It’s been a week and a half since BJ Penn got shellacked by Nick Diaz at UFC 137, which means he’s had some time to chill out and really think about whether he wants to stick with that whole ‘retirement’ thing. Michael Schiavello caught up with him at ProElite’s second show and here’s what he said:
You know what, I kinda think this is something I shoulda did after the first Frankie Edgar fight. A bunch of my coaches pleaded with me to step away from the sport, take some time off. I was just kinda in the mix … I kept going, kept going, trying to push myself. I don’t really like the results I’ve been getting. I just … take some time off, take some time away from the sport. If I ever feel it again, I’ll come back, if it interests me, it excites me. I don’t wanna be sitting in the locker room saying “I can’t believe I’m still doing this”, you know? So if it excites me, we’ll see how everything goes but I definitely need some time away.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but BJ Penn just made a totally rational and sane decision. Taking yourself out of the regular rotation is much smarter than quitting full stop. BJ is on the edge of being just another guy on the roster right now. But after a year or two away, people will freak out when he comes back. Especially if there happens to be someone holding the belt at 155 that he can beat.