The legendary BJ Penn who was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame is back.
In an interview with The MMA Hour on Tuesday, Penn announced that he is coming out of retirement with trainer Greg Jackson and will be targeting the 145 pound belt.
The former UFC champion who has lightweight and welterweight titles to his credit told host Aril Helwani: “That’s who I am, Ariel. That’s who I am. That’s what I do.”
“I want to go get that 145-pound belt. That’s definitely a huge motivation for me. I believe with Greg Jackson’s help, I can get that done. And I believe that I will be able to walk away as the only man with three titles in three weight divisions.”
His last fight against Frankie Edgar in 2014 resulting in a loss marked his second retirement but now the 37 year old Hawaiian is all sorted out and ready to bounce back.
“I’ve been kind of thinking about it for a while. But, this is my last resort, and I’m going to give it everything I got,” Penn said.
“I made sure to tell Greg, I let him know the other day that if I can’t do this, Greg, in any way, shape, or form, you feel that B.J. doesn’t belong in the ring, please let me know. Please let me know. And he’s very confident that we can get something done,”Penn added.
“With somebody like that, who has so many champions himself and who has does as well as he has in this sport, when he tells me that: ‘I know you can go out and I know you can beat all these guys,’ it gives me a lot of confidence.”
“I don’t want to be a shell of my former self. And I told Jackson that if I can’t do this, you let me know. You come straight to me, Greg. You see me sparring one day; you look at me and say ‘this guy don’t got it anymore,’ pull the plug right now. I got a wonderful life back in Hawaii. I love my life. But I love fighting more.”
“I realize what I’m up against. I’ll go out right now and give all my respect to these guys. These guys are animals. These guys are the best athletes in the world, and I want to go and take my place among them.”
Stating that he has got two more years left, Penn said that he is coming out of retirement for nothing but honour.
“I’m coming back for honour. I’m coming back to do this, give everything I got, and when I look back, everybody is going to say: ‘you know what? B.J. f**king did it. B.J. f**king stepped up. He didn’t talk the talk and not walk the walk. He stepped up, and he gave it his best effort. A lot of people might say, ‘you should’ve done this 10 years ago.’ Hey, you know, there is a time and a place for everything,” Penn continued.
“There’s a time and a place. I’ve only been fighting one fight a year for the last three years, and I think I saved a lot of myself there. I think I saved myself. How old are UFC champions? (Fabricio) Werdum is my age. I think this is going to be good, Ariel. I think this is going to be good.”