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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
When B.J. Penn lost to Nick Diaz last October at UFC 137, suffering one of the more brutal beatings he had ever endured in his MMA career, he said it was the end of his career. Retiring in the cage, he said he was ready to leave the sport and spend more time with his family, and didn't want to leave another fight the way he was leaving that one.
Six months later, those feelings haven't changed, and on Saturday's UFC on Fuel 2 post-fight show, Penn reiterated that he feels his time truly is up.
"As of now I am sticking to that," Penn said (transcribed by MMAWeekly.com. "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."
"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."
Penn knows there are a lot of different matchups in the UFC that he could come back to take, but while he appreciates the desire from fans and the UFC to see him in the cage again, he simply doesn't believe it's going to happen.
"There's tons of match-ups out there," Penn said. "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... It's awesome seeing that they want me to fight again, but as of now I just take my time."
Penick's Analysis: Penn doesn't have anything more to do in his career. He certainly could still have success in the Octagon, and he's not walking away at the absolute end of his abilities, but if he's decided it's time then that's good for him. He's made plenty of money, he's had tons of success, and though he was perhaps one of the more frustrating and inconsistent fighters for fans to get behind, he still provided them with plenty of lasting memories in the sport. I wouldn't be entirely surprised if he comes back, but if he truly is done there's nothing wrong with that at all.
[B.J. Penn art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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