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BJ Penn Back in Hawaii Living Life Without MMA

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

BJ Penn at UFC 94

BJ Penn at UFC 94

“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.

(Click here to read BJ Penn’s first full blog for Bleacher Report. Tune in each week for another blog from the future UFC Hall of Famer.)


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  • louiellayonon

    Well, everyone has to retire from something. If this is his decision then, the MMA community should accept that. He also has a family to attend to. ^^ http://www.peakbjj.com/# Good luck Penn.

  • bajafox

    He’ll be back

  • andthenisaid

    I will always love BJ, but can never figure out how someone who fights with such heart, seemingly does not train with the same. In my opinion, one of the most talented, if not the most talented fighters in the sport. Future hall of famer, no doubt.

  • MikeMc1983

    Maybe the grind is what’s worn him out. Who knows, maybe after a break away he might figure out what he needs to do to be better. He seemingly has as much if not more skills than anyone in the sport. Maybe the time off can renew his dedication.
    If he stays away I hope he has the time of his life. I hope he does well with whatever he chooses.

  • Mario

    BJ belongs at Lightweight.

    If he decides to return, he needs to fight at 155. He’s always been a beast there.

    The Welterweights he’s fought were too big for him.

  • bdono554

    The Charles Barkley of MMA. nobody wants to win inside the cage more than BJ Penn It’s outside the cage that’s the problem. The only time he came into a fight in the shape he needed to was against Sanchez and Florian. He will be one of the best of all time but even BJ at some level has to think what if.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001066818422 juliushodges

    I hope he is done hasnt had a good fight in a while not a top 10 anymore in either division with his past performances hang it up…..

  • MrAdidas

    Not a huge BJ Penn fan, but he is by far the MOST natural gifted/talented fighter in MMA. If he trained like 99% of MMA fighters, rather than train like a HW, I’m sure BJ would be in the top 3 @ LW & possibly the champ – who knows? Though, I think like many gifted atheletes BJ’s problem is his EGO, he still thinks that he can get by on skill alone, that was true 7, 8, 9 years ago, but now/today MMA is a whole different ballgame. BJ used to be so far ahead of the pack in regards to skill, it was almost unfair, but now BJ is near the back of the pack – the only people behind him are HW’s HAH! If you gave BJ, GSP’s cardio & work ethic, & you gave GSP BJ’s flexibility & power, that would be recipes for an undefeated career.

    If Penn comesback he should stick with LW b/c he has much better cardio @ 55. BUT as I’ve said before, BJ beat Diaz & beat him pretty good in the 1st round, considering how small/short BJ is (very short reach compared to Diaz), even more impressive, is that BJ outboxed Diaz who’s boxing is (according to Diaz) the best in MMA. If BJ had the cardio like he had Vs Sanchez & Florian, Diaz would have gotten spanked, but as usual BJ came in out of shape & got beat like a red headed step child. It’s not that BJ cant win @ WW (though he’d never beat GSP IMO), it’s that he’s never in shape while he fights @ WW!

    • DeltaOutlaw

      Ahem, BJ did beat GSP….@ WW

      • DeltaOutlaw

        ………..in his mind! That counts right? LOL

      • MrAdidas

        WHAT THE ****?!? Ahem BJ lost TWICE to GSP! I’d like to see the fight where BJ beat GSP, b/c I can guarantee you, that you are the ONLY person with that fight.
        I’m surprised noone even commented on your “mistake”/lack of knowledge!

        FYI: GSP has 2 losses & both fighters were named MATT! Serra & Hughes

    • RonnieV

      Adidas, not sure what fight you were watching, but BJ did not “outbox” Diaz at all. Diaz landed 150 more punches. I have seen every Diaz fight, and he rarely wins the first round. Regardless, Penn did not dominate Diaz in the first round.

      • RubeKegal

        yes he did. Anyone who says otherwise is an impartial fan.

      • KBEsq

        BJ absolutely outboxed Diaz in the first round of their fight. BJ out everything’d DIaz in the first round. It was pretty clear, as in the Fitch fight, that BJ was the more talented fighter, plagued by cardio issues. BJ was done in the second round of the Diaz fight, and it was clear that a less superior fighter was able to best BJ due to superior cardio. It’s the weak link in the chain analogy You’re only as good as your weakest link. If your cardio is bad, then your talent goes out the window.

        I’m not a huge BJ fan either. He makes excuses, but is so passive-aggressive about it and I hate that. I do, however, completely agree with people who say his talent is unparalleled.

        It would be interesting to see him really apply himself. I honestly think he could literally just focus on not getting tired in a fight and forego training actual skills and he would still be a huge force. More than likely, though, training cardio is probably the most tenuous part of training and that gets nixed in favor of more “fun” types of training.

      • MrAdidas

        RonnieV: Apparently I was watching the same fight everyone else was watching…. the question is what fight were you watching?!? I’d like to know how BJ didnt spank Diaz’s ass in the 1st round. I know Diaz landed 178 strikes (100 more than BJ), but go back & take a look at what rounds most of those punches were thrown at BJ – Rounds 2 & 3.

