Dana White Would Like to See BJ Penn Retire, Fine with Rich Franklin Fighting On
When it was announced that former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes was heading into retirement, many wondered who the next old-guard fighter would be that would hang up the gloves. If UFC president Dana White has his way, it will be another former welterweight (and lightweight) champion, BJ Penn.
Penn has gone 1-4-1 in his last six fights, with his only win being a 21-second knockout of Hughes at UFC 123. The KO of Hughes was impressive and it earned Penn “Knockout of the Night” honors, but the win didn’t do much for his momentum in the welterweight division.
Following the Hughes victory, Penn fought to a draw with Jon Fitch in a controversial decision at UFC 127 and then followed that with two brutal unanimous decision losses to Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald.
When White was asked about Penn he said, “I would like to see BJ retire.” If Penn retires on his own accord or if he is helped into retirement by the UFC boss, one thing we shouldn’t expect is to see Penn land a position within the UFC. “He’s got a piece of the UFC gym, he’s going to do OK. Don’t worry about BJ, he’s got a couple bucks.”
Penn has dipped his toe in the retirement waters before, announcing that he was done with the sport after the loss to Diaz. But he came out of that short retirement to face MacDonald.
Should BJ Penn retire?
As for Rich Franklin, another former champion that could be considered part of the old guard, White didn’t express any interest in seeing Franklin walk away from competition.
“Rich is still fighting, I haven’t heard anything about retirement from Rich,” White said. “Rich hasn’t taken any beatings. He got knocked out in his last one (by Cung Le), but he hasn’t been consistently beat up. He takes pretty good time off between fights. I don’t know what he wants to do.”
White has never been shy about sending fighters into retirement if they seem to be less than enthused about retiring on their own. Hughes is the most recent example of that, telling Bleacher Report, “I didn’t want to (retire), but when the boss tells you, he doesn’t have to twist your arm very hard.”
Time will tell if that talk with White is in the cards for Penn.
All quotes obtained first hand by BR MMA.
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