Ryan Hall scored the biggest win of his mixed martial arts career on Saturday night as the descent of a legendary fighter added another sad chapter.
B.J. Penn, the UFC Hall of Famer and former lightweight and welterweight champion, found himself on the wrong end of a nasty heel hook during their FS1 prelim opener at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
The time of the finish in the UFC 232 lightweight bout was 2:32 of the opening round as Penn remained winless since 2010.
“Just to compete against BJ is a surreal experience, I’ve learned so much from him, he’s one of my heroes,” Hall said. “If I can accomplish 1/10th of what he’s accomplished, I’ll be grateful.”
Hall, whose impeccable jiu-jitsu credentials include a World Jiu Jitsu Championships gold medal, spent much of the fight off his back after slipping throwing a kick.
Not long after Hall was stood up, he administered the heel hook with cat-like quickness, shooting a single, transitioning, and making Penn tap in the blink of an eye.
Hall is now 7-1 on his MMA career, 3-0 in the UFC, after his fifth career finish.
“Ultimately no one is superman but he’s as dangerous as they come, anyone can get caught,” the humble Hall said.
The 40-year-old Penn dropped to 16-13-2. His last victory was over Matt Hughes in 2010. He’s 1-8-1 since, a stretch in which he’s competed in three weight classes and retired and returned twice.