BJ Penn Manila Visit

Penn meeting his adoring Filipino fans in SM MOA

As early as 3PM MMA fans had already swarmed the venue (SM Mall of Asia) cable channel Balls and ABS CBN arranged last Wednesday. The atmosphere was thick with anticipation. Everyone eagerly awaited the arrival of BJ Penn. Arguably one of the greatest MMA fighter of all time.

The last time I was in MOA was three years ago. I was then actively competing in grappling competitions. MOA has become the venue of choice for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and grappling challenges for some time now. Having been a practitioner of the discipline before has made me appreciate fighters like Penn who employs a lot of Jiu Jitsu techniques in his arsenal. BJ is the best BJJ fighter in MMA (the other guy in my opinion is Shinya Aoki)… and I’m not going to miss the chance to see the Prodigy in the flesh (I already missed Georges St. Pierre’s public workout this year).

Addressing the crowd after a very cool MMA demo slash workout.

Bidding the fans goodbye. On his right is PJ Penn, left is Jeff (forgot his last name) who use to drop by our classes before. He's a cool purple belt instructor.

Aside from being a champ in two different UFC divisions, BJ made history as the first non Brazilian to ever win a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world championship.  This is the reason why he’s so admired by BJJ practictioners. He’s looked upon as someone that took BJJ to a whole different level.

BJ Penn lost his last fight in UFC 137 and has retired since. He’s now touring the world to promote MMA.

Unlike Ronnie Nathanielsz and some of our Kababayan who are making the case for Marquez’ winning over Pacquiao, BJ still sees the Filipino fighter winning because the “challenger didn’t brought the fight” to Manny. “It was close” according to the Prodigy but he’s not jumping on the bandwagon of those who calls the fight a robbery (if you want to see a robbery in boxing watch Roy Jones Jr’s Olympic gold medal match in Korea!). Being a fighter himself he knows the ups and downs and off nights on the ring. He also said that there’s no need for a “4th Marquez fight” because Pacquiao has already beaten him. And I agree.

Speaking of Manny, he made some interesting comments about Nathanielsz’s calling him “not Filipino”. Well, Ronnie is a Filipino whether we like it or not. I feel that Manny should have never made those comments. But what catches my ire with Ronnie is his “Manny lost to Marquez” talk. He reminds me of that Hermie Rivera who belittled a young Pacquiao before he fought Marco Antonio Barrera. He predicted that Pacquiao will lose badly because the Mexican is the better fighter. Of course, he was wrong (Ed Picson started calling him Hermie “Barrera” since) and so is Ronnie. Manny won the fourth fight and yes, it was close but what I like about that fight was he gave it all under what ever circumstances he was in at that time. He prevailed under the slimmest of margins.

Some people are just Pacquiao hating. Lets support our kababayan – he’s done a lot for the nation.

Pacquiao will beat Mayweather – after that, I hope he hangs up his gloves.

Damn it, why am I writing about these here.

Must get back to traveling and my studies.


3 responses to “BJ Penn Manila Visit

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