B.J. Penn noncommittal on fighting future after UFC 232, praises Ryan Hall

B.J. Penn is not making any firm decisions about his fighting future after experiencing his sixth consecutive loss in a submission defeat to Ryan Hall at UFC 232.

Penn (16-13-2 MMA, 12-12-2 UFC), a UFC Hall of Famer, was halted in the first round by Hall at December’s UFC 232 event. It was the first time in his MMA career that he’d been tapped out, and though it came at an advanced stage of his career, it was still a rather stunning outcome to witness.

The Hawaiian, in particularly, was surprised to see himself fall short to Hall (7-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) with a finish set up by an Imanari roll and ended with a heel hook.

“I was shocked at how deep Ryan was able to sink in the leg lock right off the hop,” Penn told his own website, BJPenn.com, in his first post-UFC 232 interview. “The timing was perfect. I tried to run and pull my leg out, but I wasn’t going anywhere as my knee was still stuck inside his hips. So I tried to defend my knee and turn it up towards the sky. By the time I looked back he had already switched to the heel hook and my ankle just popped.

“It is swollen. There’s some bruising and what not. But it wasn’t my knee. It was my ankle that popped. It is what it is. Hats off to Ryan Hall, that submission was the perfect storm.”

Penn’s six-fight losing skid is tied for the longest in UFC history. He has just one victory in his past 10 fights dating back to April 2010, which is a rather unfortunate position for the former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion.

Finding a way to return to the winning track has caused Penn to attempt many different training scenarios in recent years. For UFC 232, he went back to his roots and fought out of Nova Uniao in Brazil. Everyone involved said his camp went brilliantly, and Penn agrees.

“You know I felt like I had one of the greatest training camps in my life for this fight,” Penn said. “Training in Brazil at Nova Uniao was nothing short of amazing. I can’t thank Leo Santos and coach Andre Pederneiras enough for their efforts. We had practiced everything, including leg locks, and I felt great. It just didn’t work out this time around.”

UFC President Dana White said post-fight at UFC 232 that he would like to see Penn retire from MMA. “The Prodigy” has hung up his gloves before, but at 40 and with wins increasingly difficult to find on his record, White said there’s nothing left for Penn to prove.

Penn has said numerous times that he doesn’t know how to fill the void left by fighting, though, and it seems he has no intentions of rushing into the decision to walk away for good.

“I just got back home to Hawaii,” Penn said. “I’m going to let my ankle heal up and then I will contemplate what is next for my life.”

For complete coverage of UFC 232, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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