Why is BJ Penn neglected on Lowkicks P4P ranking?
Despite having an amazing career, where he has constantly fought the highest competition, BJ Penn is currently in a distant 10th place on LowKick.com Community Pound for Pound Rankings. But why?
Is it because he has recently lost to Frankie Edgar and GSP? I would hope not. They are both arguably top choices for P4P rankings. If he's at their level wouldn't that place him only slightly behind them?
Is it because the other fighters on the list have accomplished more? I would say not. With Credit given to GSP, Silva, Fedor and possibly Lyoto and Rua), Penn has had one of the more impressive careers in MMA history. 15-7 with losses only to highest level of competition. 2000 BBJ champion. Held multiple UFC championship belts.
Penn has fought fairly successfully in many different weight divisions. Isnt that at essence what P4P is? Despite his weight, his skill-set has catapulted him to fight the highest level competition over a span of 8 years. I'd say his recent lose to Edgar isn't so much a detriment to Penn but a testament Edgars skill.
Let's look at who is above him:
GSP, Silva, Fedor, Aldo, M Rua, Velasquez, Edgar, Overeem, Machida: All certainly impressive fighters. GSP, Silva, and Fedor have such an impressive records, so it's safe to call them better. Edgars beat Penn twice so he's safe too. Now Machida did beat Penn but Penn was a slight disadvantage. Fight at 191 lbs to Machida's 220 lbs. That's not quite a P4P victory. I guess I could concede that because Rua beat Machida and Machida beat Penn that they deserve to be above him. Though I don't think that's an airtight case.
This leaves us with Aldo, Velasquez, and Overeem. Firstly Aldo has had an impressive run as champion and had been fighting for 5 years. I think Aldo might have an edge on Penn because of his youth level of energy and similar quick style to Edgar. But then again, Featherweight is not such a deep division. A fight between these two might be quite close. With Overeem it's an interesting debate as he's had a long career but with different levels of success. Overeem showed impressive striking but I would account some of that to his impressive physique. Personally, I think Penn is a much more rounded fighter with highest level MMA strategy and near flawless BJJ. Between these two I guess it comes down to opinion. I don't really think there's enough to show any huge advantage to Overeem.
Finally, Cain Velaquez. Thinking about Cain on the P4P ranking is what sparked me to write this. Cain's career is quite young. He has 9 fights over 4 years. With the real competition only coming in the past 2 years. He's been impressive but is it really enough to say he's so much better than other fighters with longer careers? Personally, I don't think so. At least in the case of Penn. I don't think Cain shows a skill set that would go well against Penn veteran skills. But that just my opinion, as we'll never see these two fight on a level playing field. Let's let Cain defend his title a few times before calling him a top P4P fighter.
In closing I ask you to reevaluate BJ Penns ranking on your P4P list. Think of his career, of impressive victories over Hughes, Sherk, Sanchez and others. Winning and defending the championship at different weight classes. Isn't it to soon to say Penn is no longer one of the most skilled fighters in MMA?