B.J. Penn Isn’t Ready to Call It a Career Just Yet
B.J. Penn is ready to get back into training but not necessarily to prepare for a fight.
The former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion has experienced the roughest run of his legendary career in recent years while dropping his last five fights in a row with two coming by way of knockout.
Most recently, Penn lost a majority decision to Dennis Siver in the UFC in June and hasn’t said much about his future in fighting until now.
“I don’t feel the fire to compete right now,” Penn said when speaking to ‘B.J. Penn Radio‘ this week. “I’m just kind of 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.”
Penn admits that the desire to compete is something that drives every fighter and right now he doesn’t have that burning inside of him but that doesn’t mean something won’t stoke those flames again one day.
That’s why Penn is still not ready to commit to retirement, although he’s not exactly anxious to book his next fight either.
“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,” Penn said. “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.”
Beyond his five fight losing streak, Penn has jumped around to work with different trainers such as Greg Jackson to get a jump start on his preparation and he even moved down to the featherweight division for three consecutive bouts but found little success.
At one time, Penn was considered the pound-for-pound best fighter in the sport as he frequently moved up and down between divisions and once ruled the 155-pound weight class with an iron fist.
Unfortunately in recent years, Penn has suffered some punishing losses while also trying his hand back at welterweight where he was massively undersized while facing opponents such as Rory MacDonald.
With a 1-7-1 record over his past nine fights dating back to 2010, Penn has definitely struggled to find his footing and he even retired following a loss to Frankie Edgar in 2014 but then returned to take another stab at getting back on top of the world.
Now Penn is more contemplative about his future but as much as it sounds like he’s ready to take a break from fighting — perhaps for good — he’s still not ready to call it retirement.
“I’m going to be taking it a day at a time and just raising the kids. We’ll see,” Penn said. “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.”