UFC president Dana White, in a recent interview with TMZ Sports, said that if B.J. Penn could go back and do it over again that the UFC Hall of Fame member would “do things differently if he could.” White’s comments were in response to being asked about fighters that didn’t live up to their potential.
Hawaiian news outlet Khon2.com caught up with Penn during the opening of a UFC gym in Hawaii and “The Prodigy” responded to White’s remarks.
“It’s flattering and it makes you sad at the same time,” Penn said about White’s comments. “It’s strange for me to talk, because it’s like one side we’re talking about this Hall-of-Fame career guy, and on the other side, I’m just trying to prove myself.
“You got to talk about two different people, two different BJs at times. It’s his opinion and he’s entitled to that, and all I can do for my side is get in there and show them,” he added. “Maybe Dana White will look back and be like, ‘You know what? Look at him now. That guy really did reach his full potential.’”
Penn, 37, hasn’t fought since July 2014. He retired following a third loss to Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale. In January, Penn announced his intentions of returning to competing in the featherweight division. He was expected to face Dennis Siver at UFC 199 in June, but was removed from the fight card after being flagged for an anti-doping violation for out-of-competition, medically administered IV use. He was suspended for 180 days and anticipates a November return.
“The fight now should be around November,” Penn said. “That’s when we’re looking to come back, so we’re going to talk to the UFC and 100-percent, we want to get back out there, 145 (pounds), and we’re gonna do this. See where this takes us.
“One-hundred percent, I’m going to fight again.”