Despite having gone winless in his last three fights, and the fact that UFC President Dana White has gone on record saying he doesn’t want to see it, BJ Penn is apparently considering a return to action in the lightweight division. News of another Penn bout was reported on the latest addition of “UFC Tonight”, and according to the show’s correspondent Ariel Helwani, Penn is training right now and will assess where he’s at in a couple of months. If the 34 year-old does fight again, it will be in the lightweight division, where he reigned as champion from 2008 through mid 2010.
The report comes not long after White repeated his opinion that Penn should retire, following UFC 160 on May 25th.
“B.J. is too tough for his own good,” White said recently (quote via MMA Junkie.com) . “B.J. might not be knocked out, but the shots B.J. took would’ve knocked out a normal human being. He’s had his head bounced off the canvas like a basketball by Matt Hughes, by Georges St-Pierre and then Rory just did it to him. B.J. Penn has left that octagon looking like a f—ing alien. He’s too tough for his own good. You don’t knock out B.J. Penn. B.J. Penn absorbs every amount of punishment you give him. It doesn’t mean he hasn’t been taking damage. He’s taken a lot of damage, and I don’t want to see him take anymore.”
Penn hasn’t fought since December, when he dropped a unanimous decision to welterweight Rory MacDonald, after losing another one-sided decision fight to Nick Diaz in October, 2011. If Penn is going to fight again, then it’s hard to argue with the logic that it should be at 155 pounds. The only man to defeat Penn at that weight in recent years is Frankie Edgar, who’s one of the planet’s best P4P fighters. Considering the legendary fighter’s frame, and how much weight contemporary fighters cut nowadays, Penn gives up way too much size and strength at 170 (yes, even if he was the welterweight champ).
So, will Penn fight again? Despite White’s objections? Chances are that if the decorated vet wants to give it one more go at 155 the UFC will book it.