Report: B.J. Penn rules out MMA retirement (for now), considering possible lightweight return

USA TODAY Sports

B.J. Penn refuses to call it a career. And while "The Prodigy" won't promise a mixed martial arts (MMA) comeback, a recent FUEL TV report indicates the 34-year-old is training again and may return to the cage for another fight at 155 pounds.

Despite Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Dana White pleading for B.J. Penn to hang up the gloves for good, "The Prodigy" isn't closing the door on active competition just yet.

In a media scrum following the UFC 160 post-fight press conference last month, White told reporters that he would like to see Penn call it quits when it comes to mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, asserting that the Hawaiian is "too tough for his own good."

"B.J. is too tough for his own good," White said. "B.J. might not get knocked out, but the shots that B.J. took would have knocked out a normal human being. He's had his head bounced off the canvas like a basketball by Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre and Rory MacDonald just did it to him. B.J. Penn has left that Octagon looking like a fucking alien. He's too tough for his own good. You don't knockout B.J. Penn -- he absorbs every amount of punishment you give him. It doesn't mean he hasn't taken any damage ... he's taken a lot of damage. And I don't want to see him take any more."

Those statements apparently didn't deter the former lightweight and welterweight champion, who on Tuesday (June 4, 2013) got the word out that he isn't done yet and a return to the Octagon at 155 pounds could be in his future.

"The door is still open for BJ Penn to return to MMA in the future," Ariel Helwani reported on the most recent edition of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV. "He's actually training right now and has to check in with his body and mind in the next few months.

"If he does come back, it will be at 155 pounds."

Penn (16-9-2) has remained quiet since suffering a lopsided three-round beat down from Canadian sensation Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 5 in Dec. 2012 for what was his fourth defeat in six fights.

The 34-year-old has not registered a victory since a 21-second knockout of Matt Hughes in Nov. 2010 and has not competed in the lightweight division since coming out on the losing end of a two-fight championship series with Frankie Edgar.

No potential opponents were suggested for Penn if he does in fact decide to fight again; however, given his history and resume there is little doubt he would settle for anything less than elite opposition.

Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on this developing story.

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