In advance of his January comeback fight with Yair Rodriguez, many fight fans suggested BJ Penn would have been wiser to just call it a career. When he lost to Rodriguez, these cries for his retirment grew even louder, and they’ve continued to this day, when he’s just hours away another fight with Dennis Siver.
According to Penn, however, true greats don’t just quit when the going gets tough. The real legends of MMA – like Anderson Silva – fight as long as they want to, and retire on their own terms.
“Everyone [always says] ‘legacy, legacy, legacy,'” Penn said on the latest edition of BJ Penn Radio. “I just want to say right now, whether I come back right now and I win the belt, and all these things I want to do, either way, I don’t want to be involved with the greatest of all time talks if the greatest of all time means you walked away at the right time. I don’t care what anyone says. Legacy, this, that… you’ve got to respect someone like Anderson Silva who is still in there, gutting it out. If you’re the greatest of all time because you walked away at the right time, then go fuck yourself. Seriously.”
“Seriously, like Fedor [Emelianenko], because he’s still fighting. [When he loses] he’s not the greatest? I mean give me a break. People have different views on the things I believe.”
BJ Penn will collide with Dennis Siver on the main card of tonight’s UFC Oklahoma City card. The card will be headlined by a lightweight scrap between Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa.
Do you think Penn will add another win to his resume in Oklahoma City? Where do you think he ranks amongst MMA’s greats? Join the conversation in the comments section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/22/2017.