BJ Penn talks retirement while Holloway fights for UFC in Hawaii
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Call it a convergence of past and present in the fastest rising sport in the state.
On one side, BJ Penn, the prodigy who's grown into an icon of mixed martial arts.
On the other, Max Holloway, the young up and comer and one of many looking to carry on Penn's legacy.
Penn and Holloway visited the studios of Hawaii News Now Wednesday afternoon on the heels of a milestone announcement for the state of MMA in Hawaii.
This past weekend, Penn received word he'll be inducted into the UFC hall of fame, an honor that's the exclamation point to a legendary career.
At 20-years-old, he was the fastest to ever gain a black belt in jiu-jitsu and went on to be a two-time world champion in two-separate divisions.
To this day, he's the only fighter from the islands to be a UFC champion.
"When me and Dana (White) talk, we talk about it like, so what? Making me a made man? untouchable? So it's fun. It is true because it is a made man. I mean after that what can anybody say right?," Penn said. "Towards the end of my career, I didn't have as many happy days in my career. So it's great to finish it out with something as wonderful as this."
After 13 years, Penn retired with a record of 16-10-2.
He'll be officially inducted at a ceremony in mid-July.
As for the future legend in the sport, the 23-year-old Holloway is a month removed from a resounding submission victory over Cub Swanson.
That marked the Waianae native's sixth consecutive victory, which moves him to fifth in the featherweight division.
He knows that his time a title shot will come eventually, so in the meantime, he's actively working on achieving another goal-- bringing a UFC event to Hawaii.
"It'd be an amazing thing to come down and show people what the UFC is about and give the Hawaii fans," Holloway said. "I think Hawaii is the biggest MMA fans in the world. I think, we grew up fighting you know. If you guys want to see UFC Hawaii as bad as me, go out there and go tweet and Instagram and tag Dana White and irritate him until the point where he's just like, 'you know what, I'm just gonna do a show, so that's what I'm gonna do.'"
If an event comes to Hawaii, Penn said he'd consider participating in some capacity, but that doesn't mean he's coming out of retirement anytime soon.