BJ Penn is UFC lightweight GOAT, not Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor, says 16-year UFC veteran Joe Lauzon


Joe Lauzon has been in the UFC for 16 years and he’s seen the best the sport has to offer.

On Saturday night at UFC 274, the 37-year-old takes on the legendary Donald Cerrone, a man who holds several all-time UFC records, including for wins inside the octagon.

Lauzon has been in the UFC for 16 years now
GETTY

Still, Cerrone isn’t the best of the lot, not according to Lauzon.

When talkSPORT asked who they think was the greatest UFC lightweight of all time, even the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn’t their first choice.

“BJ Penn. Always, always, always. I think BJ is the best. I understand Khabib did well and was undefeated, but to me, it’s just BJ,” Lauzon explained.

“He was the first guy with amazing ju-jitsu, good offensive and defensive wrestling, great striking – he could crack with both hands – and he’s currently running for governor, which is pretty cool. [laughs]. It may sound crazy, but I think he also has a chance to win.

“BJ was my coach on The Ultimate Fighter. I went down and trained with him for six months on and off in 2007. We were running around with Penn for governor shirts and I thought it was a big joke Now it’s 2022 and he’s really doing it – bananas.

BJ Penn is UFC lightweight GOAT, not Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor, says 16-year UFC veteran Joe Lauzon
Lauzon says BJ Penn has the honors to be considered the lightweight GOAT
GETTY

Khabib retired 29-0 and beat names like Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje as champion.

However, The Eagle has pulled out of some fights over the years and that’s one of the reasons Lauzon thinks Penn deserves the accolade.

“I think BJ is the GOAT. Khabib was a huge lightweight. He cut and he pulled out of a lot of fights because he couldn’t gain weight and things like that.

“So I understand that’s a perfect record, but there are also things where he didn’t show up when he was scheduled to show up.

BJ Penn is UFC lightweight GOAT, not Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor, says 16-year UFC veteran Joe Lauzon
Khabib retired in 2020

“BJ, on the other hand, he fought Lyoto Machida at heavyweight. How crazy is that? He beat Matt Hughes and won the welterweight title. He fought GSP a few times.

“He certainly had his fair share of bad things that happened after the fact, but as far as we’re talking lightweight GOATS, I think it’s BJ Penn and no one else,” he concluded.

Lauzon’s opponent, Cerrone, has been in the UFC for 11 years himself, but the two have never crossed paths until now.

The UFC attempted to make this fight earlier this year and once it all lined up, Lauzon was all in.

BJ Penn is UFC lightweight GOAT, not Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor, says 16-year UFC veteran Joe Lauzon
Lauzon is 28-15 in his MMA career
GETTY

“It’s kind of weird that we’ve never crossed paths, but the timing is so different,” Lauzon said. “I think he generally wanted quick turnovers and quick fights and I always want to have a little more time for fights. It’s just that sometimes you don’t run into someone. But, here we are, I think it’s going to be a great fight. Long overdue, that’s for sure.

“I said I had to like the date, the name and the place. I need to love all three. If I didn’t like all three, I wouldn’t.

“Then the first week of February they asked me to fight on March 8. I was like, ‘Look, I like the opponent. I like that it’s somewhere in the United States, but it’s is too short. I’m not going to do it on March 8th.

BJ Penn is UFC lightweight GOAT, not Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor, says 16-year UFC veteran Joe Lauzon
Cerrone shares record for most wins in UFC history at 23
Getty

“They’re like ‘Donald really wants to fight that day.’ It’s fine, I’m not your man if that’s the case. I’m not going to put pressure on myself, it has to make sense to me.

“Then they came back a few days later like, ‘Okay, we’ll do it a few dates later.

“April 30 was the first but it was going to be at APEX and we weren’t happy about it. So it’s been pushed back to May 7 in Phoenix, which is going to be awesome. In front of a live crowd; much, much better.


Sports

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button