BJ Penn Backs Off UFC 137 Retirement Talk

October 31, 2011
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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 “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 home page, as of Monday afternoon, 62-percent of voters said they felt that Penn shouldn’t retire.

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  • Towers66

    What a great fighter. Whether he returns to compete again or not he will always be remembered as one of the greats. He still has what it takes to fight some top guys and put on some good shows. On the other hand if he plans to go for a belt ever again I think he’d be crazy. So that brings up the question, If you’re not trying to be the champ then what the hell are you fighting for? Money? Thrills? With all the respect in the world to Mr. Penn….It’s over. If he continues to fight I’m sure I’ll still be first in line to watch though.

    • if he had the right game plan he could beat frankie edgar. in lightweight he’d probably beat everyone relatively easily except for frankie. BJ still has what it takes to be a champ. the only reason he gases out at welterweight is because he doesn’t have any weight to cut which means he doesn’t have to push himself as hard to stay in great shape. he has never had cardio problems at lightweight. the only reason people think he’s washed up is because he gases at WW. at LW he’s still a beast and can beat anyone down there including frankie, given the right game plan.

    • collideoverme

      Well said and I agree. But Penn should have stayed at 155. Or if he comes back, move back to 155.

  • bajafox

    I hope he reconsiders and stays. I can understand him not wanting to be a gate keeper but IMO, there are still some very good matchups for him at 155

    • wonggfan

      He will stick around. He still has at least 5 fights left in him.

      A former-champ should retire when he can’t beat a gate-keeper. Nick Diaz is not a gate-keeper. BJ can still beat guys like Clay Guida.

  • Cptmats

    In the first Round BJ Showed that his boxing and Jitz are both better than Diaz’s he just couldn’t maintain Diaz’s pace. If he works on dramatically improving his cardio he could still be among the very best at both LW and WW !

    • wonggfan

      BJ was better than Diaz only in the first round. I don’t think it’s a cardio issue. The momentum simply shifted after the first round. Diaz clipped BJ will some good shots in the second round.