Since announcing his shocking retirement after losing a unanimous decision to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 back on Oct. 29, 2011, B.J. Penn has for the most part kept to himself and avoided the limelight.
"The Prodigy" suffered one of the worst losses of his career, eating punches in bunches as Diaz peppered him with shots for an entire three rounds of stand up action. After the beatdown, the distraught Hawaiian declared his retirement to the mixed martial arts (MMA) world after 10 years of competing.
While word from his camp claimed that Penn was not 100 percent retired, the former two-division champion remained noncommittal to a return or retirement.
Speaking to Pedro Carrasco of BJPenn.com, the former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion opened up about his loss to Diaz, joining camps with Cesar Gracie and, of course, his retirement.
"Nicks good, he's got boxing skill and I know I better be ready for their game plan of pushing me on the fence if we ever fight again. But ya, I have no fear I would take that fight anytime, I would love to take that fight. I am in no position right now to think about that. Nick is fighting for the UFC championship and I'm actually not doing anything right now. I'm just trying to take it easy and enjoy life, but as far as that goes, nothing has changed, and I'll go out and fight the best guys anytime."
On whether fans can expect him return to the Octagon:
"There's nothing else more that I like than fighting, but every once in a while you need to take some time away. As of right now I don't feel that burning desire, that burning urge to compete and I'm just going to hang out. If I feel that desire again than I will be back, but if I don't feel it than there is no reason for me to make a return. You really gotta feel it, there can be nothing else, when you're standing in the ring across from your opponent he is thinking there is nothing else more important in the world than winning this fight and you have to be thinking the same thing. That's just the truth, I would love to fight again, I'd love to fight all these guys. Right now I don't have that burning desire to compete so as I sit down and just enjoy life, when and if that desire comes back I will be ready to fight again. I'm sure it will."
Penn also replied to Cesar Gracie's offer to merge Team Penn and Team Gracie into one:
"I've known Cesar for awhile, whether I dislike him at certain times or not I could never stay mad at that guy. That being said, some of things Diaz has done kind of rub me the wrong way so I think I'm just going to kind of keep to myself and do my own thing. I'm not even training for a fight anyways so there is really no reason why I would be up there right now. I'm with Nova Uniao, I've been with them since 1999 and I'm still with them today."
While Diaz gets prepared for the biggest fight of his career against UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 143 on Superbowl weekend, Penn will not have any part in helping him prepare, pretty much slamming the door on any possible union between the two great camps.
In the meantime, Penn will take some much needed time off, but will continue to train and teach, and most importantly, spend time with his family.
And he'll seemingly do that until he starts to burn.