BJ PENNBJ PENN
Should BJ Penn retire after his loss to Rory MacDonald?
By Jaycen De Norsci-RNC Contributor
Normally, a question like this isn’t too difficult to answer. But when you’re talking about a guy like BJ Penn, who has been UFC Champion in two different divisions, it’s a bit more complicated than that. His loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 5 certainly was not, by any means, his best performance ever. Having said that, though, I don’t entirely fault BJ for it. I view it as a testament to the always-improving Rory MacDonald. At the age of only 23, that kid is already fighting like a Champion. As for BJ, I do still consider him to be a top name in the 170-pound category. But with two losses to Champion, George St-Pierre already on his record, it’s unlikely that he’ll receive another Welterweight title shot; at least not while GSP is still the Champion; and especially not after losing to Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald in succession. Now, if he wants to make a move back down to Lightweight, I’d be a huge fan of that. We haven’t seen BJ fight at Lightweight since he lost back-to-back fights against Frankie Edgar. But the Lightweight division has changed tremendously since then. Frankie Edgar has moved down to Featherweight, Benson Henderson is the new UFC Lightweight Champion, and there’s a fresh bunch of faces, old and new, like Gray Maynard, Anthony Pettis, Joe Lauzon, Nate Diaz, Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone, all of whom I think would make great opponents for BJ Penn. But if he doesn’t want to try another run at Lightweight, then I would definitely suggest retirement. Either way, BJ Penn is a top-tier UFC Hall of Famer in my eyes.
Jason Dempster --RNC Contributor
BJ is a great fighter and I think he has gotten better over the years but we are no longer pulling fighters from a small pond but instead a larger lake. Rory represents this new crop of fighters. Many people still remember the Royce Gracie days where the smaller technical fighter can beat the larger less technical opponent. The disparity in technical ability between fighters has become much smaller and therefore many other factors have become more improtant in the fight game. One of those factors is being the larger fighter. If you are not going to be the larger and stronger fighter, you at least need to be the faster and more in shape fighter. BJ is unfortunately not usually in better shape than the top level fighters at welterweight. The amount of extra leverage and range that you get from having a larger frame is a distinct advantage. BJ can continue to fight but will not be able to continue in the welter weight division against the new crop of fighters who are very technically proficient, larger framed and in shape. BJ will have to learn to cut weight if he wants to continue. He may need to consider moving to lightweight division or even the lower in the future. BJ is a legend and could retire now as one but if he still wants to compete and be at the top of a weight class, he needs to move down.
Brian Hobaugh-RNC Contributor
Yes. He is too old to be doing this anymore, and he already had his golden days. I don’t like seeing him get beat up.
Dylan Young-RNC Contributor
BJ Penn is one of the greatest MMA fighters to ever to compete. But, I am beginning to think his time is over, if not completely then nearly. He has been one of my all time favorites, not only has he always been a sight to see, but also his general attitude, ambition, and determination towards the sport make him the fighter everyone is sad to see leave. I think that there is for sure a ticking clock in this scenario, and there aren’t many seconds left with Dane White getting involved and stating that he believes that Penn needs to retire. I say he should give it one more and then hang up the gloves.
He is now 1-4-1 in his last six fights. If he comes back, he will run the risk of being pitied like Chuck Liddell was at the end of his career. B.J. Penn should without a doubt retire. He is a wealthy guy who does not have to worry about money or taking care of his family. He should be entered into the UFC Hall Of Fame in late 2012 or early 2013.
Posted in Bellator, Dream, Strikeforce, UFC
Tagged bj penn, BJJ, Brian Hobaugh, Dylan Young, Eric Hobaugh, Fox TV, jason dempster, Jaycen De Norscia, mma blog, UFC, ufc on fox, ufc on fox 5, zuffa