It’s nearly impossible to mention the name B.J. Penn without then automatically reeling off a long list of accomplishments from his career.
He’s a former two-division champion in the UFC after winning titles at both welterweight and lightweight. He fought anybody and everybody, including fighters well above him in both height and weight. He’s a UFC Hall of Famer.
Simply put, B.J. Penn is a legend.
But these days as Penn approaches his 39th birthday later this year, he’s just embracing his passion for fighting because that’s what originally got him involved in the sport in the first place.
Of course, Penn has faced a lot of criticism lately after losing a lopsided fight to Yair Rodriguez in January and that’s after he was handed an equally devastating loss to Frankie Edgar back in 2014 before retiring from the sport. Penn has gone just 1-6-1 over his past eight fights so a lot of fans are wondering why he’s still fighting when arguably he’s only tarnishing a once sterling legacy.
Penn explained when speaking to FOX Sports ahead of his next fight in Oklahoma City against Dennis Siver that as much as he loves the support he receives from all of the fans, his supporters have to understand that none of this is about his reputation as being one of the greatest of all time.
This is about a fighter who just loves fighting.
“I don’t really think I have to balance it. I think other people have to balance it in their own heads when they look at me,” Penn said. “Are you going to tell a professional surfer who loves to surf that he shouldn’t surf anymore? He’s surfing because he loves to surf. I think when people go to see me fight again, I don’t think I’m the one with the problem. I think they’re the ones with the problem because they have these memories of me and they want to hold me up in a certain way,…