Home > Jeanene V. > Is Penn Too Old?

Is Penn Too Old?

Written by Jeanene V

BJ Penn’s next fight, scheduled against Jon Fitch in UFC 132 was tossed out with the trash due to Fitch’s shoulder surgery. Since then, fans have been wondering where Hawaii’s native son will focus his guns next. The answer came across an unlikely source: Twitter. What started out as joking on the social media website between two of UFC’s greatest fighters, has turned into what may be considered one of the best match-ups in UFC history. Fans may get their wish for a match featuring BJ Penn and Jake Shields.

The only question here is, does Penn have what it takes to give Shields a worthwhile fight? When does age become a major factor to a fighter’s training and performance? Shields is not the kind of opponent one should take lightly. Prior to losing to GSP, Shields had won 15 fights in a row. He is well known in the MMA world for his stamina and ability to take a punch. Whereas, Penn’s ability in the octagon has come under fire in the past year. Penn showed his punching power against Matt Hughes in UFC 123 with a solid knockout. But lacked stamina and faded out against Fitch in UFC 127, losing by decision.

So, how old is too old for mixed martial arts fighters? Living legend, Randy Couture will celebrate his 48th birthday on June 22nd and is still ready to sign on the dotted line. Couture was 43 years old the first time he came out of retirement to beat Tim Sylvia and become the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Couture wasn’t as lucky last time around when he challenged Lyoto Machida in UFC 129. This time, Couture was knocked out with a front kick, lost a tooth and was briefly hospitalized. Knowing when to call it quits, Couture announced his permanent retirement before the bout.
Another example of a timeless warrior is newcomer, Hershel Walker. Although no stranger to professional sports, 49 year old Walker started his MMA career with a challenge to Dana White for mocking his ability to compete at his age. Walker has since silenced White with his 2-0 record, both wins by TKO. So does age really matter in the world of MMA? When do we say “enough is enough”?

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Categories: Jeanene V.
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