Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
“I’ve got a daughter at home and another daughter on the way. I don’t want to go home looking like this. I’m done.”
Those were the words uttered by a bloodied BJ Penn immediately after his 2011 decision loss to Nick Diaz. And while it’s always hard to watch a legend retire, it was even harder to argue with the former two-division champion on that night, as he stood there with his head hung low and his face as purple as a ripe plum. Yes, it certainly seemed like a good time for “The Prodigy” to hang up the gloves. He’d proven all he needed to prove.
Of course, we now know that Penn would go on to fight again, losing a lopsided decision to Rory MacDonald in a 2012 welterweight bout. Then, after another failed attempt at retirement, he’d drop all the way down to featherweight, where he would lose a third fight with Frankie Edgar by third-round TKO.
“I shouldn’t have come back,” Penn told UFC Octagon commentator Jon Anik after that third Edgar loss. “I shouldn’t have been in the ring tonight thinking I could be in there with a top-level [fighter] like Frankie Edgar.”
After that loss, it really seemed as though BJ Penn was ready to let the curtain close on his long and glorious career. Though he’d cried wolf about his retirement twice in the immediate past, it really, finally seemed to be over. But then, on a mid-January episode of The MMA Hour, Penn once again brushed away his previous retirement talk, telling host Ariel Helwani that he was ready to return to the perilous world of cage fighting.
“I wanna go get that 145-pound belt,” Penn said on the show. “I believe I’ll be able to walk away as the ….View full article