Once a fiery young competitor poised to overtake the MMA landscape, BJ “The Prodigy” Penn is now a seasoned veteran with a decade of mixed martial arts competition under his belt. During his storied career, which has seen him capture UFC titles in two separate weight classes (welterweight and lightweight), Penn has tasted both the highs and the lows of the sport, gradually cultivating a calmer demeanor and noticeable maturity as a result.
On the eve of his impending bout with fiery scrapper Nick Diaz, some wonder whether Penn has mellowed too much, maybe having lost some of the wildness that has kept him at or near the top of the heap throughout his career. During this week’s media events, Penn responded to those worries, explaining that, much like Roger Murtaugh, he’s simply too old for the nonsense outside of the cage, but that he’ll be as violent as he’s ever been once the cage door closes.
“I think I’m gonna step in the ring and be as violent as I can, but I think with the other stuff, I’m getting too old. I’m getting old, I guess,” said Penn.
It seems with age that Penn has finally begun to hit his stride, hopefully breaking his tendency toward inconsistency. Either way, don’t worry about the fire having left the Hawaiian warrior.
“I know I’m older and stuff but I honestly feel I’m the best I’ve ever been. I feel like I’m as violent as I’ve ever been,” the 32-year-old reiterated. “I think I’m getting much smarter, training and figuring this thing out. It’s been taking a long time to finally find the right recipe and it always keeps changing but I think I’ve got some time left. It’s like that love/hate thing always.”
Penn and Diaz will face off this Saturday night, October 29, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. FightLine will be back with live, ongoing coverage of the event beginning around 5:50pm ET tomorrow with the preliminary card.