B.J. Penn Regrets Ever Moving to the Featherweight Division

B.J. Penn admits moving to 145 pounds was a huge mistake for his career

B.J. Penn can admit when he makes a mistake.

The former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion has never shied away from a challenge even when it meant taking on opponents who were routinely bigger, taller and stronger throughout his Hall of Fame career.

Penn will always be remembered for moving up to 170 pounds and pulling off a massive upset when he defeated Matt Hughes back in 2004 to become UFC welterweight champion. Penn also competed at lightweight where he was also champion in the UFC and during the course of his career he even went as far as challenging Lyoto Machida in a bout where he was giving up more than 30 pounds of weight.

As it turns out, Penn’s biggest regret when it comes to those roller coaster rides through various weight classes was the most recent move when he dropped down to 145 pounds for three consecutive bouts at featherweight. Penn lost all three fights and right now there are no signs that he’s ever going to compete again and he’s brave enough to acknowledge that moving to featherweight was not a smart decision.

“I don’t know, I haven’t really been thinking about fighting that much lately. But one thing is for sure, I would never fight at 145-pounds again,” Penn told his own website at BJPenn.com.

“I should have never fought at 145. It was a bad decision to move down in weight at my age. Maybe if I had made the move in my early twenties it would have been different. But I did not feel good at 145.”

Penn talked at length about his issues cutting down to 145 pounds for his first fight in the division against Frankie Edgar in 2014 that precipitated his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts.

Penn got the bug to fight again and he eventually returned in 2017 but fell by TKO to Yair Rodriguez before losing a majority decision to Dennis Siver in his most recent bout in June.

As of now, Penn isn’t expected to fight again although he’s never officially announced his retirement from the sport for a second time.

One thing is for certain — if Penn ever steps back into the UFC Octagon, he won’t be doing it as a featherweight.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.