To be, or not to be, that is the question I ask myself when I think about whether BJ Penn will be a champion again.
During the early days of Penn's career, he earned himself the moniker, "The Prodigy."
He looked like a champion even before he was one, destroying the likes of Din Thomas and Caol Uno within his first three fights.
Then he had some trouble when he faced then-champion Jen Pulver at UFC 35, losing the five-round fight unanimously on the judges' scorecards.
Following the loss to Pulver, Penn went undefeated for two years, racking up a record of 9-1-1 with notable wins over Matt Hughes, Matt Serra and Takanori Gomi before succumbing in a unanimous decision loss to former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida.
Since his loss to Machida, Penn has had his ups and downs. He has gone 6-5 and to be quite honest as a Penn fan, I'm not happy.
He's earned wins over Renzo Gracie, Sean Sherk, Jens Pulver and Diego Sanchez to name a few, while racking up losses to Matt Hughes, George St. Pierre (twice) and Frankie Edgar (twice).
Penn seems to have lost his heart as a fighter and the anger that he usually brings with it.
His camp seems to have turned him into a Yes Man, and he looks like he's fallen into a phase like past opponent Diego Sanchez did when he dropped down to lightweight.
BJ has all the tools and the tenacity to be the champion he wants to be, but he needs to change things up in his life and training camp.
For one, he needs to use all of his assets as a fighter and lose this moronic mentality that he is just a boxer.
He has completely given up on his wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and other striking tools he's shown in the past.
If BJ went to train with Team Black House, which he has been invited to do on several occasions, he would be unstoppable. They have some of the best fighters in the world in that camp, and I think they would mold BJ Penn into the killing machine he used to be.
Up next for Penn is the rubber match with old rival Matt Hughes at welterweight. Penn should take this fight easily, but this is MMA where anything can happen.
If Penn loses to Hughes, I think he needs to take some time off from MMA and seek help.
A win for Penn puts him in the right direction of his career...in the win column.