UFC Fight Night 103 takes place this weekend from Phoenix, Arizona USA. The main event features an intriguing matchup of a mixed martial arts legend and one of the sport’s current top prospects. BJ Penn versus Yair Rodriguez is not to be missed. In this article, we’ll pose 3 questions we hope to be answered by the end of the night.
What does BJ Penn have left at age 38?
BJ Penn’s place in MMA history is already secure. He is a former Lightweight and Welterweight UFC World Champion, and at his peak, he looked as good as any fighter on the planet. His boxing skills and his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu were both world class and this was especially evident in his Lightweight title run where he looked near invincible for a time.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen BJ truly at the top of his game, a long while. You have to go all the way back to 2010 to find a victory from BJ, and this was from an aging Matt Hughes at the latter end of his career. So, is there any reason to think we’ll see a renewed Prodigy after so long? Nothing from his most recent time in the cage, but there’s the fact the BJ has been working with one of the top MMA gyms in the world, Jackson-Winkeljohn. This is home to fighters like Jon Jones, and has also seen the likes of GSP, Donald Cowboy Cerrone, and Rashad Evans to name but a few.
The legacy of BJ Penn hasn’t all been about wins and losses like most. He’s had a brave and bold MMA career, often challenging much larger fighters at Welterweight. He even fought Lyoto Machida, a man naturally around 30-40 pounds heavier. A loss against Rogriguez does tell us something about the former Lightweight King, but the fact that BJ would even take a fight against a young phenom like Yair in 2017, says a whole lot to us too. A whole hell of a lot.
Is Jimmie Rivera a Top Bantamweight?
When Jimmie Rivera steps into the cage against Bryan Caraway at Fight Night 103, he does so with a ton of momentum behind him. Rivera has 4 straight wins in the UFC and hasn’t lost since his second pro MMA fight all the way back in 2008. In Rivera’s latest outing he defeated the perennial top contender, Urijah Faber. Any win against Faber has to be considered impressive, finish or decision. That fight showed the Bantamweight division and the rest of the MMA world that Rivera may be going places.
A fight with Caraway is the perfect way to let is know where Rivera’s skills are at. Caraway has lost a couple of key fights which is kept him from the very top of the division, but he has won 7 of his last 9. Picking up wins over the likes of Aljamain Sterling, Erik Perez, and Eddie Wineland. If Caraway can halt the rise of Rivera he himself may not be far off a fight with newly crowned champ, Cody Garbrandt. This is no easy task for either man, but with a win streak almost as long as Stefan Struve’s leg, Jimmie Rivera seems poised for a fight with the division’s elite.
Will Joe Lauzon win yet another Performance Bonus?
Some say the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. Those people have never even heard of Joe Lauzon. Settling down to watch a ‘J-Lo‘ fight is a bit like sitting down to eat at your favourite restaurant, you’re never really going to be disappointed.
Lauzon has a staggering 15 UFC performance bonuses to his name. No fighter has more and this is only equaled by Nate Diaz. It may be a measure of our confidence in Lauzon’s ability to produce great fights that we’d still be willing to wager a performance bonus here despite the fact that Joe’s opponent, Marcin Held, has got to decision in his last 3 fights.
What will we see from one of the UFC‘s most entertaining ever fighters?
What questions are you waiting to see answered at UFC Fight Night 103?