Former UFC Welterweight and Lightweight Champion BJ “The Prodigy” Penn will be returning to the 170-pound weight class for the first time since January 2009 when he lost via TKO (corner stoppage) to current champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre this weekend when he takes on fellow former champion and former opponent Matt Hughes in the co-main event of UFC 123.
Competing as high as 191-pounds in the past (when he took on Lyoto Machida at the first K-1 Hero’s Event in Japan back in 2005), Penn is no stranger to jumping weight classes or putting on a few extra pounds to test himself against larger competition. However, the days of putting on a few extra pounds of fat or simply not cutting weight at all and still being able to compete with the best seem to be over; Penn weighed in at 168-pounds when he took on St. Pierre for the title and was fairly easily dominated by a much bigger opponent in St. Pierre. While some of that is certainly due to St. Pierre’s skill level, it is undeniable that a great fighter with a weight advantage almost always trumps a great fighter alone.
Returning to welterweight to settle a score with Matt Hughes in the concluding bout of their trilogy, Penn will be facing a similar weight disadvantage. Speaking with UFC commentator Joe Rogan during this weekend’s Spike TV-aired UFC 122 broadcast, Penn revealed openly that he currently weighs 165-pounds; this only a week before he and Hughes square off. A welterweight on the larger end of the scale, Hughes is said to walk around upwards of 185-pounds and will likely be sporting some fifteen to twenty pounds over Penn come fight night. The extra weight could be the difference between victory and defeat for “The Prodigy” but that will only be revealed at UFC 123 this Saturday night.
Do you think the weight difference will affect the bout in any way? If so, what do you predict to be the affect(s)? Let us know in the comments section.