As a lot folks thought would be the case, BJ Penn was unable to halt Yair Rodriguez’s climb up the featherweight ranks last night at UFC Fight Night 103, as the latter finished the legend in round two. Although Penn was sent to the deck by a front kick, and he took several more punches from Rodriguez, the rising star doesn’t think the bout was stopped to late.
If you watched last night’s headliner, then you know that Rodriguez punished Penn with kicks from the get go. The 38 year-old legend managed to defend many of them, but as the opening round concluded, it was clear Penn was in trouble.
Then, not long into round two, Rodriquez landed the aforementioned front kick. Penn attempted to defend the the shots from above, and was moving, but the fight was eventually stopped. Afterwards the Mexican fighter was asked to weigh-in on the stoppage, and here is some of what Rodriguez had to say (quote via MMA Fighting):
“I don’t think [it was a late stoppage], and less with a guy like B.J.,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a legend. When I started punching him on the ground, he was moving. I saw him moving. So I was actually being careful of him throwing up an [upkick] or grabbing me with a submission. I moved and I started hitting him again, and whenever I saw the referee stopping the fight, it was just an amazing moment. But I don’t think they should’ve stopped the fight before.”
Penn appeared to be upset when the fight was stopped by “Big” John McCarthy, who gave the legend plenty of time to get out of danger. Thankfully the Hawaiian fighter seemed okay afterwards.
Now it remains to be seen if Penn decides to end his comeback and retire once again. The former lightweight and welterweight champ hasn’t won a bout since 2010.