BJ Penn Says It Was Hard To Walk Away From MMA Because It Was His ‘Identity’

Walking away from sports can be hard.

When it is time to retire or walk away from the sport they are superstars in, professional athletes can have a hard time. Especially when it is all they have known for 20-plus years. We’ve seen it in all sports, but it gets rough very quickly in combat sports. For BJ Penn, he had a hard time walking away from the sport because it was his identity.

Identity

On a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, Penn explained.

“I’m done, 100%. It was hard for me to get out after being in there for 20 years and that’s your identity,” Penn said.  “You know, and then I just kind of got into trying to be a father. I was trying to be around more. And then all this stuff happened, and I find myself [on the Rogan podcast]. But I do think all the blood, all the tears, all the sweat, all the ups and downs, all the good media, all the bad media, all of that, was to prepare me for this kind of. I see, everything that they’re gonna throw at me, I can kind of see and well, I kind of been through that.”

“When I first got it decided to get into [politics]. I was just retired. So, I wasn’t trying to keep my everything perfect in public. I was just running around. I was just a guy trying to come off of a 20-year journey of being the baddest man on the planet. And so it was tough. It was really tough to get over. You know, that identity. So as time went on, I was just living my life. Some more ups and downs – I like I say. Sometimes I was judged fairly other times I wasn’t.”

Penn retired from MMA for the second time after losing a third time to Frankie Edgar in 2014. By that time, he was already on a three-fight skid. In 2017, Penn returned from a three-year retirement to take on Yair Rodriguez, got dominated, and eventually finished in a one-sided beat down. The Hall of Famer would fight three more times before retiring for good. He would also be released after a video of him street fighting in Hawaii.

While his downfall at the end of his career was very bad, there is no doubt that during his prime, he was one of the baddest motherfu*kers on the planet and has an argument to be the best lightweight of all time.

BJ for governor

Penn has also made his intentions very clear that he is planning to run for governor of Hawaii and has been very outspoken about the state.

“Hawaii’s got so many different problems with our housing problem and energy problems. Now everything with the gas,” Penn told Rogan. “And I really want to invite Elon Musk to come over and see if he could help us with Hawaii because it’s a landlocked state. And you know, everything comes in off the boat, and you got everybody talking about the Jones Act.”

“That’s an act that makes all international boats go to California first, before they come to Hawaii, they can’t just come to Hawaii. This was made back when Hawaii was a territory…Hawaii is the most unionized state, but our families all work in those unions. Were all together so we all have to figure out how to update all of these different things and make them work properly. Do we just bring the boats from it? Do we build our docks bigger, so they can take international boats, but just have our unions be the ones to take all this stuff off their boat?”

“The housing, the education, and, the rising cost of living is what’s killing everybody right now. And, and we have no self-sustainability.”

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