When former double-divisional champion B.J. Penn announced he was “done” fighting it seemed his words didn’t have the same resonance with fans as was the case when Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell hung up their gloves. Though his retirement may have been unexpected to some, many MMA fans weren’t caught off guard by the Hawaiian’s emotional reaction after losing to Nick Diaz based on his behavior after other bouts he’d come up short in.
Penn has now had a few weeks off to reflect on the situation and, not surprisingly, it appears the UFC icon has reconsidered his stance on calling it quits. However, he stopped short of giving anything resembling a guarantee.
“You know, I kind of think this is something I should have done after the first Frankie Edgar fight. A bunch of my coaches pleaded with me to step away from the sport and take some time off. I was just kind of in the mix. I kept going and kept going trying to push myself. I don’t really like the results I’ve been getting. I’m just going to take some time off, take some time away from the sport,” Penn explained in an interview with HDNet prior to his brother’s bout match-up at ProElite: Big Guns.
“If I ever feel it again I’ll come back – if it interests me, if it excites me,” the 32-year old continued. “I don’t want to be sitting back in the locker room saying, ‘I can’t believe I’m still doing this.’ So if it excites me, we’ll see how everything goes, but I definitely need some time away.
You can watch the segment with Penn, including his pick in Diaz’s upcoming fight with Georges St. Pierre, below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: No, my jaw is not dropped. I’d wager more people felt Penn would fight again than felt he was done for good after UFC 137. All it will take is a situation where Edgar loses the title to draw him back to 155, while a challenge from Jon Fitch, Carlos Condit, or Josh Koscheck would have the same effect at 170. He just needs some time to relax, enjoy life with his family, and get his head right so he can come back and wow fans once again with another great performance in the cage.