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Former UFC Lightweight Champion and UFC Welterweight Champion B.J. "The Prodigy" Penn is known for his willingness to fight anyone regardless of weight class, even as high as heavyweight when he competed against Lyoto Machida in 2005.
Penn was the first non-Brazilian winner of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in the black-belt category. While most people need a decade or more to become a black belt, Penn had, with only three years of training, not only received a black belt but defeated people who had been training their entire lives, on his way to winning the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
He is only the second fighter in UFC history to win titles in two different weight classes, with the first being UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. He is currently ranked as the number two welterweight fighter in the world by Fight Magazine and the number eight welterweight fighter by MMAWeekly.
Nicknamed "The Prodigy" for his astonishingly natural talent, Penn holds victories over former UFC champions Jens Pulver, Matt Serra, Sean Sherk and Matt Hughes, as well as former PRIDE champion Takanori Gomi. His record also includes notable wins over Caol Uno, Renzo Gracie, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez.
Penn is the co-author of Mixed Martial Arts: The Book of Knowledge, an instructional book on mixed martial arts fighting, and his autobiography Why I Fight: The Belt is Just an Accessory debuted at #22 on the New York Times bestseller list.
His championships and awards include UFC Lightweight Championship, UFC Welterweight Championship, Submission of the Night (twice), Knockout of the Night, Most successful Lightweight title defenses (three), Most Lightweight wins in UFC history (10) and Sherdog's 2008 Beatdown of the Year.