White Wants Penn & Northcutt to Retire

UFC President Dana White says he doesn’t want to see B.J. Penn compete anymore and wants him to retire, and he hopes Sage Northcutt does the same.

Penn’s name was brought up during an interview White had with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter following the UFC 238 ceremonial weigh-ins. Penn, a UFC Hall of Famer and former lightweight and welterweight champion, was at one point one of the best fighters the UFC had. Now Penn, who hasn’t won since 2010 and has come out of retirement several times, has lost his last seven fights in a row, a UFC record.

Penn dropped a unanimous decision in a highly negative-received bout with Clay Guida last month at UFC 237.

White says he gave Penn several chances and fights because of his name but he isn’t willing to anymore.

“BJ Penn is one of the legends of the sport,” White said. “This is a young man’s game. I gave him a lot of opportunities because he’s BJ and because of the relationship that I’ve had with BJ — his entire career and before that — but I can’t do that again.”

White added that he also wants to see former UFC fighter and current ONE Championship fighter Sage Northcutt retire. Northcutt went 6-2 in the UFC after being recruited on the pilot episode of Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight. But after testing free agency, Northcutt and the UFC parted ways as he signed a deal with ONE.

Northcutt made his ONE debut at ONE: Enter the Dragon last month, getting knocked out by Cosmo Alexandre in 29 seconds. Northcutt underwent a nine-hour surgery following the loss to fix eight fractures to his face.

White says while Northcutt is talented, he may not have what it takes to compete at the top level and wants him to walk away before he gets an even worse injury and/or damages any of his potential opportunities in life.

“Good-looking charismatic kid, smart, he was [in] college to be an engineer,” White said. “He’s got a lot going on in his life. This isn’t the sport for him. I don’t want to sound like I’m [expletive] all over the guy, because I really like the kid a lot. But this isn’t the sport for him.”

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