Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight oldsters BJ Penn and Dennis Siver threw down last night (June 25, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 112 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Penn was in an absolute must-win situation. Having not won a fight since 2010 — despite trying in three separate divisions — Penn simply had to win in order to continue receiving fights. On the bright side, this was his first bout against a member of his own generation in some time.
In fairness, Siver’s situation wasn’t much better. He had lost a couple tough fights in a row previously, and then injuries kept him away from the cage for bout two years. Like his opponent, Siver had to win in order to stick around.
Siver opened up with a lot of lateral movement, looking to attack with his front kicks and clubbing hooks. Meanwhile, Penn fought from his old boxing stance, looking to walk Siver down with long jabs.
Penn landed more than he had in any previous fight, but Siver was still the more active man. At one point in the round, Siver also landed a check hook and combination that stunned Penn a bit, putting him on the defensive more. Penn found some success — particularly with his jab — but Siver’s kicks and movements confounded him for much of the round.
It was a strong start for the German.
It quickly became apparent that Sizer was in his comfort zone. Penn looked good when he was able to get into range and throw punches, but most of the bout took place from Siver’s distance. At that range, Siver moved well, countered reaching punches, and landed repeated kicks to the legs and body.
Penn finally found real success beginning at the halfway point in which he landed a slick combination and followed up with some stiff jabs. Siver was momentarily stunned but went back to work, only for Penn to drop him with a clean uppercut. Penn chased the finish, but Siver held tight and recovered well, surviving until the end of the round.
It all came down to the third round.
The excitement near the end of the second took its toll on Penn, who was breathing heavily to start the third and abandoning his boxing stance to plod around. Siver looked reasonably fresh, walking Penn down with jabs and lead leg kicks.
After a couple minutes of absorbing shots, Penn’s leg fell apart. Siver had been landing hard inside and outside low kicks throughout the fight, and all the impact seemed to hit Penn at once. Suddenly, he could barely defend himself, stumbling around the cage while Siver walked him down. Siver did great work on the offensive, continuing to chop the leg while mixing in kicks to the head.
He brutalized the former Lightweight champion.
It wasn’t a perfect performance, but that can hardly be expected after two years of ring rust. With that in mind, Siver’s success in this bout was especially impressive, as he survived a knockdown to return and dominate.
Siver clearly took a look at the anti-BJ Penn playbook. Lots of kicks are a standard party of his game plan, but Siver did well to add more lateral movement to his attack. That forced Penn to turn and follow him, which helped Siver land the low kicks that eventually won him the fight.
It’s clear from this fight that Siver should probably not fight any top fighters in the future; he’s a bit too slow for that. However, there are plenty of fights available for him in the middle of the division against prospects or fellow veterans.
As for Penn, this was undoubtedly the best he has looked in years, but that’s a really, really low bar. His boxing and dipping jab were reasonably on point, which is nice to see. Unfortunately, a lack of adaptability — something unchanged in the last seven years — as well as a lack of volume ultimately led to Penn’s demise.
He simply couldn’t keep up, and the damage built up.
At this point, there’s really no one else for Penn to fight. Just about every young prospect will be too fast and powerful for him — Penn’s iron chin is no more — and most veterans are at least as dangerous as Siver. Another retirement is likely his best bet, unless of course Penn wants to leap around weight classes in Bellator.
Last night, Dennis Siver battered BJ Penn en route to a majority decision win. Where do both men go from here?
For complete UFC Fight Night 112 “Chiesa vs. Lee” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
Source:: mma mania