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BJ Penn 'sure' he will fight again in the UFC

ESPN staff
November 14, 2011 « Fury to become best heavyweight on planet - Hennessy | Chartbeat test »
BJ Penn took a beating from Nick Diaz at UFC 137 © Getty Images
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BJ Penn has confessed that a big part of him wants to fight again, and he is "sure" his desire will return at some stage in the future.

Penn's official status is "retired" following his loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137, but he makes little effort to hide the fact a comeback could be on the cards. As one of only two dual-weight UFC champions, the Prodigy remains a legend of the sport and retains a huge fan base.

Common belief among those fans is that Penn should never have been fighting at welterweight, where he recently beat Matt Hughes but drew with Jon Fitch and lost to Diaz. The majority of Penn's career has been spent at lightweight, a division in which he would surely still be a top contender.

However, champion of that weight class right now is Frankie Edgar, the only lightweight to have beaten Penn in eight years, a feat he managed twice. Penn admits he would still love to return to the Octagon, and in a recent interview he sounded more positive about the prospect than ever before.

"That's just the truth, I would love to fight again, I'd love to fight all these guys," Penn told his official website. "Right now I don't have that burning desire to compete... [but] when and if that desire comes back I will be ready to fight again. I'm sure it will."

Explaining his decision not to fight in the near future, Penn said it would be dangerous for him to stand opposite an opponent who was willing to go to depths deeper than he would be himself.

"In fighting you really get a lot of motivation and a lot of fire when you're out there trying to prove yourself and going out there being all you can be," Penn said. "There's nothing else more that I like than fighting, but every once in a while you need to take some time away.

"As of right now I don't feel that burning desire, that burning urge to compete. If I feel that desire again than I will be back, but if I don't feel it than there is no reason for me to make a return.

"When you're standing in the ring across from your opponent he is thinking there is nothing else more important in the world than winning this fight and you have to be thinking the same thing. No matter if you're better than him or not you have to be thinking the same thing. He's got a dream and only a dream can kill a dream and your dream has to be bigger than his.

"If you're just there because you're better than the opponent than you're not in the right frame of mind. Fighting is one of the only sports that a guy not as good as you can beat you… Why? Because he wants it more."

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