On Monday 16th January (3am UK time) Phoenix, Arizona welcomes Fight Night 103 and the fans welcome the return of the legend that is BJ Penn. It has been 925 days since Penn’s last fight and it is fair to say he is past his prime, yet his return still creates excitement amongst the MMA community. A fan favourite of the old guard is always expected to put on a show, but the UFC have handed him a showstopper himself in the form of Yair Rodriguez. A prodigy in his own right, the young Mexican has lit up the featherweight division with spectacular performances. The winner of the Ultimate Fighter: Latin America has mesmerised fans in the Octagon, looking as if he is playing a role in a Bruce Lee movie. As exciting as his striking displays are, he is no joke. He is unbeaten in the UFC and riding a seven-fight winning streak. This will be his biggest fight to date as Penn is expected to come back rejuvenated and prove to the fans he is still the same animal.
The co-main event features another veteran in Joe Lauzon and another prodigy in Marcin Held. The Pole will look to enforce his strong ground game in a real battle of pedigree vs experience. Lauzon has fought a staggering 22 UFC fights and will be undeterred by the skills possessed by Held as his grappling stats speak for themselves:
The next fight features two more veterans in the form of welterweights Court McGee and Ben Saunders, who cannot be considered title contenders but they do know how to put on a good fight. McGee has struggled to form a decent winning streak since winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2010 but will rely on his durability and toughness to outwork Saunders. With five wins in his last six UFC fights, Saunders will carry confidence wherever the fight goes especially if it goes to the ground.
The final fight of the main card features flyweights John Moraga and Sergio Pettis. This will be Pettis’ biggest test as he looks to prove his title credentials. The late step-in, Moraga is coming off two losses, however he has fought the best the flyweights the division has to offer including the champion, Demetrious Johnson. Pettis will be confident whether the fight stays on the feet or goes to the ground but pulling off a win will be his greatest accomplishment inside the Octagon.