It’s not the way he wanted it to go, but Saturday night may have marked the last appearance for B.J. Penn inside the UFC Octagon.
Penn lost a one-sided unanimous decision to Canadian young gun Rory MacDonald, which marks his second loss in a row and moves his record to 1-4-1 over his last six fights.
The Hawaiian came back after more than a year away from fighting when he announced his retirement in 2011 following a loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137.
Now with the loss to MacDonald in the books, UFC President Dana White believes Penn has done all he needs to do in MMA and the UFC, and it’s time to call it a career.
“He didn’t say it tonight, but I think B.J. is probably going to retire, and I wouldn’t mind seeing that. He came back with a fire lit under him. That kid looked so good tonight, Rory looked better than he’s ever looked, the body punches that he threw, you don’t see body punches like that in mixed martial arts. He really put it to B.J. tonight,” White said when speaking with Fuel TV.
Despite taking a massive amount of punishment throughout the 15-minute affair, Penn stuck through it all and never gave up despite MacDonald’s best efforts to finish the fight. Penn showed a ton of heart and toughness, but it wasn’t enough to win or stay competitive against MacDonald on Saturday.
“B.J. is a warrior, talk about a guy that doesn’t give up, and doesn’t quit and just keeps coming. I have so much respect for B.J., I always have, even through the good times and the bad times. I’d like to see him retire,” said White.
Fighting in the UFC since 2001, Penn has been a major part of the organization for many years, and he will continue to work with the promotion through their joint gym venture in his home state of Hawaii.
But with that project as well as all of the other earnings he’s had over the years, Penn isn’t fighting for the money, and he’s been a two-weight class champion already, so White believes it’s just his time to walk away.
“He’s got plenty of money, he’s got a great family who loves him, he’s got babies, a beautiful wife. He’s our partner in the B.J. Penn/UFC gym, he has nothing left to prove to anybody, and everybody loves him,” White stated.
“I’d like to see B.J. retire.”