Fight Night 112 Preview: Last Chance to See B.J. Penn?

BJ Penn

Jason Lake

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 6:48 PM GMT

There are some familiar names on this Sunday’s Fight Night card in Oklahoma City, but the most famous of them all is a significant underdog on the UFC odds board.

There was a time when nobody in his right mind wanted to fight B.J. Penn. He kicked ass in K-1. He won both the Welterweight and the Lightweight titles in the UFC. Penn was a machine. Then the machine ran out of gas: Penn dropped the Lightweight strap to Frankie Edgar in 2010, and he’s 1-5-1 ever since. Dana White even publicly said he’d like to see Penn retire from mixed martial arts. That was back in 2012.

Five years later, the UFC lands in Oklahoma City this Sunday for Fight Night 112. Penn is not in the main event; Michael Chiesa will be taking on Kevin Lee in the Lightweight division. Instead, Penn will open the main card against Dennis Siver, in a fight that was supposed to happen back at UFC 199. And Penn is the +175 underdog on the UFC odds board as we go to press.
 

Penn State

Even worse for our hero, the early action for this bout has been on Siver (22-11, 1 NC lifetime; 11-7, 1 NC in the UFC), who opened at –180 before steaming to –245 in short order. But maybe this isn’t such a bad situation for Penn (16-11-2 lifetime, 12-10-2 UFC). Both fighters are 38 years old, and Penn will be making just his third appearance in the Featherweight division, in just his third fight in the five years since White recommended he hang up the gloves.

Unfortunately, Penn’s first two Featherweight fights were both losses. He fell to 0-3 lifetime versus Edgar (–500) in his 2014 debut, went on hiatus, then got creamed by Yair Rodriguez (–500) this past January. Both defeats were by TKO. Penn didn’t have much of a prayer in either matchup.

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5dimes sportbook opened Dennis Siver -180 vs BJ Penn +140, this will not last. Siver -245 by fight time I would estimate. #UFCFightnight112

— SaltyCornerMma (@SaltyCornerMma) June 20, 2017
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Siver is a step or two below Edgar and Rodriguez on the Featherweight ladder, and he’s coming off back-to-back losses to Conor McGregor (–1415) and Tatsuya Kawajiri (+120) in 2015. But at least Siver was competitive in that latter fight, winning the first round before dropping the next two and losing by unanimous decision. We have to recommend Siver for your UFC picks in this situation. It’s not a lead-pipe cinch, but what does Penn have to offer at this point beyond name recognition? We’ll find out this Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.

Free UFC Pick: Siver –245
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes