Image Credit: USA Today | Stephen R. Sylvanie
That was the most difficult goodbye I’ve ever personally witnessed in MMA, but even if he was beaten to a bloody pulp by Frankie Edgar, BJ did it on his terms. He wanted to come back, and it’s his life, his career, and we can’t blame him.
BJ spoke in an emotional post-fight press conference last night, and here’s what he said to the world:
“This is the end, I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why did you step back into the octagon after the beating that Rory MacDonald gave you?’
“And the reason is I really needed to find out. If I didn’t make this night happen for myself, I would have always wondered and went back and forth and begged Dana to let me back in. I guess I needed some closure.”
“When the blood started going in my eyes and everything and the fight started getting real tough, I realized it takes a high, high energy level to compete with the top people in the world,” he said. “You can have every technique figured out, you can have this and that and all your theories ready to go, and at the end of the line is you need a high energy to compete against these guys.
“They’re very hungry, they want to be the best. I can sit here a thousand times and say the sport passed me by, but there’s just such quality people in the UFC at the moment.
“You look at somebody like Frankie Edgar, and you think, ‘That little guy,’ but these guys, they want it,” he added later. “And even if you’re sitting there and you think you’ve got something figured out, or you’re going to surprise somebody with (something), first thing you’ve got to do is have more heart than these guys. That’s what all these people have a lot more (of). You can’t see that looking at them; you can only see it by feeling it.”
“The biggest regret would be if I didn’t get in the ring tonight, I’d always kick myself in the butt and complain to Dana (White) and complain to everybody, ‘Man, I could have done it again.’ Now I know for sure that I can’t.”