UFC 123: BJ Penn Is Now a Gentleman and a Brawler
After all the grief I have given to BJ Penn, his legion of fans, and his beautiful, ever-youthful-appearing mother, I feel obligated to write just one more article giving my opinion on my old nemesis.
Either BJ has turned a new page, or I have; maybe we both have changed our ways. Finally, I can embrace the Hawaiian Prodigy as being both a great fighter and a true credit to the sport of MMA.
BJ's quick dispatch of Matt Hughes was truly astonishing to see. Although two lackluster fights with Frankie Edgar had BJ promising a great fight against Hughes, few fans believed that the Prodigy would rebound from his losses with such volcanic fire in his belly.
The knockout of Hughes, whom most fans consider to be the best Welter Weight fighter ever to enter a UFC octagon, his defeat truly was like a violent eruption, as BJ raced to Hughes and felled him, followed by the sound of surprised gasps from the equally stunned audience.
Another eruption was the sound of the chorus of chants, "BJ, BJ, BJ!" which swept through the arena. At home, watching the PPV event all by myself, I was clapping and cheering right along with the crowd in adoration of a fighter I once loathed.
No, there was no blood licking, no bragging or gloating over the win.
BJ sincerely pronounced Matt Hughes as his idol, not once, but twice. This show of sportsmanship brought tears to my eyes, just as Matt Hughes stood with unshed tears in his eyes.
What a thrilling moment this must have been for BJ's mother, who I saw waving energetically once at ringside. At home, I was waving back at her and talking to my TV set, telling her I had picked BJ to win, just as if she could see and hear me.
If my Facebook friends were surprised when I stated before the fight that I was supporting BJ, no one questioned me about it.
To BJ's mother, I would like to express my pleasure at BJ's behavior before, during, and after the fight. The changes that BJ has undergone are amazing and very appreciated by this writer. Mrs. Penn, you have every right to be extremely proud of your son.
It may surprise many, but I am proud of BJ too!
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