BJ Penn Remains Unsure of UFC Return After Losses to Diaz and MacDonald
The last two times we saw BJ Penn walk out of the Octagon, he did so in a way that we were unaccustomed to witnessing. Penn’s face was swollen and discolored, and his head hung low between his shoulders.
Sure, he had lost before in his long career. In fact, in the seven fights prior to his last two UFC outings, he went 3-3-1. But the losses to Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald were something different.
Diaz and MacDonald touched up Penn like we had never seen before. They were the kind of losses that made one wonder just how much more the former two-division UFC champion and surefire UFC Hall of Famer had to give.
The questions of what he has left and what the outcome inside the Octagon will be are obviously on the mind of the 34-year-old Penn. The 16-9-2 fighter, who has been a professional since 2001, recently spoke to Fuel TV's Ariel Helwani about his future.
“It has to be right," he said. "It has to be right for me. There’s no sense for me to go into the Octagon and getting beat up in front of everybody—that doesn’t make any sense.”
Penn added that there is no timetable for his potential comeback. And he said that if he does enter the Octagon again, it will not be at welterweight. It will be in the lightweight division—a division where he is widely recognized as the greatest champion the UFC has ever seen.
Penn has not fought at lightweight since losing two straight to Frankie Edgar in 2010. The first loss cost Penn his UFC lightweight title. After those losses, he moved to welterweight, knocking out Matt Hughes in 21 seconds in his first fight at the higher weight before going 0-2-1 in his next three outings.
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