Ryan Hall needed just 61 seconds to submit BJ Penn with a heel hook at UFC 232 last night. Penn (40), a former lightweight and welterweight champion was a big reason for the UFC’s rise in the 2000’s.
This was the first time that Penn was submitted in his career which started in 2001. This was also his sixth straight loss, and he has won just once in his past 10 fights.
Hall (7-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) was asked by MMA Junkie about his opinion on Penn’s fighting future:
“As a fan of his I can understand both perspectives. Obviously he’s a little bit older, but also the game has continued to evolve. It’s difficult, and evolve on his shoulders. It’s not as if people could get to where we are without the Fedor Emelianenko’s, without the B.J. Penn’s. I think it’s very important to remember that. But it’s also very tough if everyone’s gotten to watch you fight for 15 years, and also figure out what you’re up too, then on top of that copy a bunch of what you’re up too, to still be able to win generation after generation is very challenging.
“B.J. went through multiple generations of fighters and still has plenty left, but it’s just a matter of it he wants to do that. But I can also understand the perspective of people who say, ‘Hey, you’ve done enough already. Why take the risk? Why take the physical toll?’ But ultimately telling another person what to do with their life, I’m not very comfortable with that.”
“At a time like that you don’t want to walk over there and I’m not trying to get – just be weird and get in someone’s face. At the same time I hope we cross paths at some point in the future and ask him a bunch of questions. But right after a fight no one likes the other person running over and Yoel Romero’ing them. No one likes that.”
UFC president Dana White was much more direct. He wants Penn to retire ASAP.
He told MMA Fghting:
“B.J.’s a legend in this sport,” White said. “He went down to Brazil, trained hard for this thing, got into great shape, the camp was raving about him. He got caught in a submission tonight. B.J. Penn is one of the legends of the sport and helped build this company. I would love to see B.J. retire.
“B.J. Penn has nothing left to prove. I say it all the time, fighting is a young man’s game. This is not for older men. B.J. is a multiple-time world champion in multiple divisions and he’s got nothing to prove. People love him and he’s a legend and he’s done it all and there’s nothing left to do in my opinion.”
“Listen, I don’t want to piss B.J. off because I love B.J., I would love to see B.J. retire. So in setting up this fight, it set up the perfect fight where it’s a submission match between two incredible submission guys and for him to submit B.J. the way that he did as fast as he did, it’s a big deal for that kid. And I’m sure, like Rogan said, he grew up idolizing B.J. Penn so to be able to pull that off is incredible.”
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