When I posted my latest list of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in mixed martial arts on Monday, I noted that both B.J. Penn and Anderson Silva could stake a claim for the top spot with a spectacular finish on Saturday at UFC 112. In the UFC's latest video hyping Penn's fight with Frank Edgar, Penn explains that he believes finishing fights separates good fighters from great ones.
Reflecting on his most recent fight, a fifth-round TKO of Diego Sanchez, Penn said that after the fourth round he knew he had clinched a decision victory, but he wanted to go beyond just that.
"I knew I'd won all four rounds," Penn said. "I remember thinking, a good fighter would win all five rounds by decision. A great fighter would finish this guy right now."
With those comments, Penn may have been taking a little jab at his old rival Georges St. Pierre, who dominated Dan Hardy for five rounds at UFC 111 but was criticized in some quarters for failing to finish the fight. But whether he was referring to GSP or not, I like Penn's way of thinking: Great fighters finish fights, and finishing fights is what Penn has done to every lightweight opponent he's faced since he returned to the division in 2007.