Skip to main content

See also:

Did BJ Penn ruin his legacy with lopsided UFC loss to Frankie Edgar?

According to a July 7 report from ESPN, former UFC champ Frankie Edgar sent BJ Penn into retirement with a one-sided beating in the TUF 19 Finale main event. Edgar, 32, hadn't competed inside the UFC's world-famous Octagon in over a year, but he returned to form against an MMA legend who was clearly overmatched throughout the bloody affair. After a series of elbows that opened cuts along Penn's face, the ref mercifully called a stop to the action at the 4:16-mark of the third frame.

UFC legend BJ Penn lost to Frankie Edgar in the TUF 19 Finale
Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Penn, 35, announced after the fight with Edgar that he'll be hanging up the gloves for good. Even if Penn wanted to keep his career going, UFC President Dana White likely wouldn't let him. Seconds after Penn announced his retirement, Twitter exploded with comments praising the Hawaiian for being a pioneer in the sport. Some fans even called him a legend, and a definite future UFC hall of famer. Sure Penn was a great fighter for a short period of time in the early-2000s, but is he truly a legend? That's difficult to answer.

Penn doesn't rank in the top 20 of all-time in UFC wins, and his .571 overall win percentage isn't great. To put it in perspective, Jon Fitch and Yushin Okami notched more UFC victories in their careers than Penn ever did. Additionally, Penn has some major black marks on his resume. He lost to Edgar three times, and to Georges St-Pierre twice. Penn also lost to Lyoto Machida, Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald and others.

It's clear that Penn may have destroyed his legacy by sticking around the MMA game too long. If Penn would have called it a career after beating Diego Sanchez in 2009, his overall record would have been 15-5-1. Instead, he wraps up his career with a dismal 16-10-2 record. Penn looked like a shell of his former self in the latter stages of his career, as he finished up with just one win in his final seven appearances. There's no other way to say it: Penn became a human punching bag during his UFC 137 fight against Nick Diaz, and again in his 2012 fight with Rory MacDonald.

After an 18-month layoff, Penn looked even worse at the TUF 19 Finale against Edgar. Unfortunately, fight fans will now remember Penn for the beatings he took in most of his final seven appearances, and not for what he did in the early-2000s. It seems like a lifetime ago when Penn defeated Matt Hughes for the UFC's welterweight title, and it feels like a completely different era when he beat Joe Stevenson for the UFC's lightweight title.