UFC

Dana White Wants B.J. Penn to Retire If He Loses to Frankie Edgar

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:  BJ Penn of the USA walks into the arena before the start of his welterweight bout agains John Fitch of the USA as part of UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Kristian IbarraFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2014

B.J. Penn will forever be known as one of the most dominant lightweight champions MMA and the UFC have ever seen. That doesn’t mean the 35-year-old welterweight and lightweight champion should fight forever, though.

Win or lose, UFC president Dana White thinks he needs to step in before allowing Penn to continue his career.

“This is B.J.’s last fight possibly,” White said on Tuesday on Fox Sports 1. “If he wins, we’ll see what he does from there, but if he loses, I will actually push for him to retire.”

Scheduled to make his return to the octagon—this time at 145 pounds—against Frankie Edgar, many are left to wonder what version of Penn they’ll see.

Will it be the guy who dismantled Joe Stevenson, Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez in his run as the lightweight champion?

Or will it be the guy who only captured one victory in his last six Octagon appearances?

Since 2010, Penn has only seen his hand raised once—a knockout over Matt Hughes, who went on to retire just one year after.

It wouldn’t be fair to completely disparage Penn as a force in the featherweight division, especially since he spent the last two years of his fighting career scrapping with much bigger, stronger fighters at 170 pounds.

It’s possible that fighting smaller, but faster, fighters at 145 pounds is all that Penn needs to recapture the dominance he once enjoyed as a lightweight.

But considering the issues he had with a faster fighter in Frankie Edgar back in August and April of 2010—when Penn was only 31-years-old—it’s highly unlikely that fans will see “The Prodigy” return to his former glory.

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Win or lose, Penn’s legacy as one of the best fighters to ever grace the Octagon will last forever.

“It could be possibly watching Michael Jordan playing his last basketball game,” White said. “It could be Tiger Woods’ last golf game.”

 

Kristian Ibarra is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. He also serves as the sports editor at San Diego State University's student-run newspaper, The Daily Aztec. Follow him on Twitter at @Kristian_Ibarra for all things MMA. 

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