Former UFC champ BJ Penn to undergo eye surgery to repair cataract


"The Prodigy" will turn himself over to the same eye surgeon in Salt Lake City who helped famed boxer Antonio Margarito correct his vision and get back into the ring.

No, haters, he's not blaming his loss to Rory MacDonald on his fuzzy vision.

But former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight and Welterweight Champion B.J. Penn is still heading to Salt Lake City, Utah, to put himself under the care of Dr. Alan Crandall, who is expected to repair a cataract the Hawaiian developed in his left eye.

Turns out "The Prodigy's" first choice of treatment, acupuncture, wasn't getting the job done.


"January of last year is when I first noticed there was a problem. I was looking at my iPhone and I really couldn't tell what was going on. At first, I thought I tore my retina, so I went to my doctor and he said, ‘I can see right away what the problem is, you have a cataract.' The doctor told me it could be traumatic or it could be from this medicine I was taking called Prednisone, which is what I had been using over the previous few years for sinus infections. I'm definitely hesitant to fight right now with the cataract in my eye. People ask me all the time if I'm going to fight again and I almost just want to change the subject because right now, I definitely don't want to fight with a cataract in my eye. The number one reason for the surgery is just for daily life. I have a tough time driving at night when the lights are shining and I'd like to get that back. On the other hand, you never know what you're going to be thinking if the surgery goes well. If I go in the gym and I'm knocking down all my sparring partners and doing awesome I would definitely think of fighting again."

Penn (16-9) suffered his second consecutive loss when "Ares" beat him pillar to post at UFC on FOX 5 last December in Seattle. The drubbing capped off a dreadful run of 1-4-1, which prompted UFC President Dana White to call for the former champion's retirement.

While Penn is just 33 years old, he's had a difficult time keeping pace with the new generation of fighters. In fact, his only win in the last four years was a quick knockout over fellow aging veteran Matt Hughes. But could a drastic improvement in sight help him get back into the win column?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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