BJ Penn punching Nick Diaz at UFC 137Despite being only 33 years of age, BJ Penn has spent more than 12 years as a professional fighter, most of those years in the UFC Octagon.

He’s fought as low as 155 pounds all the way up to heavyweight. He has even held the UFC lightweight and welterweight titles, respectively.

UFC president Dana White says that the Hawaiian fan favorite is a lock for the UFC Hall of Fame, but believes his conditioning habits have held him back from being considered among the greatest fighters of all time.

“If you look at BJ Penn’s career, count how many times he’s been in phenomenal shape,” White commented on Thursday.

“I love BJ Penn. BJ’s been a huge star for us for a long time, but I think BJ could have been in the talks with who is the greatest of all time.”

There are three key opponents in his career that have held Penn back from the Anderson Silva zone: Georges St-Pierre, Frankie Edgar, and Nick Diaz. All three are fighters that victories over would have propelled Penn to that elite status of the nearly unbeatable, but they’re also fighters that he has thus far been able to topple.

That’s not to say he’s not appreciated or respected. As White said, he’s a shoe-in for the UFC Hall of Fame.

“I’ve said it for years about BJ. BJ is (expletive) tough as nails, has an unbelievable chin, a rock head… if you look at some of the fights where he’s on the bottom, he’s getting smashed; the guy doesn’t cut. I don’t know what his skin is made out of. He’s just this kid that was born and built to fight,” White described the legendary fighter.

“He’s absolutely a Hall of Famer. Not only at the time when people were saying that the 55-pounders couldn’t headline pay-per-views and all this other stuff, BJ Penn became a huge, huge star.”

White did not clarify when Penn would be inducted, but considering he has been in and out of retirement during the past year, Penn is likely on the short list of next in line for the UFC honors.

Penn returns from a brief retirement to fight Rory MacDonald at UFC 152 on Sept. 22 in Toronto.

Follow @KenPishna on Twitter or e-mail Ken Pishna.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

USADA Hands BJ Penn a Six-Month Suspension for IV Ban Violation

  • 8 hours ago
  • 12 views

UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn has accepted a six-month suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency. read news >>

Dana White Talks About Problems in Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz Negotiations

  • 25 days ago
  • 530 views

UFC President Dana White has had some problems negotiating recently with two of the UFC's biggest fighters. UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor, perhaps the most famous fighter in MMA today, se read news >>

Remembering Ryan Bennett: Interviews with Chuck Liddell, Joe Rogan, BJ Penn and Yves Edwards

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

Upon the 10th Anniversary of his death, we remember MMAWeekly.com co-founder Ryan Bennett with some classic interviews. read news >>

UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping Pre-Fight Press Conference Video Replay

  • 25 days ago
  • 9 views

Watch the replay of the UFC 199 pre-fight press conference. Dana White tried to hold things together as the main and co-main event fighters lobbed verbal bombs. read news >>

Dana White Unsure If He Can Sign McGregor-Diaz Rematch, Conor 'Obsessed'

  • 25 days ago
  • 12 views

Dana White is hard at work trying to land Conor McGregor his rematch against Nate Diaz, but the UFC president isn’t sure if he can get the pen to paper. White appeared on SportsCenter and The Herd wi read news >>

Ronda Rousey's Return Possibly Pushed Back to 2017, Says Dana White

  • 25 days ago
  • 2 views

The question of "When will Ronda Rousey return?" keeps getting more and more complicated. Speaking with Cari Champion on ESPN's SportsCenter (h/t MMAFighting.com for the transcription), UFC President read news >>

Dana White Declares Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz in Jeopardy, Might Have to Move On

  • 25 days ago
  • 20 views

Dana White on Thursday admitted that, with Nate Diaz negotiations stalling out, Conor McGregor may have to move on from his desire for a rematch. read news >>

Ronda Rousey Undergoes Surgery, Might Not Make UFC Return Until 2017

  • 25 days ago
  • 32 views

Ronda Rousey underwent surgery on Wednesday, which UFC president Dana White said could delay her return until 2017. read news >>

Nick Barnes Ready to Make a Splash at RFA 38 in Front of UFC President Dana White

  • 24 days ago
  • 5 views

Nick Barnes tends to rise to the occasion. That's something he intends to do with UFC president Dana White in attendance at RFA 38 on Friday night. read news >>

VIDEO: UFC President Dana White Weighs in on the Passing of Muhammad Ali

  • 23 days ago
  • 156 views

Following the passing of boxing legend Muhammad Ali on Friday, UFC president Dana White talked about the man that changed the face of combat sports. read news >>