BJ Penn Admits He’s Lost Fire To Compete


Since making his return to the UFC this past January, BJ Penn has suffered back-to-back losses inside the Octagon to the likes of Yair Rodriguez and Dennis Siver.

The two losses marked five-straight defeats for the Hawaiian in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. In his most recent outing Penn suffered a Majority Decision loss to Dennis Siver this past June. Fast-forward five months later and Penn’s recent comments yesterday (Tues. November 22, 2017) on BJ Penn Radio indicate that he doesn’t ‘feel the fire to compete’ anymore (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“I’m just hanging out. I’m just relaxing. I haven’t really been training or anything,” Penn explained.

“I don’t know, I don’t feel the fire to compete right now. I’m just kinda hanging out and, I don’t know, I don’t want to scare anybody and say, ‘Yeah I’m fighting again,’ or anything. I mean, if I was knocking out guys in the gym all of the time, then maybe I’d be thinking about it. But I’m gonna go back and start training for fun and, I don’t know, just enjoy myself. Just take it easy and enjoy myself. I do see, though, that there’s awesome people — I don’t know if they just took better care of their bodies or whatever, but you see them, there’s people in their forties, one or two years older than me, or even way older than me (who still compete).

“But it is, it’s about fire,” Penn continued. “It’s about that burning drive and that burning desire on the inside to want to be someone, want to be something, make a name for yourself, gain some respect, make a life for yourself. That is a big part of the whole thing. So, when you do reach all of your dreams that you ever wanted to reach, I guess that’s when the fight begins.”

Penn claims that at the moment he’s only training for fun, but isn’t ruling out anything in regards to his fighting future just yet:

“We’ll see,” Penn said. “You never know, but I haven’t been grappling much in the past many years, I guess. I’ve been doing more stand-up fighting and trying to take someone to the ground, but I haven’t been grappling as much as I used to. But if I go and I just train for fun right now, we’ll see; maybe train for four or five months and see how I feel, then just take it from there. See how I feel next year, and you never know, maybe I’ll do some grappling. We’ll see. Never say never about anything.”

At this point in his life Penn is focused on raising his children and will train sporadically as he journeys onwards. While still not making any official decision at the moment, he still left the door open for a possible return to action:

“I’m going to be taking it a day at a time and just raising the kids,” Penn said. “We’ll see. I’ll be training, but we’ll see. You never know what happens next year. Not saying I’m going to fight or anything, but who knows what’s going to happen.”

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Shock Wave

    Raise those kids.
    Nuff said.

  • Peter Dinklage

    Or maybe you just werent that good. You had a good run fought some okay names, but never evolved. Product off over hyping. Hughes is about the biggest name hes beaten, a out the door hughes at that. Sorry people, yall can call legend but he lacked consistency and lost when he needed to win. Hang em up.

    • JamesC

      Definitely NOT overhyping. He fought up a weight class. He had no business taking on GSP, Hughes Rory or Diaz. He beat the elite contemporaies of his time. His time just has passed. I would have loved to have seen him vs Gomi in their primes though.

  • JamesC

    BJ was ahead of the curve in his prime. The problem is that people watched guys like BJ and helped them grow. Its sort of like Dr. J in basketball. If you see Dr. J well half the guys in the current NBA are doing what he did. But they wouldn’t be doing that stuff if he didn’t start it.

    In BJ case this is combined with him not evolving, getting older and losing that fire.

    BJ is a legend for good reason. But all good things come to an end. I hope he doesn’t comeback because I want to remember the BJ that beat Sherk, Hughes, Florian and Diego Sanchez and competed admirably against a young Frankie Edgar. I don’t want to think of the guy who fought Yair, Siver and got school by Frankie.