Originally written on 5thRound.com  |  Last updated 11/9/11
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For those hoping BJ Penn’s (Pictured) abrupt retirement following his loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 was an emotional announcement that he’d later retract, it appears the 32-year-old was encouraged to walk away from MMA several fights ago.

Although it appears he’s softened on his definitive retirement statement in favor of taking a sabbatical, don’t hold your breath for a comeback anytime soon.

“You know what? I kinda think this is something I shoulda did after the first Frankie Edgar fight,” Penn stated in an interview with HDNet. “A bunch of my coaches pleaded with me to step away from the sport, take some time off. I was just kind of in the mix, I just kept going, kept going, trying to push myself.

“I don’t really like the results I’ve been getting and I just [want] take some time off, some time away from the sport.”

Penn owns a 16-8-2 professional record and donned the UFC welterweight and lightweight titles during his illustrious career. The Hawaiian professed a return isn’t out of the question as long as the challenge gets his blood pumping, but some R&R is in order before any of that can happen.

“If I ever feel it again, I’ll come back if it interests me, if it excites me,” Penn added. “I don’t want to be sitting in the locker room saying, ‘I can’t believe I’m still doing this.’

“If it excites me, we’ll see how it goes, but I definitely need some time away.”

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