MMA News

Monday, 02/13/2012, 03:02 pm

BJ Penn Talks To ESPN | I'm Living A Normal Life For The First Time In 15 Years, Unsure Of Next Step

“I’m enjoying my time away from the sport. That’s where I am right now,” Penn said. “I’m living a regular life instead of living the roller coaster. I haven’t [lived a normal life] in 15 years.

“I’m trying to find myself a little bit — not as a fighter trying to come back to the sport, but just as a person.”

BJ Penn says he’s still in the gym on a regular basis, but he’s there strictly for his enjoyment of the sport. He’s not forcing himself to do the drills he doesn’t want to do and he’s not putting his body through the rigors of sparring sessions.

When he doesn’t feel like going, he doesn’t. Although, he says, “usually I want to go.”

Most of the time, retirement isn’t on his mind, but it’s an impossible topic to avoid when every fan Penn interacts with obviously wants to know if he’s done or not. When he does think about the sport and his career, he actually thinks more about the past than the future.

“I just honestly sit back and reflect and look at how it went,” Penn said. “I really do feel I could have done a lot better in a lot of different situations. I’m heartbroken with the way some of the fights went. The way my UFC 94 fight [against Georges St. Pierre] and my fights with Frankie Edgar went, I’m heartbroken about those fights.

“I feel I could have made better choices but I don’t feel a major urge that I’ve got to go fix that right now.”

He was unaware of the recent comments made by UFC president Dana White on the promotion’s intent to hold a show in Hawaii as early as this year.

We talked about the chances the UFC would have selling out a 50,000-seat arena in Hawaii (pretty good, Penn and his brother J.D. thought, if B.J. is headlining) but we did so hypothetically. Even a main event in Hawaii isn’t a guarantee Penn returns.

“We would just have to sit down and talk about what made sense,” Penn said. “That’s amazing they are finally deciding to go to Hawaii, but I wouldn’t want to waste Dana’s time, getting his hopes up on something he wants to put together.”

I mentioned to him that if he does fight again, he should be certain that’s what he wants. But does he worry at all about the time being lost while he’s deciding?

Penn is 33. He’ll turn 34 in December. Even if he ends up only taking off six to nine months and then returns, that’s still a significant chunk of time considering he’s not far away from an age a reasonable decline in performance is expected.

He nodded, and said he’s thought about that part. He’ll have to live with it.

“That is something that either way, I’m going to have to accept,” Penn said. “I’ve thought about it, but even if you are in your physical prime, there’s still no sense going back if your head isn’t there.”

At the end of the day, I still believe what I did in the beginning — that B.J. Penn will get in the Octagon again eventually. That’s nothing more than a guess and right now, my guess on the topic is as good as Penn’s, which is as good as yours.

“I want to tell [my fans] that they’re guess is as good as mine,” Penn said. “I don’t know.” Go to ESPN to read the rest of the interview HERE.

Read More: BJ Penn (News), Retired Fighters, UFC


27 Responses to “BJ Penn Talks To ESPN | I'm Living A Normal Life For The First Time In 15 Years, Unsure Of Next Step”

  1. CCW.Gun control=Government control. says:

    He wont come back now. We wont see him fight in the UFC again, was a good run though.

    • isaiah D says:

      Haha Wishful thinking, Hes still got one more for us. And I cant wait. It will be the fight of my life as a fan. And BJ you better give me the good guy discount man, times are tough…

    • Mike McMack says:

      I think he’ll come back, he lost his passion for fighting before the lost at UFC 114. Hopefully he gets that fire back to fight, if not he’s still one of the best ever.

  2. kenji says:

    personally, id like to see bj just build up muscle strength during his time off…try body building instead of grappling or boxing…those attributes will always be there for him if he decides to return…work on his weaknesss instead of his strengths..then if he decides to return or not at least the areas he was weak at are there for him…he will always be a gifted grappler or striker…go run a triatholon….change it up…!

