His TKO victory against
Apparently, it wasn't enough to be the Ultimate Fighting Championship's lightweight-title holder.
It's the B.J. Penn we've come to know -- one whose cardio has improved, but ambition (which borders on self-destructive at times) hasn't changed a bit.
Don't get me wrong, I can understand why Penn wants a rematch with St. Pierre. Having gassed out in their first fight, Penn obviously still has a bad taste in his mouth and is out to prove that those days of unfulfilled potential are behind him.
But this isn't the way to do it. While G.S.P-Penn II would be a blockbuster fight by every standard that matters, it isn't necessary and it certainly isn't smart. Not yet, anyway.
While Penn is the current lightweight champ, he's only had to defend his title once. And while St. Pierre has won the welterweight belt twice, he has yet to defend it. Call me crazy, but shouldn't they focus on keeping the titles they've won? Shouldn't the goal be to first establish dominance in their respective weight classes and then look for some kind of champion-versus-champion superfight?
It's not as if Penn is going to suffer from a dearth of credible challengers in the lightweight division, which is among the most talent-rich weight classes in the sport. The winner of the impending
But Penn probably isn't thinking about any of those. His mind on his legacy, on carving his name into MMA lore as the pound-for-pound best, Penn is somehow convinced that a victory's worth appreciates with each pound he gives up to his opponents.
Sure, weight changes are part of a grand tradition in combat sports.
After Penn's win on Saturday, UFC President
While his enigmatic persona has served as one of his greatest appeals, Penn's confounding, though also admirable, drive has become a mark of futility. If he manages to pull off a St. Pierre defeat, we'll all regard his untamed ambition with awe and reverence. But if he falters to the welterweight champ, Penn will simply look like a man reaching beyond his limits.