Former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn isn’t calling it a career just yet, but he’s also not ready to commit to his future.
The iconic fighter from Hawaii came razor close to retirement after his loss to Nick Diaz last year following a three-round loss at UFC 137 that left Penn truly beaten up for maybe the first time in his entire career.
Penn reflected after the bout that maybe it was time to call it a career because he didn’t want to go home looking so beaten up for his children to see him that way.
“Hats off to Nick Diaz, he’s the man. Joe (Rogan), this is probably the last time you’re ever going to see me in here. I want to perform at the top level. That’s it,” Penn said after his fight with Diaz.
“I’ve got a daughter, another daughter on the way, I don’t want to go home looking like this. I’m done.”
After that initial statement, Penn backed off the retirement talk, but didn’t want to commit to exactly what the future held for him in the sport of MMA.
Now it appears that Penn is back talking to UFC president Dana White, but still not ready to make the statement that he’s ready to come back to the UFC just yet.
“I have been talking to B.J. Penn. Talked to B.J. Penn last week, it’s the first time B.J. and I have talked since his fight,” White revealed on Thursday.
“He’s just chilling right now. B.J. just wants to relax and figure out what he wants to do with his career.”
Penn first fought for the UFC all the way back in 2001 at UFC 31. Since that time, the Hawaiian has spent all but five fights during his career inside the Octagon.
It’s hard to say when or if Penn will officially return to the UFC, but it looks like for right now he’s at least keeping the door open to another fight.