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.”