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BJ Penn UFC Retirement Talk Is Misguided

[adinserter block=”1″]BJ Penn’s swollen eye hasn’t even healed and people are already calling for his retirement. The UFC president along with several members of the media think it’s time for the Prodigy to step down which is odd considering I just watched a guy go three-rounds with the future of the division.

I have to say that I was a little surprised when Dana White opened up the door following the UFC on FOX 5 for the BJ Penn retirement talk. It didn’t take long for media members to pile on the bandwagon while the fans appear to be the most sensible on the subject. Nobody wants to see BJ retire. What they do want to see is BJ switch divisions.

Anyone with a clue saw a terrible matchup for Penn leading into the fight with Rory MacDonald. MacDonald was too big on paper for someone of Penn’s size to manhandle on the ground the way he did in the lightweight division. The result of the fight wasn’t surprising to me. The fact that Penn was still standing after absorbing the best from the bigger, stronger, younger opponent is what impressed me most about the fight.

White’s stance on Penn is curious at best. BJ Penn is not a guy that has been repeatedly knocked out or embarrassed. Penn is a guy that has been fighting in a bigger weight class and gone the distance against the best in the division. Penn even won a round against Nick Diaz, the true number one contender according to champion Georges St-Pierre’s coaches. This is not a guy that I see on the downside of his career. This is a guy that I see who has either been mismanaged or misguided and why White can’t see that is beyond me.

Penn should return to the lightweight division at 155 immediately. I think Penn could not only be competitive in the division, but he could even earn himself a title shot. Would you not want to see Penn vs. Nate Diaz, Gray Maynard, Jim Miller, or Anthony Pettis? I would and I think he has as good a chance of beating any of those guys as anyone. How can Dana White or anyone in the media not see this?

I always find White’s inconsistencies when it comes to retirement laughable. He’ll prefer BJ Penn retire yet book Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, and Mark Coleman past their primes. I would argue that BJ Penn now is a much more competitive fighter than any of those fighters in their last fights. So why is anyone rushing to push him out of the UFC?

[adinserter block=”2″]I think it is time to take a step back and not look at BJ Penn as a former champion who has gone 0-2 in his last two fights. Look at BJ Penn as a former legend who has hung with the best in MMA while fighting out of his weight class. To me that is admirable and something to celebrate when you talk about BJ Penn. That is hardly an embarrassment.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I don't care what Rory said, I remember watching the fight. BJ can say "Yeah, I tried to finish Rory". So what?

    There was a clear moment when BJ bunched up and Rory could have demolished him, but the moment passed. He didn't go after him the way he did for Che. And how about the entire third round? Rory didn't bring it to BJ the way he did in the second. I kept waiting for him to start throwing, but he never did. Who knows why? But that third round shows he wasn't really trying to "finish".

    • I dont mean to be a jerk here but you guys are living in a fantasy world if you think a fighter in an MMA fight would intentionally stop from finishing his opponent. ESPECIALLY when the guy outright says he tried to finish him. Why would he lie about that?

      • You're not being a jerk at all, we're just talking.

        And is it really so far fetched? Anderson Silva absolutely TOYS with people before finishing them. The Maia fight was a disgrace. Rory can say whatever he wants, but that third round makes me doubt him. If a fighter takes a beating like Penn did in R2, it's almost a certainty he will get finished in the next round. Herb Dean looked ready to step in during that barrage in R2. Why didn't Rory do the same in R3? That's the real question. He never seemed even close to being in danger of losing the fight, but he definitely backed off in R3.

  2. It was an embarrassment for BJ…
    BJ was nothing more than a punching bag on saturday night .I really wonder what his match-plan was???

    I'm with Tim on this one;"All talent, all ego…… no discipline or drive".
    I'm not even sure he can still make 155 anymore….smh

  3. I agree with Laine. When I was watching Round 2, I thought Rory held back a little bit. When I saw BJ bunch up, I thought "it's over", but Rory didn't finish him. I have no idea why, but I thought maybe it was because he wanted to keep fighting and really hurt BJ. Maybe he was also hesitant because of the Condit loss.

    Why would anyone be mad at Dana for wanting BJ to retire? Penn himself seems on the fence, and he took like a year long break and got fat in the process. Penn's a legend, but someone who does that clearly isn't driven to be an elite fighter anymore. And about Penn moving back to lightweight, sure he's getting beat by elite welterweights, but let's not forget why he left LW to begin with. Edgar was way too fast for him, and if he goes against elite lightweights, that won't change. It would probably be more competitive though.

    • You guys are living in a dream world. Even Rory said after the fight he tried to finish him. "I was happy with a lot of it. I'm pissed I didn't finish him, though," MacDonald said, on the Fuel TV post-fight show. "I aim to finish and I didn't, so the job's not done for me. It's bittersweet, but I'm happy."
      http://www.opposingviews.com/i/sports/boxingmma/r

      No logical MMA fighter in their right mind would hold back when they have the chance to finish and blow a KO of the Night bonus.

  4. Eric, he doesn't want to eat chicken salad to get to 155 yet he CLAIMS wants to be the greatest. He doesn't WANT to fight at 155. Of course he knows ( as do Dana White et al.) that 155 is his true weight but he's too proud or too lazy or both. Get it through your thick skulls, people; this guy has always has a glass ceiling and he put it there himself. BTW, the top 5 in the LW's would still take his lunch money – he's lost a step and the ship has sailed. 'All talent, all ego…… no discipline or drive' – it'll be on his tombstone.

  5. You're stating that BJ Penn went 3 rounds with Rory. Yes, that is true, but it's also because Rory did not look for a finish due to how he he lost to Condit in a past fight. We've seen Rory swarm in the past and he clearly did not choose to do so in this fight. He looked to dominate the fight for a win, and he got that. There were quite a few points in the fight if Rory simply swarmed on BJ, he would have easily been finished. Nick Diaz's signature are his barrage of accurate punches that wear opponents down, not for the his knockout power. Since BJ Penn is good on the ground, he was not finished (but was close, since Nick did not have the knockout power). BJ did win a round against Nick, and if I recall correctly it was the first round, before BJ gassed out , which in recent fights, is consistent after round 1.
    I believe the reason BJ lasted 3 rounds was because Rory did not look for a finish. However, I do agree with you that he would do much better at a lower weight class.

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