BJ Penn has released a statement following his loss to Ryan Hall at UFC 232.
The former lightweight and welterweight champ was coming back after a two year break from the sport, and he actually looked pretty good right up until things went horribly wrong. Hall is another up and coming killer with nasty leg locks, and he used that proficiency to get the first submission loss from Penn in his 17 year MMA career.
Hall followed a kick with a lightning fast roll right into a heel hook that had Penn tapping just 2:46 into the first round. Take a look:
The first man to EVER submit BJ Penn.
— UFC (@ufc) December 30, 2018
Here’s Penn breaking down what happened instead for his website, BJPenn.com.
“I was shocked at how deep Ryan [Hall] was able to sink in the leg lock right off the hop,” Penn said. “The timing was perfect. I tried to run and pull my leg out, but I wasn’t going anywhere as my knee was still stuck inside his hips. So I tried to defend my knee and turn it up towards the sky. By the time I looked back he had already switched to the heel hook and my ankle just popped.”
Fortunately, Penn’s leg is still in one piece.
“It is swollen,” he revealed. “There’s some bruising and what not. But it wasn’t my knee. It was my ankle that popped. It is what it is. Hats off to Ryan Hall, that submission was the perfect storm.”
— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) January 12, 2019
Penn went on to say he had the best training camp ever at Nova Uniao, but this time we actually believe him. Even with just half a round to review, Penn was way more aggressive and smooth with his striking than he was in his last stink fest of a fight against Dennis Siver. Maybe that was from not cutting down to 145 pounds. Maybe it was from not hating life because he was cutting down to 145. Whatever it was, this actually looked like Classic Motivated Penn™. Unfortunately, he ran into another monster. Funny how that happens to a lot of aging stars.
As for his future?
”I’m going to let my ankle heal up and then I will contemplate what is next for my life,” he said.
Just going to put this out there: after what we saw at UFC 232, I’d be down for another BJ Penn fight. Maybe just not against another Yair or Hall?