The legend B.J. Penn makes his return to the Octagon for the first time since a 2014 loss to Frankie Edgar. At UFC Fight Night 103, “The Prodigy” takes on up and coming sensation Yair Rodriguez.
Being out of action for so long hasn’t helped Penn in the betting scheme of things, in fact he is coming into this bout on fight week as a heavy underdog.
Most sports books have Penn at a +355 underdog, with some sites as low as +400. His foe in this contest, Rodriguez, will be coming in as a heavy -485 favorite.
Penn (16–10–2) is riding a three-fight losing skid, which is the longest of his 15-plus-year career. His last victory was a big knockout against his arch-rival of many years, Matt Hughes, back in 2010. Since that victory, Penn fought to a draw against Jon Fitch and has losses to Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald and most recently Edgar.
On the opposite side of the cage, Rodriguez (9-1), holds an impressive seven-fight winning streak and is easily one of the most talked about prospects in the UFC. In 2014 he made his Octagon debut, where he earned a unanimous decision against Leandro Morales at UFC 180. Despite going to the judges scorecards in all but one of his UFC outings, fans know what they can expect from Rodriguez when he enters the Octagon — excitement.
Rodriguez is ranked at number 10 on the UFC.com rankings chart and even though Penn is not ranked due to inactivity and his recent performances, a victory over the hall of famer would do a lot for Rodriguez’s stock.
UFC Fight Night 103 goes down on January 15 from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
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