B.J. Penn Discusses Gilbert Melendez Fight, Future In UFC

Former UFC champion B.J. Penn stopped by The MMA Hour recently to discuss what has become a weekly question with the MMA media: Will Penn compete again?

While he didn’t confirm – or deny – his retirement plans, Penn did offer up his explanation for turning down a fight with Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, and a possible fight down the road inside the Octagon.

It was right after the Nick Diaz fight. (UFC president Dana White) offered me a fight against Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce. We sat down, we thought about it for a little while, and we fought back and forth and it was kind of one of those things where I guess at the end of the day, we just thought about it a thousand different ways and we were like, is it downgrading yourself fighting in Strikeforce and if you win the Strikeforce title people are going to say you did it because you couldn’t win the UFC title? We just kind of thought about it a thousand different ways and at the end of the day, it just didn’t make sense to us.

As for his future, Penn said, “I’m not really excited to jump right into a training camp right now.” He did say that he has talked with White a number of times about his future. He added, “Being a competitor, you always have that itch.”

Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMAFighting

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