The Complete Guide to UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn
Feed Source: Bleacher Report MMA
UFC Hall of Fame inductee BJ Penn makes his return to the Octagon Sunday 30 months after his disastrous last outing against dangerous up-and-comer Yair Rodriguez on Fox Sports 1. Does Penn have anything left in the tank, one last trick to overcome a rising star? That's the central question of this event and the biggest reason to tune in for a card that doesn't have much else going for it.
Name value is sorely lacking. Penn is a legend and Rodriguez is one of the most talented young fighters in the UFC, a potential cornerstone of the future in whom the UFC has invested a great deal of time and energy, but they're essentially it.
A bantamweight co-main event between Jimmie Rivera and Bryan Caraway was supposed to induce the hardcore fans to tune in, but Caraway pulled out with an injury, and Rivera, who's no more than a win or two away from a title shot, refused to fight Marlon Vera as a replacement.
What we're left with is some potential for action. Joe Lauzon and Marcin Held are now the co-main, and that's a potentially entertaining bout. The opening fight of the main card between Sergio Pettis and John Moraga is likewise a barnburner waiting to happen, and the preliminary-card headliner featuring Frankie Saenz and Augusto Mendes has some promise.
Otherwise, the card consists mostly of loser-leaves-town matchups between low-level fighters. These are well-matched bouts, and many will be fun, but it's hardly a can't-miss event.
Let's take a look at each individual matchup.