Michael Rome has been the most vocal BJ Penn detractor in the blogosphere of late, accusing him of being MMA’s answer to the Joker: a dude who just wants to see the sport burn if he can’t be on top. And while I’m not quite ready to agree with that assessment, I can certainly get behind Rome’s proposal for letting a third BJ / GSP fight happen:
My position is this: if BJ Penn wants a rematch, he needs to drop his title, move to 170, and earn a title shot. Maybe if he can beat Jon Fitch and Matt Hughes he can earn himself a shot. As is, he cannot put himself above the entire roster especially after getting handled so badly. St. Pierre is probably fighting in July, if BJ wants it so bad he has plenty of time to earn his shot.
This is a crossroads moment for BJ Penn if there ever was one. No one really faults him for losing to Georges St Pierre, but if he goes up to 170 again and it ends up similar to the 2-3 record he’s compiled thus far at that class, he’s going to tarnish the shit out of his legacy.
Any other man would see this and just settle down into the role of ‘Greatest 155 pounder ever’. But not BJ, I think. I don’t know if it’s pride or ego or spirit or stupidity or what. But whatever it is, it seems to keep him from taking the easy route, favoring the path that includes sticking your junk through several buzz saws.
And really, what will bumming around at welterweight earn him? Even if he can beat the Matt Hughes and Jon Fitches of the division, does he really have more than a long shot at taking out Georges? A champion without a belt is no champion at all.