    • kenji says:

      of course…i say this as a fan and with the deepest respects…thanks for the undying willl and heart bj youve displayed throughout your career…

    • wtf says:

      bodybuilding excersizes are actually counterproductive to fighters

      • kenji says:

        wtf…i guess ur right in some regard…but in bj’s case…,more muscle cant hurt…whether its bodybuilding or some endurance “toning” muscle training will benefit him whether he returns or not…but to do nothing now with all the time on his hand….and then train…it is too late! its all about first changing his mindset…cause you got to admit…he cant compete in the body he has now…at least in the top 3 or 4 in the lightweight or welterweight division….but realistically…there are even some ranked in the lower top 10 that can compete. but what the hell…he needs a good rest.

  3. Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

    At least he is happy with his life right now. Everyone has regrets in their past, that just means he cares. Good luck BJ! Please keep your hand in the MMA cookie jar.

  4. Higgo says:

    All the best in what ever path you take.

  5. lol says:

    Hes done.. its been fun.. Enjoy a regular life.. Best wishes.

  6. mmagurf says:

    it’s too bad he doesn’t train as hard as the other fighters, lots of skills, no cardio! Everyone puts their body through hell to perform at their best, too bad he’s too lazy to put the work in. How sad… gonna miss you bud

  7. Taylor says:

    This is depressing. He doesn’t sound like he wants to come back. 34 is too old to make a serious comeback. There’s too many young, hungry fighters in both 155 and 170 division. I just hope whatever decision he makes, he does it with his whole heart with no regrets.

    • Ly-er says:

      Yah 34 is pretty tough, but a prime example of old age overcoming adversity is “Randy Couture”! Since both have titles in two different weight classes, hopefully it can be BJ’s turn to rally a comeback!!! LOL


    i actualy think this is good bjs taking a break, finaly recharge the batteries, people say hes too lazy and hasent trained but bj has fought a lot more than other fighters in the year, if he did what gsp does fight twice a year or like silva he would perform better , bj penn is a legend, people can talk him down, and say negitive stuff about him and trainin but thats just because deep down they respect himm too much and just wish he would win them all, never going to happen when you fight every challenge and never duck anyone,,,warr bj i know ill see ya again in the octagon great to hear from you

  9. dirk digler says:

    BJ should become a big wave surfer.

  10. D says:

    BJ Penn needs to a new camp and needs to get away from his horrible coaches (the brother in particular). You need to work on Cardio and your wrestling BJ. Master those two and you’ll be unstoppable. Suck it up and deal with the intense cardio training.

  11. ZeroXcuses says:

    If he goes back an watches that documentary he made right before the 2nd gsp fight, i think he’ll realize how much he does love the sport an the challenges that come with it, and maybe then we can see a motivated, in shape, bj penn.

  12. : ^ ) says:

    A few things about this article: BJ gave ESPN an interview? Dana White hates ESPN due to the investigative story they did on UFC fighter pay with Lorenzo. Did BJ do this coincidently or to spite Dana? Dana has said he would never have an outdoor show due to weather concerns. He said this just last year in Brazil during one of the fights down there. Why would he have a show at Aloha Stadium? Even if BJ was the main event here, there would be no meaning to the fight (this year anyways) because BJ is so far out of contention at LW and WW. Co-main event? BJ sounds like he is in a good place with his live and is content with it. Cool. I want to see BJ fight, but not a BJ at 50%.

  13. Twayne says:


  14. Night-Wind says:

    Fighters fight!

  15. Shaundi says:

    BJ vs Dan Hardy as the main event!

  16. James Wolfe says:

    All the best BJ. I’m a fan for life, cheers.

  17. Duane says:

    At least BJs keeping it real. His head isn’t in it anymore, don’t need the money, and most important has kids he wants to be there for. Much respect to the Prodigy!

    But, if he does get that urge and wants to take this to the next level (new camp of course) and get his Randy Coutoure on he got my support.

  18. i wud bj bj :) says:

    that wud b easy dan shud b cut lol. STEPHEN HORGAN hit the nail on the hed :)

  19. FunCrusher says:

    Give him Clay Guida, neither are racing for a title shot. BJ should be done at 170. Go out with a barn burner BJ!

  20. DevNY says:

    Always good to hear from you BJ. I always wanted to hear your perspective on the Frankie Edgar fights. I honestly believe you could have one those fights if you did things differently. Thanks for the insight and the rollercoaster ride you put us fans thru!! If you ever do make a return, learn from the past and come back betta than eva!!

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