BJ Penn, The Prodigy in Manila

Jeff almost choked out by BJ Penn

The Prodigy blocks a kick from childhood friend and sparring partner Fermin Villalon from Team Penn

BJ grapples with his brother JD

Elvin Manuel, 30 of Muntinlupa Alabang was the recipient of BJ's shirt off his back during the product toss

Tem Penn: Jeff, JD, Casey, and Fermin

RVCA advocate, "The Prodigy" BJ Penn delighted thousands of MMA fans yesterday at Mall of Asia during an open sparring exhibition. 

The 2X UFC Champion and one of the UFC's finest athletes paid gratitude to the thousands in attendance with an awesome display in the ring and an equally more impressive "meet and greet" with the fans. BJ gave endearing words, stating that "It won't be long until there's a Filipino World Champion in the UFC" -making reference to the competitive spirit of the Filipino and the already domineering presence showcased by the legacies of Manny Pacquiao for the sport of boxing.

BJ Closed the exhibition by acknowledging the fans, "I wanna thank the fans for coming out and for the support and for loving the sport."

Special thanks to Studio 23, Balls Network, Mall of Asia and UFC Magazine.  The event would not have been possible without the dedication of the sponsors and the enthusiasm of the fans.

All Images shot with Pentax K5 ©2011 Mark Dimalanta