In a recent interview Dana White announced that B.J. Penn is “definitely in the title picture” for the lightweight division although he didn’t outright guarantee Penn a shot at the title later this year. Penn earned his way into the title picture by posting a win over long time rival Jens Pulver in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. Penn submitted Pulver in the second round.
Penn typically fights in the welterweight division and has publicly expressed his interest in returning to the weight class to face Matt Hughes for a third time. With Hughes unlikely to fight until December for the welterweight title against Matt Serra, Penn would have more than ample time to fight for the lightweight title before jumping up to the welterweight division to take on Hughes sometime next year.
Before the scenario plays out either Penn or Hughes would likely need to lose their respective title fights as Dana White has stated he doesn’t like a single person holding championships in two divisions at the same time (like Dan Henderson currently does in PRIDE).
The whole scenario still has a while to play out over the rest of this year but I would expect Penn to fight at least one more time in the lightweight division before he jumps to welterweight although if his success in the division continues I would not be surprised if he stays at 155.