Since rumors of a rematch between UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn and UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre first surfaced, the question of whether Penn would relinquish his 155-pound title and remain solely focused on the 170-pound division or defend both titles simultaneously has been asked frequently.
UFC President Dana White this week confirmed at a press conference for the January 31st event that Penn, should he defeat GSP at UFC 94, will defend both titles.
“Once you win the title and you accomplish so many things in the fight business, then it becomes about legendary status, making your mark, going down as one of the greatest fighters of all time,” said White. “The problem I always talk about with B.J. is trying to contain this kid and keep him focused on staying at 155 and defending his title there. He’s been doing that. And I think now is the time. Now is a great time. He’s saying if he wins the 170-pound title, he’s going to defend both titles.
“Should B.J. win, one of the things he would do is defend two titles at the same time. Nobody has ever done that. It’s never been done.”
If Penn wins, the frequncy of title defenses in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions will immediately be cut in half until Penn loses a championship bout. Kenny Florian is currently in line for Penn’s first 155-pound defense, while Thiago Alves is likely to face the winner of the UFC 94 welterweight championship bout for the 170-pound title.