With the recent retirements of Forrest Griffin and Matt Serra, the spotlight is shining on guys finishing up their careers. Former champions Rich Franklin and B.J. Penn took beatings in their last respective bouts, and the media was quick to ask UFC president Dana White about them in the UFC 160 media scrum following the press conference. With typical candor, Dana said one should be done, but the other might have some more in the tank:
"They won't say yes (to retiring). I want B.J. Penn to retire. Rich hasn't taken the punishment some of these other guys have taken. His last fight didn't turn out too well for him, but he's not some guy who is consistently getting knocked out. He's not a guy consistently getting injured."
"B.J. is too tough for his own good. B.J. might not be knocked out, but the shots B.J. took would've knocked out a normal human being. He's had his head bounced off the canvas like a basketball by Matt Hughes, by Georges St-Pierre and then Rory just did it to him. B.J. Penn has left that octagon looking like a f*cking alien. He's too tough for his own good. You don't knock out B.J. Penn. B.J. Penn absorbs every amount of punishment you give him. It doesn't mean he hasn't been taking damage. He's taken a lot of damage, and I don't want to see him take anymore."
It's hard to argue with most of that, except the part about Franklin. He suffered a major injury that had him out for 16 months in 2011-12, and had his lights turned out by Cung Le and Vitor Belfort in the last four years. Penn's problem is that he wanted to fight at welterweight and was taking on guys 30 lbs bigger than him. Either way though, while it's good that Dana is looking out for his fighters, it's ultimately their decision. And somehow I think we'll see B.J. in the cage one more time before it's all said and done.