Matt Hughes gives unsolicited advice to former rival B.J. Penn about picking his next opponents.
Two-division world champion and Hall of Famer B.J. Penn is still part of the UFC’s active roster. But unfortunately for him and his fans, “The Prodigy” of today is a far cry from the dominator that he once was almost two decades ago.
Penn, now 38 years of age, suffered a beating at the hands of 24-year-old prospect Yair Rodriguez in January, marking his fourth consecutive loss. He is now slated to face fellow veteran Dennis Siver on June 25th in Oklahoma City.
Many recognize Siver as a good matchup that could very well bring the Hawaii-born fighter back into the winning track. And if Penn still opts to continue fighting afterwards, former rival Matt Hughes offered him some friendly advice.
“I wish he would just find the right opponent, you know?” Hughes told Ariel Helwani during a recent episode of the MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “I’ve always told him, ‘hey B.J., you’re so good on the ground, find an older Brazilian that’s not going to have’ … typically Brazilians don’t have the best cardio, ‘find an old Brazilian that’s not going to be in the best shape, who’s going to want to be on the ground, and kind of get your hand in the air, go out that way.’”
“But B.J. is such a competitor that he wants to fight the best out there,” he continued. “That’s just the way he’s always been,” Hughes continued. “My hat goes off to him for being that way, but I wish he would just be kind of a little smarter about it and really really choose a right opponent.”
Siver does not exactly fit his definition, but even so, Hughes is satisfied enough with the upcoming matchup.
“B.J. is not quite as quick as he used to be with his hands. He used to counter so hard with that hook, and that hook just doesn’t seem to be there anymore. So I do like this matchup,” Hughes said. “It’s an older guy. It could be better but definitely could be a lot worse.”