This Saturday night “The Prodigy” BJ Penn, the most dominant lightweight fighter in UFC history, will defend his belt against Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez at the FedEx Forum in Memphis Tennessee.

December 11, 2009


Penn has won his last four consecutive fights at lightweight finishing Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk, Joe Stevenson and Jens Pulver. Based out of Hilo, Hawaii, Penn earned his name “The Prodigy” after he became the first American to win the black belt division of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Known for his dangerous submissions, Penn is just as dangerous on his feet carrying knockout power in both hands.

Sanchez, a veteran of the UFC, came onto the scene when he won the middleweight division on the premiere season of the UFC’s reality show, The Ultimate Fighter in 2005. Sanchez dropped to welterweight following the show and compiled a 7-2 record before dropping down to the lightweight division. Sanchez is 2-0 in the division coming off of wins over division stalwarts Joe “Daddy” Stevenson and Clay “The Carpenter” Guida.

Also on the card, Kenny “KenFlo” Florian takes on Clay Guida in a fight with contender ramifications in the lightweight division. Welterweight Jon Fitch takes on upstart Mike Pierce and French kickboxer Cheick Kongo takes on Frank Mir who returns to the cage for the first time since his brutal loss to heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 100 this summer.

Lesnar was slated to defend his title against Shane Carwin in November was forced to withdraw from the fight when he was stricken with the intestinal disorder diverticulitis. The diagnosis raised doubts on whether Lesnar would ever compete again. But his camp has reported that, following surgery, Lesnar is healing. While it is not known if Lesnar will step into the Octagon again, rumors have surfaced of a possible July 2010 return. UFC Magazine has the last interview conducted with Lesnar prior to news of his illness broke. Read what the champion had to say about his slated opponent, Shane Carwin, the crop of heavyweights from season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter and more.