Earlier this month, at ‘UFC Fight Night: Phoenix’, UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn stepped into the Octagon for a highly anticipated showdown with streaking featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez. For Penn, he was seeking his first win in over 5 years as he planned to make a run at the featherweight strap.
Unfortunately for the UFC Hall of Famer, Yair Rodriguez’ dynamic and unorthodox striking proved to be too much as he continued to land numerous kicks on the former two-division champ, who showed tremendous heart as he continued to pursue the finish despite continuing to be tagged.
Following Penn’s 2nd round TKO loss, many members of the MMA community called for the legend to retire. With that being said, Penn’s coach believes that his indomitable spirit will shine through, and that he may very well fight in the Octagon once again.
Penn’s former opponent, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, believes it’s time for Penn to hang the gloves up. He spoke to Fox Sports to discuss another potential BJ Penn return:
“IT’S NEVER MY PLACE TO TELL SOMEONE TO RETIRE, THAT’S SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO WANT TO DO. PERSONALLY, I’D LIKE TO SEE BJ RETIRE. THAT’S NOT THE BJ WE ALL FELL IN LOVE WITH. HIS FIGHTING STYLE, THE TYPE OF PERSON HE IS AND HOW HE JUST BRINGS IT — YOU CAN TELL HE WAS KIND OF JUST A SHELL OF HIMSELF. FATHER TIME IS UNDEFEATED AND THAT’S JUST WHAT IT IS.”
“THE WARRIOR IS STILL THERE, HIS SPIRIT IS STILL THERE, IT’S JUST HIS BODY WASN’T RESPONDING AND HE WASN’T DOING THE THINGS HE USUALLY DOES. HE’S PROBABLY LOST A LITTLE STEP IN HIS SPEED AND YOU KNOW BJ WAS ONE OF THE FASTEST OUT THERE. THAT WAS ONE OF HIS BIGGEST TOOLS, SO YOU TAKE THAT AWAY IT’S TOUGH.”“BJ IS A FIGHTER, HE’S A FIGHTER AT HEART — HE’S BEEN THROUGH IT ALL, HE’S SEEN IT ALL. BUT WHEN YAIR WAS GROUND-AND-POUNDING HIM AT THE END, I WAS PROBABLY YELLING AT THE TV, ‘STOP THE FIGHT, IT’S ENOUGH.’ IT AS A BEATING AT THE END. I THINK THEY PROBABLY COULD HAVE STOPPED IT A BIT SOONER. MAYBE IF IT WAS ANOTHER GUY, I MIGHT HAVE BEEN FINE WITH IT. BUT I THINK IT WAS A BEATING AND I THINK IT WAS INEVITABLE THAT THAT WAS THE OUTCOME. SO HE MAYBE COULD HAVE SAVED HIMSELF A COUPLE PUNCHES TO THE FACE.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/19/2017.