

    This is an incredibly difficult tournament to win.

    There are a lot of jiu-jitsu black belt fighters in the UFC, but Demien Maia is probably the only one who would still have a chance to win a world championship. MMA is a tough sport but features more well-rounded fighters as opposed to experts.

    BJ Penn was an expert, and at one time, the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner at his weight class in the world.

First MMA Fight on May 4, 2001

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    BJ Penn won his first MMA fight in 2001, and it would be over a decade later that he would finally decide to hang up the gloves.

    He won his first fight in the first round with a resounding knockout over Joey Gilbert in Atlantic City, NJ.

    Little did the MMA world know, it was witnessing the birth of one of the greatest fighters of all time.

Won the UFC Welterweight Championship

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    On January 31, 2004, BJ Penn defeated Matt Hughes for the UFC welterweight championship.

    This fight is significant because it would be the first of Penn's two UFC titles in multiple divisions.

    Penn won the title in a division that is too big for him against one of the best champions in UFC history. Matt Hughes was in his prime and struggled mightily to take down Penn.

    This is one of the greatest performances in BJ Penn's career.

Won the UFC Lightweight Championship and Got Beatdown of the Year Honors

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    On January 18, 2008, seven years after his first MMA fight, BJ Penn would finally settle in the division that would produce his most dominant performances. If not for his tenacity in trying to go up in weight classes and take on better fighters, BJ Penn could very well still hold the lightweight championship.

    To win the title, Penn demolished Joe Stevenson in a little less than two rounds. He submitted him with a rear naked choke and also earned the UFC's Submission of the Night award.

Conclusion

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    BJ Penn has had a great career that should be remembered forever.

    He's a true athlete and fighter and did a ton for the sport of MMA and the UFC.

    Hats off.