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

Ronda Rousey 'Absolutely' Wants Cris Cyborg UFC Fight, Says Dana White

  • 4 hours ago
  • 42 views

UFC President Dana White has said former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey "absolutely, positively wants to fight" Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. White was asked about the possibilit read news >>

Georges St-Pierre Talks UFC Return, Dana White and Possible Comeback Opponents

  • 26 days ago
  • 109 views

Georges St-Pierre has reaffirmed his intention to make a full return to MMA and has hit back at suggestions from UFC President Dana White that he doesn’t have the desire to fight. The 35-year-old has read news >>

#TBT Video: Outgoing UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva on Ripped 23-Year-Old Georges St-Pierre

  • 25 days ago
  • 54 views

In this #ThrowbackThursday video, outgoing UFC matchmaker Joe Silva talks about then-23-year-old Georges St-Pierre before his fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 50. read news >>

Josh Barnett: Fighting Friends and the Key to Being a Complete Fighter (Flashback Video)

  • 22 days ago
  • 18 views

Josh Barnett - Sengoku 2In this flashback video, Josh Barnett talks about fighting friends and what it takes to be a complete fighter. read news >>

Dana White Says Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone Signed for UFC 205 in New York

  • 19 days ago
  • 47 views

Dana White says an exciting bout between Robbie Lawler and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone has been inked for UFC 205 in New York. read news >>

Alistair Overeem Talks Legacy while Taking Taunts from Miocic Fan (UFC 203 Video)

  • 19 days ago
  • 38 views

Alistair Overeem talked about his upcoming fight with Stipe Miocic as a barrage of Miocic fans heckled him during his UFC 203 open workout media scrum. read news >>

CM Punk: MMA is a Vacation (UFC 203 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 18 days ago
  • 9 views

CM Punk talks about his journey into MMA before his first fight at UFC 203 on Sept. 10 in Cleveland. read news >>

Nik Lentz's Epic Rant: 'BJ Penn Means Zero to Me' (UFC 203 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 16 views

Nik Lentz talked to the press after defeating Michael McBride at UFC 203, but couldn't hold back when talk shifted to his beef with BJ Penn. read news >>

Dana White on Mickey Gall Calling Out Sage Northcutt: ‘We’ll Make It Happen’ | MMAWeekly.com

  • 15 days ago
  • 51 views

After Mickey Gall called out Sage Northcutt following his win over CM Punk at UFC 203 on Saturday, Dana White says Northcutt is open to the bout. read news >>

Dana White Says No More Conor McGregor Fights at Welterweight | MMAWeekly.com

  • 14 days ago
  • 484 views

UFC president Dana White says a trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz is unlikely and that McGregor needs to defend his 145-pound title. read news >>