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BJJGround Forum >> Just how good was BJ Penn at BJJ?


1/31/13 10:58 AM
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Tilla
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I know that he was the first non-Brazilian to win the Mundials, and that he earned his BB within 3 years, but how good was he?

What are his best wins?
Who would you have liked to see him face in that era?
Could he have done more as a competitor to cement his legacy?
How would that BJ fare in today's BJJ landscape?
1/31/13 11:08 AM
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MurdochIRL
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He was part of Ralph's team which was home to the Camarillo's, Kurt, Cameron Earle and more. It was one of tr best American teams at they time. Then he joined Nova Unaio in there prime. They had some of the best guys in the world. Listen to our openmatradio.com interview with BJ. It is almost entirely about jiu jitsu. Phone Post
1/31/13 11:08 AM
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vegard
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My professor trained with BJ when he was a blue or purple belt at NU. He said he was ridiculously good and gave everyone hell. His guard was very hard to pass and he had insane flexibility. He said he would play guard on his side, with his right hand holding his right ankle and his left leg behind his head, using no hands, of course. if you tried to grab the right leg, spider guard. if you tried to grab the left leg, triangle.

It's not surprising he did so well at the mundials because he had probably the best training partners in the world at that time for his size.

Marcelo Pereira -- world champ
Shaolin -- world champ
Robson -- world champ
Leo Santos -- cbjjo world champ

1/31/13 1:21 PM
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shortyjj
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He has world class Jiu-jitsu. This is no exaggeration.

He's not just a "really tough guy, super technical" ala the typical UG language. Although the game has changed *some* since he won Mundials at black belt, few would argue that BJ couldn't hang with the world's best.
1/31/13 2:34 PM
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ogjune
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He's the first person I heard of having an impassable guard. I think he would've had multiple titles had he continued his BJJ career. Losing a very close, controversial match against Terrere at Brown speaks volumes of his skill. I think he would medal at the Worlds if he competed now.
1/31/13 7:37 PM
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shark tank
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i would love to see him retire from fighting and do some super fights or maybe a few submission only events. would he be qualified to do a "legends" match? He's only 34.
1/31/13 7:52 PM
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checkuroil
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Is there a mundial winning bb who is not excellent Phone Post
1/31/13 8:08 PM
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GIBB0
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shark tank - i would love to see him retire from fighting and do some super fights or maybe a few submission only events. would he be qualified to do a "legends" match? He's only 34.
It would be epic if he competed at the next Metamoris event against someone decent. Kron maybe, I don't know. Phone Post
1/31/13 9:55 PM
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gusto
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the best american ever and it is not close
1/31/13 10:03 PM
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Losmeister
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He didnt just win the Mundials, he didnt have a point scored against him. If he's only 34, there's plenty of time to get back into the competitive BJJ scene, but I dont see the reason to. There's very little money in it compared to MMA, and he's on the island, so travel would make it an issue too.
2/1/13 5:25 AM
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JSho
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The only thing to quibble is that royler wasn't there that year, that would have been epic. Phone Post
2/1/13 6:53 AM
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MurdochIRL
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In our OpenMatRadio interview BJ did promise that he'd do the mundials again someday. Phone Post
2/1/13 7:09 AM
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LCSULLA
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MurdochIRL -  In our OpenMatRadio interview BJ did promise that he'd do the mundials again someday. Phone Post

I would love to see that, but I dont think that going to happen.
2/1/13 1:25 PM
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marcovia
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no one scored a point on him in the blackbelt division at the mundial a week after he received his blackbelt. He was amazing in bjj. He can for sure come back, he isnt that old. Id love to see him back and compete against him :-)
2/1/13 1:43 PM
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RPBJJ
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BJ is a sport BJJ comp would be awesome!
2/1/13 1:47 PM
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biggator
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eddys comp or metamoris cmon bj get in there
2/1/13 3:01 PM
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SlapUsilly
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Young, hungry BJ Penn was a monster. Elite level withing 4 years and proving it by winning the BJJ mundials, IN BRAZIL within a week of his black belt and demolishing everyone he fought against during his early UFC run.

Lazy, complacent BJ Penn is a shadow of his former self.
2/1/13 3:38 PM
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JSho
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LCSULLA -
MurdochIRL -  In our OpenMatRadio interview BJ did promise that he'd do the mundials again someday. Phone Post

I would love to see that, but I dont think that going to happen.
Would be cool to see him do masters at the Pans or masters/seniors Phone Post
2/3/13 3:13 AM
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Eazy08
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Losmeister - He didnt just win the Mundials, he didnt have a point scored against him. If he's only 34, there's plenty of time to get back into the competitive BJJ scene, but I dont see the reason to. There's very little money in it compared to MMA, and he's on the island, so travel would make it an issue too.

bj was rich before he started fighting so I doubt money and travel would be an issue
2/3/13 5:39 AM
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MurdochIRL
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LCSULLA -
MurdochIRL -  In our OpenMatRadio interview BJ did promise that he'd do the mundials again someday. Phone Post

I would love to see that, but I dont think that going to happen.
Who knows. I think he'll get bored after he retires from MMA. I'd love to see him go after the mundials or ADCC. For him to do it for the love would make him dangerous for sure. People don't always know that he flies the Mendes Bros, Joel Tudor and other high level sport grapplers in all the time. If he was passionate and trained for it, why wouldn't he have a good chance at it? Phone Post
2/3/13 10:38 AM
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JZilla
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Talent isn't anywhere near enough at the top level
he won the mundials training like a pro at NU when he was young and bjj was his whole life
Now I get the impression BJ loves bjj but loves family time, the beach and eating pizza much more Phone Post
2/3/13 3:07 PM
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MurdochIRL
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JZilla - Talent isn't anywhere near enough at the top level
he won the mundials training like a pro at NU when he was young and bjj was his whole life
Now I get the impression BJ loves bjj but loves family time, the beach and eating pizza much more Phone Post
Well it's the myth of a motivated BJ Penn. when he is firing on all cylinders he can do amazing things. When he came in for classes and some semiprivate a with my coach it was amazing how fast he learned. Sergio would teach him something and I swear BJ knew it within a few hours. He'd return the next day and show it like he'd done it for years. His learning rate is astounding. Phone Post
2/3/13 3:32 PM
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MickColins
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Bj at Bjj? So so.

Jk he good. Phone Post

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