BJ Penn was offered Kenny Florian first, admits he was on the verge of retiring

Former UFC lightweight champion, BJ Penn revealed that he was originally offered another fight with Kenny Florian before the UFC settled for Matt Hughes, adding he was considering retirement following his latest loss to Frankie Edgar.

Penn, speaking via, said:

“I was flying home, (and) I was kind of like, ‘Maybe I don’t want to do this anymore; I don’t know what’s wrong. If I’m going to go out there and perform like that, maybe this isn’t something worth doing.’ But when I got to Hawaii and jumped on a little island-hopper to go to my island, something told me, ‘B.J., stick to your game plan.’ So I’m sticking to it.”

“I talked to Dana, and they tried to put me in the ring with Florian, (and) Dana said Florian was hurt. [Dana] said, ‘What do you think about Hughes?’ I said, ‘Matt Hughes?’ I got chicken skin all over my body. I said, ‘Tell him I’m coming. Tell him, let’s go.’”

“I’m more respectful than that to lose two fights in a row and say, ‘OK, give me Matt Hughes.’ They offered me that fight. Matt was really excited about the fight. Dana called me and said, ‘We offered Matt the fight. He’s going to put everything on hold to take the fight if you want it.’ And I said, ‘I’ve got nothing else better to do. Let’s do this.’ I wanted to train and fight year-round, and my last fight didn’t go the way I wanted it to go. But something told me (to take it).”

“I think fighters get excited for big fights, which is just why I was so excited. I know everybody’s going to be interested to see what happens – people from both ends. Some people say, ‘Matt Hughes is kind of coming up, and maybe B.J.’s going down a little. But we still know that if B.J. comes in good, he could really pull this off.’ Matt’s always good, so I think it’s a good fight.”

“Over the years, maybe I didn’t like Matt Hughes at certain times, but I love that guy. He’s alright. He’s still here. He’s an idol for all of us to sit here and watch. I don’t know. As you get older, you just start to let things go, I guess. I look at Matt no different than any of us. We’re all just trying to make it and do our best.”

About William Smith

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