B.J. Penn (above) is still trying to figure out if he wants to keep putting himself through the MMA grind. Sorry, Gil. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas via US PRESSWIRE.
Hawaii don't play dat.
Despite an abysmal 1-3-1 record over his last five fights,"The Prodigy" wanted nothing to do with a superfight against reigning Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez, who's riding out his current contract in the bowels of San Jose.
Penn wasn't scared, just retired.
UFC President Dana White (via MMA Fighting) explains what happened, after the jump.
"Gilbert Melendez is a Strikeforce fighter and he's been great dealing with it. He wants to come over [to the UFC] and he wants to challenge himself against the best and I know a lot of other people want to see it too, but he's in that Strikeforce deal. I tried to do [Melendez vs. Penn], but it was at a time when BJ was like 'Yeah, I'm not fighting for awhile.' The thing that sucks for Gilbert is that I was 100 percent fired up and gung ho to go over there and work on Strikeforce, but the whole thing fell apart."
Penn came up short as the main event headliner for UFC 137 back on Oct. 29, 2011, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The unanimous decision win for Nick Diaz, which left Penn battered and bruised, sent him straight into an Interim title bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 143.
And sent "The Prodigy" straight into retirement.
Penn said he'll be back "if he ever feels it again," which could lead White to move forward with plans to bring his mixed martial arts (MMA) brand to Hawaii.