BJ Penn hasn’t earned a victory in almost five years and he will also be competing for the first time in many years against Yair Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night 103.
Penn, who has already held titles in the lightweight and welterweight division, says that he’s going to make Rodriguez look like an amateur.
“I’m a fan of everybody, I respect everyone. I’m proud of everybody who decides to take this path in life and chooses this profession. And I think he’s very good, a very solid opponent,” Penn said to MMA Fighting. “But a lot of people are going to be surprised when I get out there. It’s going to look like a professional against an amateur. That’s what’s going to happen, and Yair is going to be surprised, his coaches are going to be surprised. They’re going be like, ‘oh, I thought this we were going to come between this easy fighter and his big name.’ But we’re going to see. They’re going to see.”
Although Penn is going to be entering the fight as an underdog against Rodriguez, but Penn never thought about turning down the fight.
“I think what it is, people look from the outside, and they don’t really look in,” Penn said. “And they’re like, really, how many people has Yair knocked out? Really, how hard can he hit? Really, how much this, how much that? How much experience? But they don’t add these things up. And a lot of people want what they want, and maybe for their perfect world, it’s not for me to be champion again. In their perfect world, somebody else has to be the champion, and that’s just what you get. But that’s sports. There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s part of the game. But it wasn’t surprising because you never know who they could match-up with somebody like me. You know what I mean? You could give me anybody. That’s the reputation we carry with us, and the faith of the company, that they know we can handle ourselves in that Octagon. It was never a surprise whenever they offer anybody. Anybody they ever offer me in fighting, I’ll probably never be surprised, unless it’s the guy’s first fight in the UFC.”
UFC Fight Night 103 takes place on Sunday, January 15 from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona with Yair Rodriguez and BJ Penn headlining.