We’re now a few days removed from BJ Penn’s downright disheartening showing against Yair Rodriguez at UFC Phoenix, and still, the sting is just as painful as ever. What was supposed to mark Penn’s triumphant comeback — no, not that one he had for the third Edgar fight, the real one — instead served as the latest entry in a trend we’ve seen all too often in MMA: a former great just not being able to let go.
And because money knows no age restrictions, it’s certain that 2017 will offer no reprieve from this depressing pattern of MMA legends suffering brutal beatings in the name of pride. If Tank Abbott wanted to unretire tomorrow, you can guaran-damn-tee that he’d be booked in a “grudge match” against Kimbo Slice’s son by the weekend. That’s just the way that our sport (and most professional sports, if we’re being totally honest) is. So to that end, we might as well start taking bets on which of our heroes will fall the furthest in the coming year, right? Because separating yourself emotionally is the best way to deal with any issue, RIGHT?!
I thought so. Let’s get this sadness pool underway.