My good friend Karyn Bryant, host of MMA Heat, recently interviewed former welterweight and lightweight champion BJ Penn and asked him if he was still retired. Penn said he was grateful for the attention but that he doesn’t intend to fight right now.
“At the moment, I don’t have any plans to fight,” Penn said. “I have nothing scheduled, I’m just kind of taking it easy at this point in my life. As of right now, yeah, I’m not entering the Octagon anytime soon.”
Penn says that losing to Nick Diaz last fall was not the only reason he decided to stop competing. “The fight was a tough fight but I don’t think it was just that fight. I’ve been thinking about this for a while,” he said.
“That’s a good question,” Penn said with a smile on his face. “That’s actually the first time I threw a punch since October, late October, since I fought. I don’t know. I was enjoying myself but I don’t know, it takes a lot. It takes a lot. These guys are the top athletes in the world, and it takes a lot of time and a lot of energy to compete with these people and you have to want to do it and you have to be there mentally.”
Penn’s words give insight to where he is in his life right now. After over a decade of fighting, perhaps he doesn’t see himself as having the commitment necessary to compete at the elite level he always has. Then again, watch the video below for yourself and notice that Penn doesn’t actually ever use the word “retire” himself.