Dana White has claimed that UFC star BJ Penn underachieved in his MMA career and could have been one of the greatest of all time.
The UFC president made the comment during an interview with TMZ after being asked which fighter had the most talent, but the least motivation.
““BJ Penn probably should have been one of the best ever, to ever live, to ever do it,” White said. “But, BJ was so talented, you know. I just… I don’t know. I think BJ, in his own words, would go back and do things differently if he could.”
Some would argue that Penn is already considered one of the best ever, having won both the lightweight and welterweight titles during his long UFC career.
‘The Prodigy’s’ fearlessness is one of his most admirable qualities, but it’s also been to his detriment as he’s often sought to test himself above his natural weight class, leading to losses at the height of his career to larger opponents like Matt Hughes (who to be fair he did beat once) and Georges St. Pierre, along with famously taking a fight with Lyoto Machida at heavyweight!
Later, Frankie Edgar would prove to be his nemesis back at lightweight, becoming one of only two men who defeated him at 155lbs. That made Penn head back up to 170lbs, where he was again at a size and weight disadvantage against the likes of Rory MacDonald and Nick Diaz before skill, motiviation or any other factors are considered.
So, Penn’s definitely been his own worst enemy at times, and that’s left him with a lot of blemishes on his record, but he remains a special fighter who has made a huge contribution to the sport.