Posted 6/1/07 8:17:00AM
According to UFC president Dana White, former dual-division champion B.J. Penn will one day be in the UFC Hall of Fame.
"I love B.J.," White on Thursday said. "B.J. has been a huge star for us for a long time. I think B.J. could be up in there in the talks of 'Who is the greatest of all-time.'"
But that doesn't mean he thinks "The Prodigy" has fully delivered on his potential as a mixed martial artist. The two share a long, contentious past about the topic.
"If you look at B.J. Penn's career, count how many times he was in phenomenal shape," White added.
White later explained the two had a fiery friendship that resembled family members rather than business associates.
Some of that fire was related to whether Penn would fight at 155 pounds or 170.
But the executive added that given their relationship, his observation probably won't be received warmly.
"I've said it for years about B.J. B.J. is [expletive] tough as nails, has an unbelievable chin – a rock head," White said. "If you look at some of the fights he's had where he's on the bottom and he's getting smashed, the guy doesn't cut. His skin, I don't know what his skin is made out of. He doesn't cut. He's just this kid that was born and built to fight, and he's crazy like that. He'll come in and fight.
"The big beef with me and him during the Georges St-Pierre 'Primetime.' Remember? When I said, 'The guy's not doing anything. He's blowing off his training and this and that.' He got all upset about it, and he'll be all upset about this now, too."
Posted 7/4/07 4:41:00AM
If BJ had self discipline throughout his whole career there wouldn't be a doubt in my mind that he would have been one of the best ever. All things being what they are tho, that is not the case. I will say he is one of the greatest lightweights to ever fight
Posted 9/30/09 9:33:00PM
i agree, i think BJ's only problem was inconsistency. he loses and jumps weight classes, and realistically, he has no business at WW anymore. maybe its mental
Posted 4/8/07 11:48:00PM
I think he's pretty clearly "among the greatest ever". But reading the quote itself i see what Dana is saying. There's a chance he could have been the best, but i believe with increases in his weaknesses(like conditioning) there would have been decreases in his strengths(like explosiveness). I dont think he could have really improved beyond his peak performances against Diego and Florian. I think the argument to be made was if he could have sustained that Peak for longer.
Posted 5/25/10 12:40:00PM
A motivated Beej would still be too damn lazy to accept his HOF plaque in person.....Beej would be like, screw that, I'm gonna jump off some giant cliff into the water instead.
On a serious note, I could see Penn accepting the honor (in which he deserves) via SKYPE
Posted 1/24/07 6:50:00PM
I think that this kind of critique, while in some ways true, is pretty unfair to BJ. To say that he didn't try 100% is true and things could have been different if he did, but at the same time it takes an unbelievable amount of time to develop that kind of BJJ, takedown defense and standup. There's some god given ability in BJ, in the same way that Michael Jordan or Ken Griffey Jr. have god given talents. I could play basketball six hours a day and never be Michael Jordan. That being said, Michael Jordan still had to play six hours a day to be Michael Jordan. I guess the point I'm trying to make is, BJ still probably busted his ass more than we could ever imagine in order to become "The Prodigy".
Could he have run more laps? Absolutely. But people talk about him like he was born with the talent we saw in the octagon and that he didn't work for any of the talents he possessed. Frankly, I'm tired of the what-if conversations about BJ, not just because of how often I've heard it but mainly because the conversations seem to overlook his accomplishments. How many multi-division champs has the UFC had? He beat the who's who of the LW and WW division prior to, during, and immediately after his first UFC run. Then he came back and won the fucking belt. His accomplishments are talked about second to his potential these days, which is understandable in some ways but also very unfair. It'd be like if people exclusively talked about the home run numbers Griffey COULD have put up had he avoided injury in Cincinnati, rather than marvel at his 50+ home run seasons. The situations are different because conditioning is more of a choice than getting an injury, but I still think he doesn't get his due.
I'll leave this rambling post with a question: In its admittedly short existence, has the UFC had a greater LW champion?
And a Jordan commercial to better illustrate my earlier point - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zSVu76AX3I
Posted 6/29/07 12:28:00PM
i see what you are saying but that commercial to me shows bj penn is lebron and will never live up to being MJ. yes bj penn accomplished a lot, no one is taking that away from (hence the Hof) but he had the talent to go down as the best P4P even more so than anderson.