B.J. Penn Contemplates Retirement
By Ross Markey
It seems as if former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion, B.J. ‘The Prodigy’ Penn may have finally accepted the fact that it may be time for him to hang up his gloves, permanently. The premier two-weight world champion in the promotion’s history has set a record taking seven-fight losing side in the UFC since 2011, establishing a professional record of 16-14 overall.
Over the course of the last eighteen months, is where the worry about the health of Penn starts to rear it’s head. The Hawaii native has been stopped by strikes twice in that period, to both Frankie Edgar and Yair Rodríguez, but the 41-year-old has been involved in numerous altercations over the course of last year. In August footage emerged of Penn involved in a street fight, where he was worryingly knocked unconscious.
UFC president Dana White, reiterated his intention to stop offering Penn bouts, with his matchup against Nik Lentz scrapped after footage of the street fight was released. The promotion eventually handed Penn his release in September of last year.
The 5th. Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is also under investigation for DUI (driving under the influence) in his native Hawaii after he was alleged to have flipped his car outside a shopping mall in Hilo, in a single-car incident. As of writing, no charges have been filed.
Speaking with longtime head coach, Jason Parillo on an Instagram live session, Penn explained how he enjoys the process of fighting and training, but how it’s simply too much work for him at 41 years of age.
“It takes a lot of work,” Penn explained. “It takes too much. Too much f**king work. At this age, it just takes too much f**king work. You never know what’s going to happen, but it takes so much work. There’s so much people telling me to fight again. Other people telling me don’t fight again. It’s a lot to take in.”
Penn, who’s devoted his life to professional mixed-martial-arts since 2001, must now transition back into society, and a normal day-to-day life – something he’s struggling with at this moment in time.
“If I can get anything else going it would be nice,” Penn told. “If I could get anything else going in life than just a fistfight, it would be nice. But it’s so fun and I love the process and all those things about it. Then you get in the gym and start doing good with active fighters and next thing you know you’re trying to fight and biting off more than you can chew. You might be, you might not be. But, the process itself it’s a lot to just do a camp or whatever.”
Penn, who as mentioned earlier, has dropped his last seven outings to Clay Guida, Ryan Hall, Dennis Siver, Yair Rodríguez, Frankie Edgar, Rory MacDonald, and Nick Diaz. Before the string of seven defeats, Penn had made a successful return to 170-pounds with a first-round knockout over three-time foe, Matt Hughes back in 2010.
The Kailua born grappler began his professional career under the UFC banner, and during his stint with the promotion, managed welterweight and lightweight title success over the previously noted Hughes, and Joe Stevenson, respectively. As well as victories over Hughes and Stevenson, Penn has secured triumphs over Din Thomas, Caol Uno, Matt Serra, Takanori Gomi, Duane Ludwig, Rodrigo and Renzo Gracie, Jens Pulver, Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian, and Diego Sanchez.
Penn was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame as the inaugural inductee of the Modern-Era Wing back in 2015 on the weekend of UFC 189 in Las Vegas, Nevada.