The fact that BJ Penn came out of retirement to call out Nik Lentz of all people is pretty strange, but the ongoing war of words between them, and in particular ‘The Carny’s’ responses, have taken the weirdness to a whole new level.
The latest salvo was initiated by Penn while appearing on The MMA Hour radio show earlier in the week in which he laid down a final ultimatum to Lentz, who’d previously informed him that he wasn’t willing to fight him at featherweight as ‘The Prodigy’ had originally proposed.
“I’ve been gone for two years,” Penn told Ariel Helwani. “I wanted to use [Lentz] as a punching bag, but I guess he’s smarter than I thought, because he’s smart enough not to get in the ring. So I don’t think he’s going to get in the ring. I’ll tell him right now: Nik, I’ll fight you at 155 pounds, since you keep crying about the weight. Let’s do it. But Nik better believe, if I fight someone else, don’t ever think I’m going to fight him again.”
Instead of just accepting the golden opportunity presented to him, Lentz has wheeled out the latest act in his poor-man’s Chael Sonnen routine, issuing a mocking reply roughly the length of ‘War And Peace’ in which he somehow still manages to completely avoid the matter at hand – whether he’s going to take the damn fight or not.
How tedious, drab, and predictably boring your response was!
Nobody was expecting you to be the Second Shakespeare, but God that interview was just unbearably uninteresting…
With that said, I did manage to pan out a few flecks of shiny metal from your odious, inane verbal slurry which hopefully will assist you in realizing things that everyone, including even yourself, subconsciously, already know.
YOU CARE NOTHING FOR YOUR FANS
You drone on relentlessly about how unqualified and beneath you I am, then expect the fans to pay to watch you “compete” against me. In your warped, irreversibly delusional mental universe, you believe the fans owe you their hard-earned money, that they should be rewarding you for your presence alone; not your effort, or commitment. You feel that the fans should make the effort to earn the money to buy a PPV to watch you fight, and commit time and resources to watching it, and your end of that bargain is to expend as little energy, and expose yourself to as little risk as possible in exchange. Your words convey the belief — paraphrased, because quoting your garbled, semi-coherent speech word-for-word is a task beyond my literary threshold — that the fans should pay to watch you get the “ring rust out.” You mean “off,” not “out,” since in the context “rust” constitutes a surface, not an internal, element. But the thrust of your position is that the fans don’t deserve, and have no right to expect, a performance between equally-matched, prepared opponents; they deserve nothing more for their $60 than to watch you spar against someone who represents no challenge to you. They pay hard earned money to watch other guys fight; you think they should be spending that much money to watch you train. It speaks to your laziness, narcissism, delusional neurosis, and, sadly, your towering disrespect for your fans.
YOU CARE NOTHING FOR THE ORGANIZATION
As you blow up Dana White’s phone with texts begging/bullying him into giving you a fight, as you pester Lorenzo, as you carpet-bomb Joe Silva with requests for immediate gratification of your desires (Narcissist’s emotional maturity reaches a plateau at around the 7-year-old level), you care nothing for how your needs could negatively affect the Company. The UFC has a competitive architecture and rankings, which help determine who should fight who, which keeps the fans engaged, and interested, in competitive fights between athletes. They have sponsorship arrangements with corporations that have interests in other sports, with rankings, qualifications, playoffs, quantifiable estimations of current circumstances, that allow fans to follow the action and develop a trust, and belief, in the inherent aspects of rewarding effort with opportunity. You believe, and expect them to convince the people they pay to fight hard, and train, and lay it all on the line against the BEST competition (the “Fighters”) and the people who keep the lights on at the office (the “Fans”) that you should be allowed to “jump the line” simply because you WANT it. And you’ve shown in the past your reckless, juvenile propensity for lashing out at the Company when your desires aren’t given priority, haven’t you, you devious, vindictive, entitled, little prick? When you were denied immediate gratification, you took your ball and went home to Mommy like the obnoxious, toxic, selfish snot-nosed asshole you are.
You cared nothing then for how it affected the people you worked for, at a time when the UFC was waging a lonely, uphill battle against ignorant legislators, competing organizations, and public misperceptions; and you care nothing now for how kowtowing to your ridiculous demands would affect the company’s bargaining power and negotiating position with its committed, legitimate, athletes. You care only about yourself, and about what you want; which is to maintain your image.
YOU CAN’T BEAT ANYBODY
Face it. Unless they dream up an episode of Dana’s show where he breaks into a Mortuary and steals a 145-lb CORPSE, and then him and his buddies do a kind of Weekend At Bernies cage-walk routine to get the poor dead schlub into the cage, propped up long enough for you to dash (well, in your case, ‘amble’) over and tune him up, there’s nobody at 145 you can beat. There’s nobody at 135, or 155 either. There’s nobody on the roster you can beat, to put it to you plainly. It’s over. Forget it.
YOU CARE NOTHING FOR THE SPORT, OR YOUR FELLOW-FIGHTERS
The moral vacuum you inhabit is a landscape littered with the charred stumps of associations and “friendships” you destroyed in your decades-long, doomed endeavor of creating and supporting an image. There is no fertile soil that would allow things like collaboration, mutually beneficial arrangements, or overlapping positive objectives in a team format to grow. You teach nobody. You share nothing. You take, and you use what you take to support an image only you believe has any depth. Here’s a concept about your fellow-fighters that you’ll never grasp in the solitary, soulless universe between your ears:
We all talk.
We have to fight each other because it’s our job. But we share common goals, and we believe in the greater good, and we treat each other with respect, and empathy. We have a code of self-governance that we believe in, even if we disagree about things. But one thing we all agree on….
Nobody trusts you.
None of the fighters trust you. Neither do your worthless enabling stooges. They know, in their hearts, that you are committed only to your own singular desires, and their position in your orbit is based on fulfilling those desires alone. You’ve demonstrated this yourself, haven’t you? When your treacherous, murderous rage left one of them unconscious and bleeding and busted open on the filthy carpet of a sketchy hot-sheet motel? Looking into your eyes in your mug-shot is like staring down a long, dark, hole leading nowhere. God help those poor devils that have to attend to you while fearing for their personal safety. They are all trapped in a dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship with a violent oppressor. (That would be…YOU).
So what’s next, you violent, angry, narcissistic little fool?
You just barely got back in the gym (after that ‘special regimen’ in Utah), you have no idea what you have left, but you’re already trying to convince the fans (who you treat with contempt) the UFC (who you’ve back-stabbed) your potential opponents (whose plans you’ll have no problem monkey-wrenching with your bullying, pestering demands for fights they’ve earned) and your flunkies (who you beat mercilessly when they fail to serve your needs) that you want a fight in March.
You haven’t approached your comeback like a mature, sober, intelligent professional athlete. You’ve tried to bully and pester your way into a paycheck, and jump the line, using your relentless douchebaggery like a hustler uses a rented wheelchair to cut in front of everybody at Disney World. Your behavior over the last few weeks has made it clear that you are the same selfish, impulsive, entitled, vindictive, mean-spirited bully you’ve always been. You are campaigning for a position you have no idea how you’d fill, full in the knowledge that better, more prepared people are available, and deserving.
You are without self-knowledge, honor, empathy, or dignity. You are unworthy of praise, and you are a terrible example for aspiring or established fighters, and an embarrassment to your legacy and family.
You are a sad old clown. Your makeup is smeared, your costume ragged and dirty. The Circus has moved on, and left you behind.
There’s no way back home either; you’ve burned all those bridges.
You’re gonna love Tuesday’s poem.
Til then, I remain,
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (someone wake me up when he actually gets around to accepting the fight).