Right now the signs are pointing in that direction as the Hawaiian fighter seems pretty content with his life as a retired fighter over the last six months.
“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 the loss to Diaz. “I’ve got a daughter, another daughter on the way, I don’t want to go home looking like this. I’m done.”
Now months removed from that time, Penn hasn’t backed off his original statement and it appears he’s settling into the life of a retired fighter.
“As of now I am sticking to that,” Penn said during the UFC on Fuel TV 2 post fight show. “I haven’t made any plans to come back and fight again, Dana White has actually called me a couple times and talked to me, it’s just something that’s not in my future right now.”
While he isn’t in active competition, Penn has stayed busy at home in Hawaii working on opening a new gym, plus having two daughters that keep him on the go at all times.
“I’m opening the UFC gym, the B.J. Penn/UFC gym in Oahu. I’ve been doing that and I’ve been watching my gym at home. I’ve just been kind of teaching and training, I like it. Just go to the gym when I feel like training I train, and if not I watch my daughters. That’s all I do,” said Penn.
In the past, Penn has always wanted to focus on facing the best fighters in whatever weight class he’s competing in. He’s made a few different title runs between lightweight and welterweight, and Penn has always been a main event level competitor.
That said, Penn’s reasoning for the time off has nothing to do with waiting for the right match-up or the right name to come along and challenge him. It’s that statement above any others that lead some to believe Penn may actually be done this time.
“There’s tons of match-ups out there. There’s great athletes. The UFC is the best athletes in the world, but I don’t know. In a perfect world, I can’t even see the scenario right now this moment. It’s just something that if I feel it, I feel it, and if not we’ll just sit back and watch all the other guys kick butt in the Octagon,” Penn stated.
Of course UFC fans have been very vocal on Twitter, Facebook, and in every other avenue to shout support for Penn to come back one day.
While the support is absolutely appreciated, Penn is satisfied with his decision to retire, and for now that’s the only thing he’s thinking about.
“It’s awesome seeing that they want me to fight again, but as of now I just take my time,” said Penn.
If he is done competing, Penn will have retired with a 16-8-2 record overall including a run as UFC welterweight and lightweight champion to his credit, and has to be an absolute shoe-in for a future UFC Hall of Famer.