For the third time after as many fights, MMA icon BJ Penn (pictured) has called it a career. The only difference on this occasion, Penn definitely knows it’s time to retire.
On Sunday at “The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale,” Penn ended his 19-month retirement to face Frankie Edgar for the third time. Unfortunately for Penn, the third time wasn’t the charm.
Unlike their first two encounters where Edgar won via unanimous decision, this time Edgar ended things rather easily and in devastating fashion. Penn was a bloody mess for his swan song.
“This is the end,” Penn stated at the post-fight press conference. “I’m thinking, ‘Why did you step back into the octagon after the beating Rory MacDonald gave you?’ The reason is I needed to find out. If I didn’t make this happen for myself, I would have always wondered.
“Now I know for sure that I can’t.”
Penn initially retired after losing to Nick Diaz at UFC 137, then hung up his gloves again after his next fight against MacDonald.
Penn broke down in tears as he discussed his legacy at the presser.
“The Prodigy” ends his career with a 16-10-2 record. Penn lost five of his last seven, including three straight.
However, those numbers don’t do Penn’s career justice. He is one of two fighters in UFC history to win titles in two different weight classes (lightweight and welterweight). Penn is also considered by most pundits as the greatest 155-pounder MMA has ever witnessed.
Penn also was the first lighter-weight fighter to establish himself as a legitimate pay-per-view draw. Edgar admitted at the post-fight press conference that the lighter-weight fighters are indebted to Penn for laying the foundation for them to headline UFC cards.
UFC president Dana White previously said Penn will eventually be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.