This Week’s MMA Birthdays: B.J. Penn Turns 35

Dec 7, 2013
B.J. Penn turns 35 this week. | Photo: Dave Mandel/

One of two men to ever capture Ultimate Fighting Championship gold in two weight classes, B.J. Penn will celebrate his 35th birthday on Dec. 13.

Penn -- who will return to the cage in 2014 as a featherweight after coaching opposite Frankie Edgar on Season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter -- last fought at UFC on Fox 5 in December 2012, losing a unanimous decision to Tristar Gym’s Rory MacDonald at Key Arena in Seattle. The popular Hawaiian has not won a fight since he chopped up Matt Hughes at UFC 123 more than three years ago.

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Penn arrived in the UFC in May 2001 and set the MMA world ablaze. He has since appeared 22 times in the Octagon, compiling a 12-8-2 record. Those 22 appearances rank seventh on the all-time list behind only Tito Ortiz, Hughes, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Josh Koscheck and Frank Mir. “The Prodigy” won the welterweight championship when he submitted Hughes with a rear-naked choke at UFC 46 and captured the lightweight title when he used the same maneuver to finish a bloodied Joe Stevenson at UFC 80.

Those in MMA celebrating a birthday the week covering Dec. 8-Dec. 14:

DEC. 8

Lucio Linhares (40)
Clay Guida (32)
Luiz Andrade I (28)

DEC. 9

Chris Guillen (41)
Aaron Riley (33)
Joey Beltran (32)
Rani Yahya (29)
Terrell Hobbs (28)

DEC. 10

John Olav Einemo (38)
Andreas Kraniotakes (32)
Zoila Frausto Gurgel (30)
Jamie Varner (29)
Soo Chul Kim (22)

DEC. 11

Kendall Grove (31)

DEC. 12

Royce Gracie (47)
Evangelista Santos (36)
Yuki Shojo (33)
Court McGee (29)

DEC. 13

B.J. Penn (35)

DEC. 14

Valdir Araujo (29)
Caio Magalhaes (26)

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