BJ Penn: Torn On Retirement, But Sold On 155

BJ Penn: Torn On Retirement, But Sold On 155


This week, Ariel Helwani caught up with BJ Penn and asked the fighter the million dollar question:

“Are you going to come back or are you done with MMA”

“The Prodigy” replied:

“I’m still just hanging out. Honestly, at this moment, my guess is probably a little better than yours, but I don’t know, I’m just, I’m enjoying what I’m doing. I like what I’m doing.”

On the question of “itch”, Penn scratches his head about Anderson Silva and ponders the question that “Anderson is 39 and he’s in there fighting and I’m like 34, why can’t I fight again; you know? Those thoughts are always going to be there and I think it’s something that’s got to be right though, it’s got to be right for me, there’s no sense in me going into the Octagon and getting beat-up in front of everybody that just doesn’t make any sense.”

If he were to come back, BJ says that everyone has (pretty much) talked him into doing so at 155 and that a big motivation for coming back would be to “win one” for his children and having “them to be able to see it, that would be awesome.”

In listening to his words and more importantly the manner of their deliver, it’s difficult to really fathom that we will ever see Penn back in the Octagon. BJ seems to be very indecisive and only leaving the door open, because he’s hesitant of closing it permanently on this aspect of his life.

Yet, even at 155 and even if he’s motivated to do it for his children, what would the point be?

First, he wants to garner a win so his children can see it, however, there is no guarantee that he could or would cull a victory and the lightweight division is no Sunday afternoon trip to the park. It’s a beast of a division. Sadly, BJ may no longer be capable of being a beast in that division.

Second, if Penn were to only come back for one fight and not a title run, again, what would the point be? To me, it would make no sense and would be a fight of pure titillation and not one of real interest, merit or impact, to the division.

Third, if his motivation is such that he’s barely training (which is the case) how could he be competitive and if not in competitive shape, is there any interest in seeing BJ Penn take another beating? For me, there isn’t.

My view of BJ is this, I love the guy. If you’re a fan, you know why you’re a fan. If you hate him, then the reason you hated him was because he was an awesome fighter and a great nemesis. Under either scenario, he was a joy to watch.

However, his time is done and more so by his own mind than age or anything else. I think BJ has taken 1 too many beatings and defeats and the fight has been literally beaten out of him. He’s done and I think it’s obvious. I do not want him to come back and take another beating. His legacy is what it is, now and it cannot be changed. I hear no talk of title shots, title runs or calling any fighters out. Simply put, I believe he’s packed it in, but hasn’t completely accepted that fact in his head and in his heart.

So, tell us what you think. Would you like to see BJ come back for 1 more fight or would you rather see the Prodigy ride off into the Hawaiian sunset and be remembered for the incredible fighter that he was?

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  • Bruce Lee

    Indeed. What would the point me. If driven to compete – fine, return for the love of the game. Otherwise hang it up BJ.

    • Entity

      Totally agree Michael….by the way, good to see you man.

  • akieyugames

    Just like what Griffin said about retiring, "the desire to fight is still there, but the tools aren't". If he still got it, then why not, but it would be hard to watch a one sided beatdown on any fighter who's heart and desire on fighting isn't there.

  • IChokePeople

    Firstly, why is it pointless for BJ to fight if it doesn't have title implications? Why can't he fight again for the love of competition, to prove a point to himself or for some other reason? Fighting is a personal, individual sport and it is for no one other than the fighter to decide what the reason for it is.
    Secondly, Mark Hunt. If he can have the record he had and turn it around the way he did how the **** can anyone claim that BJ is incapable of competing at a high level? The tools ARE still there. If BJ were to train he can beat anyone. He can beat Bendo. Will he? Maybe, maybe not but he can. Either way, there is no one at 155 that BJ can't hang with.

    • trickthaddy

      well said

    • Brian Cox

      ICP…I'd agree with all of that in spades.

      However, the operative sentiment in your post is one of passion, heart, drive, love…all of the intangibles, that cannot be quantified, but only demonstrated.

      ICP, if I thought BJ wanted to come back with joy in his heart and looking to prove a point, I'd write columns about it all day long, but I don't see it. He's obviating. He's being capricious and unsettled in his words and more so in his actions; he's not training.."more so for my (his) health", as he put it. That won't fly in this sport and at this level and we both know that…if it's over, then it's over…I respect him and love him for the amazing fight he was in; win or lose.

      I want the best for the man and his family and I don't want him to come back to an unforgiving sport, that cares not and to do so, with a lackadaisical heart. I am not interested in seeing another Peen beating – taken. If he can hand one out, great.

      Either way, I agree with all of your sentiments, but only if he "really" and with a full heart, wants to come back. If so…then outstanding. If not…then let us leave it as it is and remember him as he was.

  • Entity

    Someone got all pizzy and rolled down the isle weaking everyone……But I fixed that Sh** quick, and went clickity click on that Sh** bwaaaaaaa ugh

    • Entity

      dayum, no more beer for meeeee.

  • thexperience1

    It's funny how people count BJ out… if he makes a comeback at 155 he could still be a top contender and he's still YOUNG!! He has plenty of time….

    • Brian Cox

      True, 'dat.