MMA News: B.J. Penn on Retirement, Lesnar vs. Overeem and More

| by Sports Nickel

On HDNet’s Inside MMA, BJ Penn discussed his future, and whether or not he’s down fighting.

“I kinda think this is something that I should have [done] after the first Frankie Edgar fight. A bunch of my coaches pleaded with me to step away from the sport, take some time off. I don’t really like the results I’ve been getting. [I need to] take some time off. Take some time away from the sport. If I ever feel it again, I’ll come back…I don’t want to be sitting in the locker room saying, I can’t believe I’m still doing this.”

This is sad, but not because he may be retiring, but because I firmly believe Penn never realized his full potential. He got by on pure, natural talent his entire career. And it’s quite amazing what he accomplished based on that. If he had the work ethic of a GSP or Anderson Silva, he could’ve possibly become the greatest MMA fighter, pound for pound, of all time. But for whatever reason, he decided to get by on raw talent alone. And at nearly 33 years of age, his “break” from MMA can’t be for an extended amount of time. If it is, we may have seen the last of BJ Penn in the cage. I’d like to see him come back with a renewed lease on the Lightweight Division and make one last run. But only if he decides to give it his all.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Alistair Overeem predicted how his fight with Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 will play out.

“The winner of the fight between me and Brock [Lesnar] will fight the winner of Cain [Velasquez] and [Junior] dos Santos…You know what? I’m going to be bold. I’m going to kick that guy’s ass…Brock is an amazing athlete. He’s a very strong guy, a very strong dude. He’s going to be at UFC 141 125 percent. That’s what I’m expecting. He’s going to be there full force, so some clip shot who knows when, where, whatever — I’ve not even seen it. I’ve got to imagine that if you’re going to accept the fight against me, you will be there 100 percent. In his case I expect 125 percent. He’s going to be motivated.”

I don’t know about this fight yet. Overeem would definitely win this fight if it’s a kickboxing match. But Brock Lesnar doesn’t fight kickboxing matches. He takes his opponents down, and Overeem’s takedown defense has never been the best. I say it’s 50/50 right now.

According to, the carousel of opponents for Bobby Lashley at Shark Fights 21 is still turning. The event is scheduled for this Friday, and the new, and hopefully final, opponent is 20-6 veteran Karl Knothe.

This is ridiculous. Is this amateur hour? The fact that they are still fighting for the Heavyweight Title is also up there in the realm of asinine. Can I walk off the street and get a Lightweight/Welterweight title shot? I hope nothing else goes wrong leading up to Friday.

In separate interviews with ESPN UK, when asked whether they would accept a fight against each other, Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger both were open to the idea. Alves replied, “That would be a great fight. But like I said, whoever Joe Silva wants me to fight, I’m ready for it.” Ellenberger later said, “It doesn’t matter to me. He’s a good fighter, he had an impressive victory and proved he’s still one of the top guys in the division. I’m always open.”

Not too sure how I feel about this fight. I think I’d rather have Ellenberger fight Diego Sanchez or Thiago Alves fight Diego Sanchez, and give Ellenberger the winner of Jon Fitch and Johny Hendricks.

UFC officials announced two explosive lightweight bouts for UFC 142 in Brazil, as Sam Stout will take on Thiago Tavares and Terry Etim will meet Edson Barboza on the card in January.

Both these fights look to be very exciting. Tavares/Stout has “Fight of the Night” written all over it, and Etim/Barboza is the classic grappler vs. striker match-up. This card is looking every bit as good as UFC 134 was.