Many within the mixed martial arts community were shocked on October 29th when UFC legend B.J. Penn announced his retirement following an unceremonious trouncing at the hands of Nick Diaz. With the retirement of Mirko "Cro Cop" still fresh in everyone's mind, very few could understand the gravity and foresight of Penn's revelation, as fans and pundits alike labeled it a knee-jerk reaction that would eventually be rescinded.
Yet almost two weeks later, Penn still has yet to show any sign of regret regarding his decision. In fact, he claims it was long overdue.
"I kind of think this is something that I should have done after the first Frankie Edgar fight," Penn admitted in a recent video with HDNet Fights. "A bunch of my coaches pleaded to step away from the sport and take some time off. I was just kind of in the mix. I kept going, I kept going, trying to push myself. Now I don't really like the results I've been getting."
From the lucidity of his rationale, it's oblivious the issue had been weighing on Penn's mind much longer than the lead-up to UFC 137. Since losing his lightweight championship to Edgar at UFC 112, the 32-year-old has tumbled through a slew of disappointing performances, including another less inspiring loss to Edgar and a controversial draw to Jon Fitch, after which Penn admitted he felt he lost the fight.
Now it seems as though the string of heartbreak may have diminished his competitive fire.
"If I ever feel it again, I'll come back," Penn somberly explains. "If it interests me and excites me. I don't want to be sitting in the locker room saying, ‘I can't believe I'm still doing this,' you know. If it excites me we'll see how it goes, but I definitely need some time away."