HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If it were up to UFC president Dana White, BJ Penn would be retired with his legacy as one of the sport’s greatest fighters intact.
Instead, Penn has lost six-straight fights dating back to 2010. Last night at UFC 232, Penn lost via submission (heel hook) for the first time in his career to Ryan Hall in Penn’s return to the lightweight division.
“Listen, I don’t want to (expletive) BJ off because I love BJ, I would love to see BJ retire,” White said during the UFC 232 post-fight press conference. “So in setting up this fight, it set up the perfect fight where it’s a submission match between two incredible submission guys and for him to submit BJ the way that he did as fast as he did, it’s a big deal for that kid.”
White cited Penn’s career as a whole as the reason for the 40-year-old Hilo native to never fight again.
“BJ’s legend in this sport,” White said. “He went down to Brazil, trained hard for this thing, got into great shape, the camp was raving about him. He got caught in a submission tonight. BJ Penn is one of the legends of the sport and helped build this company. I would love to see BJ retire … I say it all the time, fighting is a young man’s game. This is not for older men. BJ is a multiple-time world champion in multiple divisions and he’s got nothing to prove. People love him and he’s a legend and he’s done it all and there’s nothing left to do in my opinion.”