B.J. Penn does not sound like someone itching to get back into the Octagon.
The UFC legend has been retired for almost a full year now and said he has not practiced martial arts once since his loss to Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale in July 2014. Part of Penn misses the competition aspect of MMA, but there's a whole lot he doesn't want to do again.
"You know what I don't miss?" Penn told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I don't miss a three-month training camp. I don't miss fight week. But I do miss being the baddest man on the planet."
Penn, 36, will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame next week before UFC 189 on July 11. It was an easy choice. "The Prodigy" is one of the greatest to ever step into a cage. He's one of only two men in UFC history (Randy Couture being the other) to hold titles in two separate weight classes (lightweight and welterweight). Penn (16-10-2) was a pro MMA fighter for 13 years and owns wins over Matt Hughes (twice), Renzo Gracie, Matt Serra, Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian.
The Hawaiian now only watches the UFC for big title fights, but has noticed the trend of older fighters -- guys that many thought were washed up -- coming back and vying for titles. Fabricio Werdum is the UFC heavyweight champion, Mark Hunt fought for the interim heavyweight belt and Robbie Lawler is the UFC welterweight titleholder. All were written off at different points in time.
"It does blow me away, though, when I see Werdum just got the belt at 37 and then you see Mark Hunt still fighting at 40," Penn said. "All these different things. It is amazing. I don't know. They're out there, they're doing it. It ain't the technique, it ain't the speed, it ain't the power. It's who wants it the most. Over time, maybe as you start getting into it, the people start coming along that love it more than you do."
Penn has been wowed specifically by Hunt's emergence as a legit threat in the heavyweight division despite having a below-.500 MMA record when he first entered the UFC.
"Look at that," Penn said. "When I see stuff like that, I'm like man. If you stick around a little while, something would just click and you'd be back. I do feel that it's something that I'm proud of as I sit here right now that I can let stuff like that go."
As much as seeing those guys in his age bracket succeeding, Penn is not all that tempted to return. He finished his career with three straight losses, albeit all to big names and tough opponents. Penn has not won an MMA fight since 2010 when he beat Hughes for the second time.
Then again, 51-year-old Ken Shamrock, who fought at UFC 1, just came back to fight Kimbo Slice at Bellator 138 two weeks ago after five years out of the sport. So maybe Penn still has some time to mull it over. A "Prodigy" return just won't be happening any time soon.
"I don't see myself with a strong will to want to," Penn said. "You never now what the future could hold. You never know what could pop up. I've got no desire to jump into training camp and try to go out there."