The top ten videos that caused BJ Penn to come out of retirement

Don’t tell BJ Penn what he can’t do. He’s back. If I had it my way, Penn would retire to a beautiful life growing weird plants in Hawaii with his lovely family. Eventually, he would pass away and become a Smoke Monster deity, or perhaps a ball of light, charged with the responsibility of protecting his island. But it’s not my call or anyone else’s, this is sweet Baby Jay’s world and we just live in it.

It’s no surprise Penn is returning. He boasts an entire career of fights he should’ve probably never taken, which is why we love him so much. I can only assume that BJ Penn came to this decision in the most BJ Penn way possible: Kicked back on the couch, wearing nothing but boardshorts and pondering over many a quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore. Maybe if we do the same, we can understand where he’s coming from. So, take off your shirts and slip on your favorite pair of RVCA’s, these are‘s Top 10 Videos That (Could Have) Caused BJ Penn come out of retirement.



Usually, a list like this would start with BJ Penn jackhammering Caol Uno into oblivion, but instead I felt it’s only fitting to start where Penn really began his career. Penn earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in three short years from André Pederneiras. A week later, he won gold in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships. …That just doesn’t happen. That’s like mopping the floors on your first day at work, in three years you’ve become the president of the company, and then you hit the lottery. Well, Penn hit the BJJ lottery and he was giving free chokes out to every damn body.


Every year on November 2nd, I light a candle and blow it out in precisely 11 seconds. I do this to honor the anniversary of BJ Penn removing Caol Uno from planet Earth at UFC 34 and then vanishing like a ninja in the night. An urban legend still floats around that if you say Caol Uno’s name three times in front of a mirror in a dark room, his bug-eyed, slumped body will appear behind you. I’ve been too scared to try it myself.


There is no way that BJ Penn doesn’t watch this fight on the daily. This epic encounter between Penn and Matt Hughes embodies everything that Penn’s legacy is about. As a matter of fact, this fight is like a microcosm of Penn’s entire career: high stakes, moving up in weight for a challenge, denying the odds, and constantly reminding everyone that he’s fucking nuts. It only took Penn one round to submit Hughes and earn his first UFC championship belt.

Immediately after his victory, Penn kissed the former champ directly on the lips like a mafia boss and then caused more damage slapping himself than Hughes inflicted during the whole fight.


After BJ Penn won the UFC welterweight title, he called Dana White and asked if it’d be cool if he went to Japan to fight in K1. White told Penn that, actually, that would totally not be cool. Too bad because BJ Penn was already in Japan, dude. That’s how he rolls.

I don’t know the exact timeline of the phone call, but I’d like to think Penn said, “Hakuna Matata” and hung up on White right before he walked out to fight Duane Ludwig. With wins over Krazy Horse, Jens Pulver and Genki Sudo, Ludwig was on a six fight fire emoji streak…..A run that Penn extinguished in under two minutes.


This is probably the craziest thing BJ Penn ever did. Penn decided he would attempt the extremely dangerous Elder Scrolls: Lyoto Machida quest at open weight to try and earn his Fus Ro Dah. Penn managed to get up to 191lbs before being over-encumbered. Meanwhile, Machida was maxed out at 225lbs.

Despite enormous hardship and an intimidating power level differential, Penn survived. The fight was close, but unfortunately Penn lost a decision to the Dragon. Still, the performance was very impressive. He must get a half chub when he watches this fight, and I’m not talking about his weight


Even though I’m sure BJ Penn has tape of this, no footage on Youtube could be found for Penn and Georges St-Pierre’s first clash at UFC 58. I’m pretty positive all the DVDs were melted. The conspiracy theorist in me says this is because the UFC doesn’t want people to see this fight. The reason for that is, despite losing in a split decision, Penn beat the dog shit out of GSP.

If you don’t believe me, the only evidence that still exists is this post-fight interview where a mauled GSP is so out of it, he thought he was fighting two BJ Penn(s). The only reason I was able to re-watch it myself was because I bought (what I was led to believe is) the last remaining VHS in existence from {redacted}.

After viewing it once I wrapped the cassette in firecrackers, detonated it and mailed the pieces to Zuffa as instructed.


The main event of UFC 80 could have been directed by Quentin Tarantino given the sheer amount of stylistic blood violence. BJ Penn was a man possessed. By the end of the very first round, Joe Stevenson was gushing like a stuck pig. The dominance that continued in the next round was terrifying as Penn thundered death blows upon the glistening, red mass that became Stevenson’s body.

After writhing and scrambling in a crimson kiddie pool, the Hawaiian God of War decided it was time to show mercy on his opponent by submitting Stevenson with a choke. He celebrated finally becoming the UFC lightweight champion by licking Stevenson’s blood off his gloves, clearly a pagan ritualistic consumption of a fallen opponent’s life force that holds religious significance to BJ Penn.


Let’s just keep this bloodbath going. Hopefully, when Penn gets a hankering for the ol’ ultraviolence he sends the kids to bed before popping this up on the flat screen. This fight between Penn and Diego Sanchez was straight, Looney Tunes bonkers. The war would be a guaranteed classic anyway, but the kicker was when Penn opened up a Hellmouth portal to the Netherrealm on Sanchez’s forehead. The highlight above may be just as frenetic and crazy as the fight itself. I completely lost it when it replayed the infamous head kick three times and the uploader’s description is hilarious.


Frankie Edgar is BJ Penn’s white whale. Penn lost the UFC lightweight title to Edgar and would challenge the man that ended his eight-year undefeated streak two more times and fail a little more each time. This has to eat our Baby Jay up, especially since Edgar was the last person Penn fought before he retired. …Something we all know just doesn’t stick. I imagine Penn turns on these fights and stress eats before he angrily switches the television off and runs underwater with boulders. However, with Penn returning and Edgar surely getting passed up for a title shot again, we may see this fight a fourth time.


I still can’t believe this fight ever happened. BJ Penn fighting Nick Diaz was equal parts unbelievably exciting and painfully bittersweet. Penn was in the twilight of his career while Diaz was, not only in his prime, but at his most extreme Diaz-ness due to losing the opportunity to fight GSP. It was close in the beginning, but we all know about that signature Diaz volume. After a grueling three rounds, Penn lost the decision and was swelled up like a puffy alien made of zits.

In stark contrast to the now infamous post-fight Diaz interview, it was here at UFC 137 when Penn said this would probably be the last time we’d see him in the Octagon. It was a very sad moment back then, but that was before we knew Penn would retire and come back more times than Jay Z.

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