UFC 237 acted as the UFC’s big return to Brazil when they touched down in Rio de Janeiro this past Saturday night. There were several big-name legendary figures of the sport in action. One of which being the first ever fighter to win UFC championships in two different divisions, ‘The Prodigy,’ BJ Penn.
The Hawaiian icon would square off with his fellow veteran in Clay ‘The Carpenter’ Guida to kick off the evening’s preliminary action. Unfortunately for Penn, he would once again suffer defeat as Guida picked up the unanimous decision win.
The loss extended Penn’s skid to a UFC record seven straight while Guida got back in the win column after a loss to Charles Oliveira in June 2018. Acknowledging the position that he’s currently in, the 40-year old former champion discussed the loss on Monday.
“I know I am on a losing streak,” Penn told BJPenn.com. “I think they said it is the longest in UFC history or something. But that being said, I am not going out there and getting knocked unconscious. There are ton of guys, who would be considered in their prime, who still get knocked out cold – even this past weekend. I still feel good and the desire to compete is still there.
“It was a good scrap with Clay, who is a really tough fight for anybody at 155 [pounds]. You know what they say, Babe Ruth set a record for most strikeouts too right *laughs*. But in all seriousness, I do this because I love it. Anderson Silva said it best; never feel sorry for the lion, because the lion doesn’t feel sorry for himself when he is surrounded by a bunch of hyenas ready to die.”
In the lead-up to this fight for Penn, some allegations of domestic violence came to light regarding his ex-wife as the two are currently embroiled in a custody battle over their two daughters. Declining to speak about the allegations ahead of the fight, Penn cleared the air now that things had concluded inside the Octagon.
“It was a no brainer for me to stay back in Hawaii and train for the fight while I deal with the custody case,” he said. “It was actually great, I have my daughters with me for a few days each week. They inspire me to be my best. I am their provider and I want to train hard and win for them. So it was great motivation.
“I would never do anything to hurt a girl. Growing up I was never taught anything like that. My father never did anything like that to my mother. Women are soft and cuddly little creatures, that is what my father always told me growing up. I have two girls myself, and I can’t imagine how I would feel if someone ever hurt them. You know, despite everything that’s gone on, I wish [my ex-wife] Shea nothing but the best. We have been separated for a while now. She is actually married and expecting a child in the next few months. All I can say is that I wish her all the best.
“Right now I’m just returning to Hilo. Once I am back we will focus on the custody case and then figure out what will come next.”
Prior to Penn’s bout with Ryan Hall at UFC 232 in December 2018, he signed a new four-fight deal with the promotion, therefore, meaning that he has at least two left if he decides to fulfill it. That’s also assuming that the UFC doesn’t cut ties with the legendary lightweight.
Drake Riggs is an MMA writer who specializes in feature pieces, the women's fight scene, lists, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake also currently writes for BJPenn.com, Fansided MMA, Cageside Press, and is a former contributor to Sherdog and MMA Today. He is also a die-hard fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.