• BJ Penn after his defeat against Yair Rodriguez on UFC Fight Night 103.

BJ Penn after his defeat against Yair Rodriguez on UFC Fight Night 103. (Photo : Getty Images/Christian Petersen)

Before there was Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor, MMA fans used to consider fighters such as "The Prodigy" BJ Penn to be the best in the business. However, a long time has now past since his meteoric rise through the UFC power rankings. Now, Penn is looking to make his comeback in a sport that he once adored, but now barely recognizes.

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Gone are the days of champion vs. champion matchups for Penn. He now finds himself in a bout against Yair Rodriguez, a Mexican featherweight competitor who is astonishingly 13 years younger than him. Rodriguez should not be underestimated; however, as he has many accomplishments in MMA including a championship title in his home country as well as an Ultimate Fighter tournament triumph.

Both of these men have their reasons for wanting this fight to go into their win column. For Penn, it is a matter of proving that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level despite his past string of losses that resulted in a two-year hiatus. On the other hand, Rodriguez wants to prove that he can take on and perhaps even defeat a veteran who fight fans could argue has done it all.

Penn looked ready and as if he was in peak conditioning for someone who is 37-years old, but looking the part in a sport like MMA certainly is not enough. Rodriguez utterly brutalized Penn and made the referee stop the contest less than half a minute into the second round. The key to Rodriguez winning may as well have been his use of a fighting style that was not often seen in Penn's time.

Rodriguez used his high energy and stamina to land over 50 more significant strikes compared to his opposition. His flurries of kicks accounted for 55 significant strikes landed against Penn, who only managed 4, Joe.co.uk reported.

Then, Rodriguez managed to land a front kick to the face then a right hook, which sent Penn crashing to the canvas. This was followed up by brutal ground and pound, forcing referee Big John McCarthy to put an end to the fight.

This win marks the eighth straight for Rodriguez as well as his sixth in the UFC, according to MMA Fighting. He is still undefeated in this promotion and with a dominant performance like this, he certainly deserves to move up from the tenth spot of the featherweight division rankings.

Watch the full highlights of the fight in the video below: