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BJ Penn: Put The Fight back In Ultimate Fighting


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from mmaweekly.com

 

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Fighter vs. athlete.

 

It's been an argument raised by former UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn several times. He always falls solidly on the side that he's a fighter, and does not consider himself an athlete.

 

Penn has now turned that opinion of fighter vs. athlete into the debate about the rash of decisions taking place in MMA, and the judges who are scoring the bouts. A participant in a razor close decision in his last fight with Frankie Edgar, Penn admits that there is always a pressure to finish fights, but maybe never more than there is now as he tries to win back the UFC lightweight championship.

 

"I think every fighter should have that same motivation to want to finish, because it puts more money in all of our pockets, and it builds the UFC, and it just makes everybody happy all the way around," said Penn recently.

 

Finishing fights is part of the philosophy that Penn holds on to. It?s what makes him a fighter, and so many others involved in MMA today just athletes. He's seen a change in the mental make-up of many athletes competing in MMA currently. He sees many fighters fighting ?not to lose? instead of gunning for a win.

 

"There is a lot of controversy of people taking the 'fighting' out of 'Ultimate Fighting,' and they really want to go to decisions, and they feel happy with that. If that's the way they like to do things, that's the way they do it. For me, I've always been about the fight, and I'm more of a fighter than an athlete," Penn stated.

 

"Maybe that's why people have said I don't come in shape and these kind of things because that's what I am. I'm not an athlete. I didn't grow up playing all types of sports my whole life, all I ever did was get into a fight and a lot of it was over emotion."

 

Seeing the changes in the demeanor of many fighters in the UFC today, Penn believes that they would rather squeak out a decision than leave it all in the cage and go for a finish. He says it's a frightening trend that has taken many jiu-jitsu practitioners out of their games, and given the upper hand to the fighter perceived to be in control because they are on top.

 

"I definitely see that trend, and another trend I see is every fighter looks the same. Every fighter looks exactly the same. It's just crazy now, but it's the future of this sport, and how our sport has evolved. Nobody wants to be on their back because even if a guy doesn't do one bit of damage, he's still going to lose the fight and that really is effecting how the fighters fight," Penn commented.

 

The argument that the native Hawaiian brings up comes full circle to the judges that are watching and scoring the fights in the UFC and other MMA organizations around the world.

 

Penn takes a harsh stance when talking about judges, and says that something has to change, or the mentality that's being absorbed throughout the sport will change MMA forever.

 

"The judges, as we all know, still don't know what they're doing," said Penn. "The judging, I don't think anyone should get points for any of the grappling positions. It's like what's the sense in taking Demian Maia down, and why should you get points for that, and why should you get points for mounting James Toney.

 

"It just doesn't make sense to me. It's just all about damage and submission attempts, that's the only things that really matter in the fight."

 

Is that a direct swipe at many of the wrestlers now competing in MMA? Penn never states that directly, but it has been a point of contention with many fans and critics around MMA, scoring on how much weight a takedown carries, versus other scoring criteria.

 

Penn never backs down from his stance on what makes the difference between MMA and other competitions out there. He is planning on helping to stop the current trend whenever and wherever he steps foot in the Octagon.

 

"I vote to keep the fight in ?Ultimate Fighting.??

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Yeeeeeeeesss BJ is the man & he makes perfect sense. Look at the last tuf season, all anybody wanted to do was grapple & wrestle. Its like people are afraid to get hit now so they focus entirely on getting their opponent down to the ground & don't risk a submission or a sweep so they sit there for 15 minutes.

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I vote the same too. Ive been training for olympic wrestling for a while now' date=' at heart i am a wrestler and somewhat impartial to wrestle and root for them but i agree with BJ offensive ground transitions should not be given points.[/quote']

 

So true, because MMA isn't wrestling. I loved the Chael sonnen/ Anderson Silva fight. That fight, Chael had alot of takedowns, but he stayed busy, through big shots and kept it fresh. I don't hate wrestlers, just ones that basically see a loop hole in the judging and use that to win fights, because what is a dominant posistion if no damage is being done?

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so true' date=' because mma isn't wrestling. I loved the chael sonnen/ anderson silva fight. That fight, chael had alot of takedowns, but he stayed busy, through big shots and kept it fresh. I don't hate wrestlers, just ones that basically see a loop hole in the judging and use that to win fights, because what is a dominant posistion if no damage is being done?[/quote']

 

+100

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So true' date=' because MMA isn't wrestling. I loved the Chael sonnen/ Anderson Silva fight. That fight, Chael had alot of takedowns, but he stayed busy, through big shots and kept it fresh. I don't hate wrestlers, just ones that basically see a loop hole in the judging and use that to win fights, because what is a dominant posistion if no damage is being done?[/quote']

 

I agree

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I personally would like to take judges and scorecards completely out of it.

 

Change to 3 -10 minute rounds, if no finish, it's a draw, period.

 

And in event of a draw both fighters get even pay on a set scale, add win and performance based bonuses, and then there is more incentive for guys to leave it all in the cage.

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I personally would like to take judges and scorecards completely out of it.

 

Change to 3 -10 minute rounds' date=' if no finish, it's a draw, period.

 

And in event of a draw both fighters get even pay on a set scale, add win and performance based bonuses, and then there is more incentive for guys to leave it all in the cage.[/quote']

 

Only thing I don't like about this is I think the rounds are too short. I like how mma rounds are longer then boxing. They should introduce the old pride red and yellow cards etc. Also the refs need to get better at standing/seperating a fight when someone is stalling.

