The demands of a sport as physical as Mixed Martial Arts are no secret, as are the dangers involved. Both factors were at play over this weekend when the UFC lost a fighter and gained a Hall of Famer after light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin announced his retirement despite only being 33 years old.
As UFC President Dana White was quick to point out during a conversation with media members after UFC 160, Griffin is not the only fighter at the premature end of an otherwise impressive career, mentioning B.J. Penn specifically.
“I want BJ Penn to retire,” said White in a series of comments captured by MMAWeekly. “BJ is too tough for his own good. BJ might not be knocked out, but the shots BJ took would have knocked out a normal human being. He’s had his head bounced off the canvas like a basketball by Matt Hughes, by Georges St-Pierre.”
“Penn has left that Octagon looking like a f*cking alien. He’s too tough for his own good,” he continued. “You don’t knock out B.J. Penn. B.J. Penn absorbs every amount of punishment you can give him…doesn’t mean he hasn’t taken damage. He’s taken a lot of damage and I don’t want to see him take anymore.”
Penn was last seen toughing it out during a one-sided beating at the hands of Rory MacDonald. The defeat was his fourth in six scraps with another Draw thrown in the mix he exited with some noticeable damage. Penn briefly retired after falling short to Nick Diaz, though didn’t confirm his intent to do the same after his stumble against MacDonald.