        How do you think Diaz’s face got so messed up? BJ didnt do much in the 2nd or 3rd, besides being a punching bag for Diaz. Diaz’s face got messed up b/c he got owned in the 1st round by a smaller, shorter fighter with a 6inch reach disadvantage & he still spanked Diaz in the 1st Round. If BJ had avg cardio for a WW, he would have beaten Diaz & not looked like a guy who got jumped by 3 guys with bats.

        FYI: He did NOT land 150 more punches, where do you get your information from? B/C your information is WRONG! Diaz landed a total of 178 strikes (Diaz threw 350 total). BJ landed a total of 88 strikes (BJ threw 164 total). Therefore 178-88 = 90 & NOT 150 like you made up.

        1ST Round: Diaz landed 20/48 strikes
        1ST Round: Penn landed 33/48 strikes

        2nd Round: Diaz landed 83/144 strikes
        2nd Round: Penn landed 19/42 strikes

        3rd Round: Diaz landed 75/158 strikes
        3rd Round: Penn landed 36/74 strikes

        BUT you seen all of Diaz’s fight so….. who gives a shit how many fights you seen, b/c apparently you dont watch all of the fight based on your comment. Diaz got beat in the 1st & the FACTS are written above, round by round.

        Diaz better fix his 1st Round “slow starts” b/c GSP will not gas near the end of the 1st round, like BJ. GSP in the 5th Round is almost the same as GSP in the 1st Round – have fun with that Diaz!

        • RonnieV

          Last I checked fights don’t end in first round decisions, and I never said Diaz won the first round. I just said Penn didn’t dominate, your stats even show that. I’m not sure where you got your stats, but I’ll site two different websites saying Diaz outlanded Penn by 150 strikes. Furthermore, even your “facts” show that Diaz backs up my comment that he’s a slow starter, and improves every round because of his cardio. Watch any of his fights. Penn tried to hang with Diaz’s punching pace, and nobody including GSP can do that. If you watch the fight again, which I have a few times, You’ll notice that Penn actually did the most damage to Diaz in the third round, but Diaz still landed a 100 more punches in that round alone. Diaz will throw as many punches in the 5th round against GSP, as he does in the 2nd round. And Yes, without predicting a winner, I’m sure GSP will win the first round. And I also predict both Diaz & GSP will look Penn when the fights over.

          Now dip, since I’m so wrong, go ahead and check Sherdog for the Penn/Diaz stats. Then take a look at this statistical web page. Then apologize for being stupid, and take big bite of crow

          http://blog.fightmetric.com/2011/10/diaz-vs-penn-official-ufc-statistics.html

          Rubekegal, yes I am an impartial fan.
          And yes, Penn would have beaten Diaz in 2006, but in 2006 Diaz was an average UFC middleweight. He’s a totally different fighter now. Eventhough some people say Penn is over-the-hill, in the least year he knocked out Hughes in 21 seconds, and went to a draw with the #2 ranked welterweight (Fitch). I hardly call that out of his prime. I realize alot of fight fans hate Diaz, but face it he’s backs everything up, he doesn’t get submitted, he doesn’t get knocked out, and he always puts on an entertaining fight. I’m not predicting a victory against GSP, but it will be a WAR!

          • RubeKegal

            You didn’t back up your argument. You said Diaz landed 150 more punches. You numbers are for entire fight…Diaz did most of his damage in 2nd and 3rd….BJ did ALL of his damage in the 1st and DID dominate the 1st. He was winning on the feet, and when it hit the ground, BJ took his back almost immediately. If anything, that is grounds for a 10-8 round, not Shogun’s 5th!!

  • RubeKegal

    He should stay retired. One of the best ever and should keep that legacy. Him losing to Nick Diaz, some punk he would have crushed in years past is the sign that its time to go away.

  • MikeMc1983

    For awhile there Freddie roach said bj had the best boxing in mma. I’m not going to say you had to be impartial to not see bj dominate Diaz in the first round of their fight, you could have had a power outage or something too. We’re not saying that bj almost finished Diaz in the first, but he out skilled Diaz boxing in a surprising manner. Everytime Diaz thought about getting off he got cracked in the skull. People liked to talk about how bad bj looked, but Diaz was screwed up as well, and that was almost all from the first. Bj took his damage later.
    It seems bj has a problem going against guys with great speed, or great cardio. That puts him in a tough spot. Making weight at 155lbs might make him train more cardio, thus put him in better shape. But Frankie’s speed killed bj, and his reluctance to not stand. He’s crushed the rest of that division though. Bj might come back to 155 if Frankie leaves. Maybe that’s what he’s thinking in taking time off. Who knows?

  • RubeKegal

    I do remember Freddie saying that too.

  • MikeMc1983

    I think Diaz having a slow start had something to do with that fact that everytime he thought about throwing a punch, bj cracked him in the head. Bj didn’t gas because he was trying to keep up with nick. Actually nevermind. I have no idea why he gassed. He was active in the first, but it’s not like he had a “blow his load” kind of first round. Every guy fighting at 170lbs should be expected to have more in the tank than bj had in that fight. Even bj who isn’t known for great cardio always has more than he did there.

    You are right about rounds 2 & 3 though. Once bj started to turtle up, and was to exausted to throw any more punches, nick kept throwing. There wasn’t much difference between bj, and nicks punching bag back in sac town. It’s not hard to get off 100 more punches than a guy who can’t move standing in front of you covering up.