BJ Penn Backs Off UFC 137 Retirement Talk

October 31, 2011

Less than 48 hours after proclaiming that he was about hang up his gloves, BJ Penn has cracked the door to retirement open, if only a sliver.

The Hawaiian came out strong against Nick Diaz at UFC 137 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, but faded fast in the second round and got bloodied like never before in losing a unanimous decision to the former Strikeforce champion.

“Hats off to Nick Diaz, he’s the man,” a battered Penn said after the fight, before proclaiming, “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.

“I’ve got a daughter, another daughter on the way, I don’t want to go home looking like this. I’m done.”

Penn’s retirement talk came out of left field, following up the more expected retirement comments from Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic after his loss to Roy Nelson earlier in the night.

Having had some time to let the heat of the moment fade, Penn may have reconsidered.

From the day he set foot in the Octagon, Penn has always wanted to compete at the highest levels of the sport. So when he doesn’t win, as happened with Frankie Edgar at lightweight, and now Diaz at welterweight, the weight of whether or not to continue on in the sport weighs heavily on Penn’s shoulders.

Penn on Monday seemed to have reconsidered his post-fight statements, leaving his fans hope that, given time, he might set foot in the Octagon once again.

“I want to thank all the fans for their love and support,” he wrote at BJPenn.com. “I have decided to take some time off to enjoy life, train, and teach. I will keep you guys posted with what’s next.”

While he hasn’t made a definitive statement, Penn’s fans have. In a UFC 137 post-fight poll on the MMAWeekly.com home page, as of Monday afternoon, 62-percent of voters said they felt that Penn shouldn’t retire.


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