 

Actually, I still think judges are definantly needed. Not everyone can be finished, look at JDS vs Roy Nelson. JDS clearly won that fight, and that would be a huge robbery to call that a draw.

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Well, BJ Penn is notorious for whining, but I do agree with him here.

As for the dumbed down Fitch and Rashad comments, the thing about that is this.

Fitch has always fought like that. He's always been the type of fighter that just keeps you down and beats the hell out of you.

Any fighter would probably prefer a quick KO over Fitch brutalizing them.

He stays busy, and all of those takedowns and dropping your body back onto the canvas, that **** rubs your skin raw and bangs up your knees. He's always hitting you and he's always dragging you around like a play toy.

He's a beast, and it's just his style.

 

Rashad's past two fights have been up against pure strikers that have more skill standing than he does.

So, obviously he takes them down.

Rashad is evolving and will be a GnP machine in a few more fights.

Just take a look at his ground and grappling control from the Thiago fight to the Rampage fight. He improved a lot.

If that would have been a 5 round fight with Rampage, he would have finished him, Rampage was spent and exhausted.

You "fans" are complaining about his fighting style and how little he does, if he would have finished Rampage in the 4th or 5th round, everyone would have said that was the greatest fight ever. Or if Rampage would have finished him in the 3rd, everyone would have went berserk and named it an instant classic.

 

It's immature and no fight is the same. When you have 15 minutes to exhaust someone and physically stop them in a fight, while keeping your gameplan and improvising, it's sometimes difficult to get a finish. Especially when that other guy has plans of knocking you into oblivion.

I understand where everyone comes from and their stance on the situation of "Lay and Pray," but unless you absolutely just smother a guy and get stood up, time and time again, you don't know what you're talking about.

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Too be honest, Fitch is by far not the worst for lay n pray. The thing is I guess, if you don't have a well rounded game, one day you will get exposed. I just love watching a fight, where the wrestler is running arround like a chicken with its head cut off, searching for a take down, while getting repeatedly punished everytime he waids in. It actually makes it worth watching a striker get put out by a wrestler.

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There is a problem in the sport though, when Koscheck can come in against Daley and win a safe decison. This is a loop hole, he knows if he moves enough he won't get stood up, and the UFC don't give out yellow cards for stalling. Some wrestlers would lose a ton of money each fight if cards were given out, then they would start actually trying to really "win" the fight.

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Too be honest' date=' Fitch is by far not the worst for lay n pray. The thing is I guess, if you don't have a well rounded game, one day you will get exposed. I just love watching a fight, where the wrestler is running arround like a chicken with its head cut off, searching for a take down, while getting repeatedly punished everytime he waids in. It actually makes it worth watching a striker get put out by a wrestler.[/quote']

 

Yeah, I understand what you mean.

I was really disapointed in Mark Munoz's last fight because he was actually getting decent strikes in on Okami, but he couldn't get Okami down.

So, what did he do?

He just grabbed onto his leg.

 

You do have to have more of a well rounded skillset to be successful.

But when people say things like Rashad lays and prays, that's ignorant because he's stood and traded with people the majority of his UFC career and he has some amazing highlights. He's probably THE fastest LHW in the division, with possibly the best wrestling.

He's got great striking (If he's countering like the Liddel fight, not being aggressive like the Machida fight.)

How can people deny him being a force in the division?

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Yeah' date=' I understand what you mean.

I was really disapointed in Mark Munoz's last fight because he was actually getting decent strikes in on Okami, but he couldn't get Okami down.

So, what did he do?

He just grabbed onto his leg.

 

You do have to have more of a well rounded skillset to be successful.

But when people say things like Rashad lays and prays, that's ignorant because he's stood and traded with people the majority of his UFC career and he has some amazing highlights. He's probably THE fastest LHW in the division, with possibly the best wrestling.

He's got great striking (If he's countering like the Liddel fight, not being aggressive like the Machida fight.)

How can people deny him being a force in the division?[/quote']

 

Hey man, appreciate someone finally commenting. I know what you are saying, Rashad does have some exciting fights, like the head kick he landed on Sean Salmon. Seems like everyone forgets about that, or that he rocked Rampage when they fought. The one person though, who seems to consistently come in and smother you is Clay Guida. I do not like watching him fight at all. He would love nothing more then to make it a boring fight. LOL and yes, I like Munoz, when he starts striking, god he's exciting and great G N P. Some of his TD attempts against Okami, were, I'm sorry just pathetic. It was like he was terrified of him and just shutting his eyes, dropping down and praying he didn't get knocked out. I think both Okami and Munoz have bright futures, that was a good fight.

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Hey man' date=' appreciate someone finally commenting. I know what you are saying, Rashad does have some exciting fights, like the head kick he landed on Sean Salmon. Seems like everyone forgets about that, or that he rocked Rampage when they fought. The one person though, who seems to consistently come in and smother you is Clay Guida. I do not like watching him fight at all. He would love nothing more then to make it a boring fight.[/quote']

 

I don't know, I don't like Clay Guida at all over the way he acts but I always figured he put on some decent fights. I like how he's incorporating his wrestling game with submissions.

He trains with Greg Jackson and that's pretty much the number one focus of their camp.

So, I'd be surprised if he did anything different.

Zero striking ability, though.

Probably the worst in the UFC when it comes to strikes.

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