Kenny Florian knows a thing or two about an in-form B.J. Penn.
Florian, on the back of a six-fight win streak in the UFC’s lightweight division, was awarded a title shot against then-champ Penn back in August 2009. At the time, Penn had defended his title on two occasions but Florian was considered by most analysts to be a very realistic challenger to Penn’s throne.
It wasn’t to be.
Florian succumbed to a fourth round rear naked choke applied by Penn in a fight which served as a reminder to all (and Florian in particular) of the Hawaiian’s unparalleled skills inside the the cage.
Now, some eight years later, Penn has amassed a record of two wins against seven losses and a singular draw. The latest of those defeats happened last Sunday at the UFC’s event in Oklahoma where Penn dropped a decision to Dennis Siver and in his role with Fox Sports 1, Florian noted that the deterioration of Penn’s skills are noticeable.
“I thought B.J. actually had a good second round but he just ran out of steam in that third round and was really taking a lot of shots,” Florian said on the FS1 post fight show. “I thought Dennis won the first [round], I thought it was a good sign that B.J. came back in the second but again, the B.J. Penn of old was just non-existent in this fight.
“Just a lack of variety, a lack of creativity with his striking. He had his moments, it just wasn’t enough. Simple as that.”
Florian’s fellow analyst Tyron Woodley also suggested on the broadcast that Penn might be wise to step away from the sport now so as to preserve the legacy he fought so hard to create.
“The thing about B.J. Penn he has to recognize is that he’s a legend,” Woodley added. “When you start fighting these fights and you’re coming up short, you continue to fight, you’re going to start tarnishing your legacy.
“He’s not hurting for money. Everybody’s going to remember ‘The Prodigy’ for everything he does. He really has to consider that.”