One of the more decorated MMA careers has come to an end, as BJ Penn will step away from the spotlight for good following a loss to Frankie Edgar.
Penn, who was defeated via TKO in the third round at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale Sunday night, confirmed plans to retire during the post-fight press conference.
“This is the end,” a stoic Penn said. “If I didn’t make this night happen for myself I would have always wondered and went back and forth, begging Dana (White) to let me back in (to compete). I guess I just needed some closure.”
Penn (16-10-2) reflected on his two most recent losses, as he was beaten by Rory MacDonald almost two years ago. He worked his way back and cut down to featherweight to challenge Edgar for a third time. Edgar previously won via decision over Penn.
“When the blood started going and the fight started getting real, I realized it takes a high energy level to compete with the top people,” Penn said. “At the end of the day, the bottom line is you need a high energy to compete. They’re very hungry. They want to be the best.”
For Penn, a former lightweight and welterweight champion, his UFC career comes to an end having won just once in his last seven fights. That was a knockout victory over Matt Hughes.