B.J. Penn is undoubtedly one of the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters who ever lived. He's made his mark on history as perhaps the top lightweight champion in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history and the first fighter to have ever won a title in two separate weight classes inside the Octagon.
Now, it could all be over.
That's because "The Prodigy" is coming off yet another beating, his second in a row, suffered at the hands of Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 5: "Henderson vs. Diaz" last night (Sat., Dec. 8, 2012) at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. This just over one year removed from the shellacking he sustained under the relentless attack of Nick Diaz at UFC 137 in Oct. 2011.
After watching those two fights back-to-back, UFC President Dana White has seen enough. He told FUEL TV he hopes Penn will retire for good:
"He didn't say it tonight but I think BJ is probably going to retire. I wouldn't mind seeing that. He came back with a fire lit under him. Let me tell you what, that kid looked so good tonight. Rory looked better than he ever looked. The body punches he threw, you don't see punches like that in mixed martial arts. He really put it to B.J. tonight. B.J. is a warrior. Talk about a guy who doesn't give up, doesn't quit, and just keeps coming. I have so much respect for B.J. I always have, even through the good times and bad times. I‘d like to see him retire. He's got plenty of money, he's got a great family that loves him, he's got babies, a beautiful wife ... He has nothing left to prove to anybody, and everybody loves him. You heard the arena here tonight. I'd like to see B.J. retire."
At just 33-years-old, that seems blasphemous but Penn has lived a lifetime in his 11-year, 27-fight career. He also has to face the harsh reality that though he is a legend, he's won just once in his last six fights, accumulating a 1-4-1 record over the last two and a half years.
Maybe it's time to hang 'em up for good.
Maniacs, do you think it's his time to call it quits and would you be sad to see him go?