For better or worse, BJ Penn is not done fighting in the UFC Octagon.
Late last week, Dana White revealed Penn will fight Nik Lentz in what will absolutely be his last fight in the UFC. Penn and Lentz do have a history of beef dating back to training camp discord years ago. Regardless, the booking was met with near shock from many, as the once-great Penn is on a UFC-record seven-fight losing streak.
So for better or worse, ‘The Prodigy’ will look to go out with a win. Critics of the fight have pointed towards concern for Penn’s health at this point. Speaking on today’s episode of ‘Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,’ Lentz isn’t so certain. He said it’s too late for all that.
To him, Penn’s supporters are like fake ‘friends’ encouraging a man to dig his own grave:
“I think it’s too late for people to care about BJ. Like, I really do. Like, I think at this point, it’s kind of ridiculous. It’s like you walk past a guy and you see him digging his own grave. And everyday you walk to him and you give him a drink of water. You say, ‘Good job,’ and you pat him on the back. Then the next day, he’s digging his own grave, you walk past him, you give him some water, you say, ‘Good job, bud. You’re doing a great job,’ and then you give him some more water.”
False Concern For Penn?
Lentz delved into his view by pointing out the people who are supposedly in Penn’s corner have stood idly by while he destroyed himself. If they weren’t concerned about him before, it shouldn’t be any different now. With that said, he promised to do Penn a ‘favor’ by ending his career when they fight:
“Now all of the sudden, everyone’s worried about him. Like, ‘Oh, he’s taken 18 million strikes to the head or whatever. Like, I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that suddenly people care about BJ’s health when the whole time, they’ve been kissing his ass and allowing him to do crazy things like to destroy his body with drugs, to get in fights outside of the UFC, to have domestic violence charges, to do all these things. And they just always look past him and say, ‘Ah man, you’re such a good guy, BJ. Everything is good. “
“And now suddenly, suddenly now, now it’s just too much. The first five-fight skid, that wasn’t enough, the six-fight skid, that wasn’t enough, seven eight, you know, the guy hasn’t won a fight since we went to war in Iraq. It’s ridiculous. But I’m going to end his career and I’m going to do him a favor.”
Penn Harassing Lentz?
Lentz also made the bold claim that Penn had been harassing him and his wife on social media in order to get the fight. He said they had been attempting to persuade him to take it online. There’s no doubt this is a genuine, bad blood-fueled rivalry that’s been brewing for years.
It’s just a shame that it had to transpire as it has. There does seem to be a ton of genuine concern for Penn’s health out there in the collective MMA universe.
Lentz just isn’t buying that it’s coming from Penn’s inner circle. For what it’s worth, his striking coach Jason Parillo offered the view that Penn simply does better in life when he has a fight to prepare for. Based on his recent outside-the-cage troubles, that may be true.
Either way, Penn will fight his last bout in the Octagon against Lentz. If he fights on for another promotion after that remains to be seen.
Are Lentz’s points about Penn and his supporters legitimate ones?