B.J. Penn decided to call it quits (this time for real) following a third round technical knockout loss to Frankie Edgar in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale, which took place on July 6, 2014, inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was an unceremonious return to mixed martial arts (MMA) action after two years on the sidelines.
After his loss and subsequent retirement, many questioned the strategy, specifically the fighting stance, that "The Prodigy" tried to implement during his trilogy fight against "The Answer." According to his longtime striking coach, Jason Parillo, he would "never in a million years" teach that new, upright stance to his student, saying other trainers were to blame for the change in fight style.
"That boxing style, I've been using that for the past year and a half, two years, and we had a bunch of training partners come in and I did well with everybody. The first training partners we brought in were Lowen Tynanes; the current ONE FC Champ, Russell Doane came in and then, after that, Dominick Cruz came in. After Dominick Cruz came in Nik Lentz came in, Mirsad Bektic and Nik Lentz came in together, and we had great success with everybody in training and sparring. You know, when you do something new you're rewarded if you win and you're criticized when you lose. I know that's part of the game. As far as how we were doing in training, using the style that we used in the fight, we were doing great. We had no problems training with anybody. There was nobody that just came in and wiped us out or anything like that, so, you know? That's about all I can say about that."
As far as his decision to drop down to the featherweight division, Penn says he doesn't really have any regrets.
"I keep going back about a lot of things ... was it even smart to go down to 145 pounds in the first place? Were you going to have the energy all sucked out, you know? I haven't been to 145 in about 18 years, but besides that this whole last year of my life, I've been just hanging around 160 pounds, trying to watch my weight after the Rory MacDonald fight. I just wanted to watch my weight for general health for myself and my family, and I just stayed around 160 pounds. So, you know, that's what I sparred at, I sparred at that weight, at 158 pounds, so, you know, that's just how it all went down."
When it came to the weight-cutting process, Penn enlisted the services of Mike Dolce, a man who has helped plenty of other MMA stars reached their desired weight prior to fight night.
And though Dolce did help Penn hit the 145-pound mark with no problem, the Hawaiian says he will never hire Dolce for anything again.
"Actually, cutting the weight down was pretty easy for me. I stayed disciplined. I didn't go out and mess around. I'm actually more disciplined than people think or what they give me credit for. The weight cut, of course, is never going to be easy. Going down to a weight that you've never been down to in your life, but besides that I stayed disciplined and I made the weight. One thing that I can say is that I stayed disciplined and I made the weight. As far as Mike Dolce goes; I would never hire him again for anything."
When asked to elaborate, Penn simply asked to move to the next question.
In conclusion, Penn made sure to clear Parillo of teaching him the fighting stance and revealed that he had no plans whatsoever to return to MMA. However, he didn't rule out competing in grappling events down the road.
Metamoris is a good landing spot for retired UFC fighters.