B.J. Penn admits he is no longer that enthused to fight, but is not closing the doors on his career, just yet.
The last time B.J. Penn was on the winning side of a UFC fight was in 2010, when he knocked out Matt Hughes in the first-round at UFC 123. Since then, he has fought Jon Fitch to a draw, racked up three straight losses, retired for 18 months, and returned early this year to once again incur a string of two defeats in a span of five months.
It is clear as day that the B.J. Penn of today is a far cry from “The Prodigy” that was destroying all comers in the late 2000s. And from his end, the 38-year-old two-division UFC champion admits that he is not feeling the burning desire to compete, as of the moment.
“I don’t know; I don’t feel the fire to compete right now,” Penn told B.J. Penn Radio on Tuesday (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I’m just kinda 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. I do see, though, that there’s awesome people — I don’t know if they just took better care of their bodies or whatever, but you see them, there’s people in their forties, one or two years older than me, or even way older than me (who still compete).”
To keep that competitive flame going, Penn is considering the idea of doing grappling tournaments in the future. But as for his MMA career, the door remains ajar.
“You never know, but I haven’t been grappling much in the past many years, I guess,” Penn said. “I’ve been doing more stand-up fighting and trying to take someone to the ground, but I haven’t been grappling as much as I used to. But if I go and I just train for fun right now, we’ll see; maybe train for four or five months and see how I feel, then just take it from there. See how I feel next year, and you never know, maybe I’ll do some grappling.”
“We’ll see. I’ll be training, but we’ll see,” said of his MMA career. “You never know what happens next year. Not saying I’m going to fight or anything, but who knows what’s going to happen.”
Penn’s last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Dennis Siver at UFC Oklahoma City. Before that, Penn suffered a TKO defeat vs. Yair Rodriguez, who became the first man to ever knock Penn down.