On Saturday viewers were left wondering whether B.J. Penn's shocking retirement was a sincere revelation or simply a knee-jerk after his brutal loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137. Penn has mostly remained silent since the abrupt announcement, however he did release this statement to fans on Monday (via BJPenn.com).
"I want to thank all the fans for their love and support," the former champion wrote. "I have decided to take some time off to enjoy life, train and teach. I will keep you guys posted with what's next."
Penn's statement does little to expound upon his surprising retirement, though it sounds relatively similar to a recent statement released by one of his past victims. After losing to Jose Aldo at UFC 136, former lightweight contender Kenny Florian issued a similar sentiment, writing, "I'm going to take some time. I want to rest, spend some time with my family and friends, and then evaluate all of my options." Two weeks later Florian announced his return to the UFC.
Of course the circumstances and stipulations are wholly different, though it is somewhat telling that Penn's statement leaves the door open for a return. Regardless, this surely isn't the last martial arts fans have heard from "The Prodigy".