MMA legend BJ Penn still holds aspirations of returning to the top of the mountain and becoming a champion again.
Penn was the first two-division champion in the UFC as well as one of the greatest fighters of all time, especially during his prime.
However, the Hawaiian hasn’t won a fight since 2010, losing his last six fights. He also has a draw since his last win, making it seven winless fights in a row — the longest streak in UFC history.
Penn now faces fellow veteran Clay Guida in a lightweight bout at UFC 237 this weekend. Another loss could further hamper his record which now stands at 16-13-2.
The 40-year-old, though, claims he stopped thinking about legacy and fights because he knows he can win a title again.
“I stopped thinking about legacy years ago,” Penn told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter at UFC 237 media day (via Fansided). “I fight because I know I will be back, I know I will be back onto the top again. I fight because of what I believe. I believe in myself, I believe in what I will do and that’s why I’m still here fighting today.
“Of course, I still love fighting and this and that but it’d be crazy for me to think, ‘Okay I’m gonna go get my ass kicked again.’ No, I believe in myself and we’re gonna go and get the belt back. Everybody out there, things might be hard; don’t stop, keep going.”
While it’s always nice to have belief, Penn needs to be realistic. Except for maybe his majority decision loss to Dennis Siver in 2017, he hasn’t looked competitive in any of his recent defeats.
Many have called for the UFC Hall of Famer to retire and another loss could convince him to finally do that. But then again, the previous six haven’t.