B.J. Penn is officially out of retirement, and he wants to make a run for a UFC Title in his third weight class.
Despite a very bad featherweight debut in what seemed to be his final fight, a July 2014 beat down in his third bout with Frankie Edgar, Penn said on Tuesday in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that he’s coming back at 145 lbs, and he wants to make a run for the Featherweight Championship.
“That’s who I am, Ariel,” Penn said. “That’s who I am. That’s what I do. I want to go get that 145-pound belt. That’s definitely a huge motivation for me. I believe with Greg Jackson’s help, I can get that done. And I believe that I will be able to walk away as the only man with three titles in three weight divisions.”
Penn will be working with Jackson in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and says it’s Jackson’s belief in him driving this latest return attempt. He had called for a fight with Nik Lentz, but with Lentz back at lightweight that’s not going to happen. Regardless, he’s serious about the return, and thinks he can return to prominence.
“I’m going through with this,” Penn said. “If I didn’t have somebody like Greg Jackson to come out and talk to me and tell me that I can do this… of course you’re always going to believe that you’re the best, you’re always going to believe that you can be the champ. But once in a while, you do have to step back and get someone else’s outside opinion.
“And somebody like Greg, he tells me something like that? I look at him, and who cares what everybody else is saying around the world? Have they done what Greg Jackson has done? Do they even know the game at all? This is going to be fun.”
Penick’s Analysis: There are those who legitimately want to see this, and I just don’t understand why. He hasn’t been effective in years, and that’s led to some significantly brutal and one-sided losses. I just don’t see how he could possibly come close to a title run, especially in a division featuring so much younger, faster talent. It just doesn’t seem possible that this ends well for him.
[Photo (c) Stephen R. Sylvanie via USA Today Sports]
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