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White Says Penn Should Retire, Franklin Not Yet

Kelsey Mowatt

Rich Franklin

The UFC has lost another of it’s biggest starsĀ in Forrest Griffin to retirement, and Dana White hasn’t changed his mind about whether legend B.J. Penn should be joining him. Following Penn’s one sided loss to Rory MacDonald in December, the UFC boss man said the decorated fighter should hang up the gloves, and after Griffin’s announcement this weekend, White repeated that sentiment.

“B.J. is too tough for his own good,” White said in a post UFC 160 media scrum (quote via MMA . “B.J. might not be knocked out, but the shots B.J. took would’ve knocked out a normal human being. He’s had his head bounced off the canvas like a basketball by Matt Hughes, by Georges St-Pierre and then Rory just did it to him. B.J. Penn has left that octagon looking like a f—ing alien. He’s too tough for his own good. You don’t knock out B.J. Penn. B.J. Penn absorbs every amount of punishment you give him. It doesn’t mean he hasn’t been taking damage. He’s taken a lot of damage, and I don’t want to see him take anymore.”

Prior to facing MacDonald, the 34 year-old Penn was also battered by Nick Diaz in October, 2011, and lost by unanimous decision. The former lightweight and welterweight champ is 1-3-1 in his last five bouts.

White doesn’t believe former middleweight champ Rich Franklin needs to call it quits, however, who is coming off a KO loss to Cung Le in November. The UFC President acknowledged that Franklin got bombed out in his last bout, but noted “Rich hasn’t taken the punishment some of these other guys have taken.”

It’s a valid point. The only other man to stop Franklin, since his second loss to Anderson Silva in 2007, is Vitor Belfort. Franklin has been involved in several memorable battles in recent years, but he’s emerged relatively unscathed in most of them. Franklin recently relayed that he hopes to finish his current UFC contract and is interested in fighting Michael Bisping.

As far as Penn, increasingly it looks as though his storied career could be over.

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