“I’ve got a daughter, another daughter on the way, I don’t want to go home looking like this. I’m done.”
Those were the words of former two-division UFC champion BJ Penn following his loss to Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 137 in October.
He softened his stance, somewhat, a few days later, telling HDNet’s Inside MMA, “I kinda think this is something that I should have did after the first Frankie Edgar fight… step away from the sport, take some time off.”
Now, a month later, Penn has started a weekly blog with MMAWeekly.com content partner Bleacher Report to give readers some insight into the real life of a mixed martial artist. He hasn’t tipped his hand any further at whether or not he intends to retract his statement about being “done” with fighting.
Penn has taken some time since the Diaz fight to be with family and friends, but has done little by way of athletic endeavors.
“I haven’t been doing much as far as athletics go,” he wrote. “This is partly because I think I sprained my finger or something, so because of that I have just been kind of laying low and enjoying life.”
Whether he has mentally or not, Penn’s body appears to be going through withdrawals. The Hawaiian says his “body started to get achy” from the inactivity, so he started running again.
“I still haven’t gotten into the gym and done any type of martial arts training yet, but the runs are definitely fun and, like I said, they make my body feel better.”
Is this the precursor to Penn eventually deciding that he needs MMA in his life? Could be, but it’s still too soon to tell. Yes, it has been a month, but by the same token, it’s only been a month. Whether or not to fight again is a life decision for Penn and one month is a drop in the bucket of deciding.
For now, he’s reconnecting with his family after all the time spent training and traveling for fights. He’s spending time working on his charitable foundation, the “Penn Hawaii Youth Foundation,” which helps at-risk youth through martial arts. He’s also making a guest appearance on the hit TV series Hawaii Five-O and challenging the owner of his longtime sponsor, RVCA, to a surfing contest.
In short, BJ Penn is enjoying life, whether or not that life’s future includes a return to the Octagon.