T Nation

Penn Retiring


I can see how he would be disappointed in his last few fights (not saying he didn't show up), but I would love to see him keep fighting. He really brought it in round one vs diaz.


Problem I see with BJ is he is stuck between weight classes. He is big enough that he doesnt wanna cut to 155 he can but doesnt wanna. And is just to small for 170.

He is still a very good fighter but the generation that came behind him are just better. The rest of the field caught up and he is stuck between weight classes means he isnt gonna win no belts. With his pride I dont see him taking the fights that are just fillers.


BJ is making the right choices, his heart isn't on it anymore, he doesn't have the motivation, he have a family to take care of.

Records means nothing, he always fought the best and scrapped against them, he was an exciting fighter who never ran from a challenge.

Farewell BJ, enjoy your retirement.

It's a shame i couldn't get your book autographed =/



Throwing the towel was the right decision.




It's that are do what Hughes ended up doing. And I'd rather not see that.

BJ is too damn small, and getting too damn old. His two fights at WW have taught this:

-He's a fucking warrior when he wants to be.
-The handspeed and ground game advantage isn't enough within the top 5.


Honestly, I think he picked the wrong times to be a warrior. Against Edger low kicks and takedowns worked, but he couldn't get his jab established. Still, if he threw 3 punches and shot a takedown it worked. Instead of using low kicks and takedowns to control the fight, win rounds, and maybe force Edger to make mistakes he tried to bomb him out with punches and his corner never said boo about it.

This last fight he was capable of hurting Diaz with punches, 1st round shows this. His wrestling should have been enough to get the fight to the ground if Penn made it a priority even if Diaz was good enough to avoid getting mounted or beat on. Rather than use takedowns to break Diaz's rythm and win rounds, and possibly set up the punches that could lead to a stop, he opted to stand and bang against someone with a good chin, a 6 inch reach advantage, and cardio that allowed a much better work rate.


Penn's camp had to know that they could get outworked because BJ has never had tremendous cardio and Diaz always does. They also had to recognize that BJ needs to establish his jab in order to make things happen with punches, see Edger 1 and 2, and that it is traditionally hard to get a jab going against a much taller AND busier fighter.

It seems like they didn't come in with any solutions to these problems. Instead BJ came in aggressive, did damage, got frustrated, and then got beat up. BJ has always been a force in the 1st round. He often struggled to work what he could get done early into a foundation that put him in a good position in later rounds, see GSP 1 and 2, Hughes 2, and Fitch.

I do not mean to be overly critical. He was a tremendous fighter and was always worth watching. He did it his way, and brought us some tremendous fights. I am sure he will make plenty on the seminar circuit/operating a gym/promoting if he wants.


Robert A


BJ was a great fighter when he wanted to be. I just feel like he started off as a prodigy in a narrow range of skills, and never evolved past that. He was amazing at what he was good at, but I feel like he under prepared for fights and lacked heart when they turned against him.

BJ was fun to watch when he was the superior fighter, but I think that after he dropped the Machida - GSP1 - Hughes fights that the magic was gone (although I can watch his TKO of Sean Sherk over and over again).


I actually started following the sport after his first GSP fight. I don't agree. The fights he had at LW were full of magic. Maybe they weren't the fiery displays of aggression like he had in his earlier years, but they were controlled and dominant.

My opinion is that if BJ wanted to, he could go down to LW and be a contender. And by contender I mean the no.2 guy. I think he would beat guys like Ben Henderson, Guida and Gray.

He's a LW, plain and simple. He's too fucking small to fight dudes at WW. At WW he has to go hard to keep up. This usually, thus far, lasts a round or two before it's evident he can't hang.

@RobA: I agree. I realized after the Edgar fight that he wasn't the kind of strategizer GSP was. He comes in with a general idea of what he wants to do, and attempts to do it to the final bell. This works well when you're fighting guys you outclass, but once you start fighting guys that can match you skill for skill (GSP), or negate their technical disadvantage with strength/size/reach, it's not as full proof.


can say i've never really been a fan of his, but the talent is undeniable. Dunno if it's just me but he's looked lost in the ring like he's had no game plan, or desire to change it when things aren't going his way.

Obviously he's not title contention material anymore, but he could be a part of some really interesting fights like he vs Thiago Alves or Koscheck. Thing is he opens (if he hasn't already) a BJJ school in Hawaii he'll retire comfortably. Dana will lure him back


I think its a good move.

somewhere in holding the lightweight title before he fought edgar,
He lost the desire to be the best- or life took over
family, running his gym and businesses -life.

sadly his training methods or camps have always held him back
Id rather see more fighters retire early then end up like Chuck or Matt Hughes
shit look at Sakuraba.


His refusal to train anywhere else does hurt him as I really do believe you hold yourself back by having the exact same people in your gym for every camp. Learning is slowed down this way and you never adjust.

The guy is still a legend and one of the guys responsible for making mma what it is. Some of his fights have been great even when he lost and the HOF is calling his name.