WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST: Penn has to drop out of his Oct. 15 fight, leaving the Fight Pass card lacking star power (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

B.J. Penn (photo credit Stephen R. Sylvanie © USAToday Sports)


B.J. Penn is facing yet another setback in his comeback bid.

According to reports from John Morgan at MMA Junkie, Penn has been forced out of his Oct. 15 fight with Ricardo Lamas due to an undisclosed injury. The five-round fight was scheduled to be the main event of a Fight Pass exclusive show from Mailna in the Philippines.

This is the second major setback for Penn in his attempt at a UFC return. Earlier this year, Penn was handed a six-month suspension for voluntarily disclosing prohibited IV use to USADA.

Penn retired after a TKO loss to Frankie Edgar in July, 2014. He has not won a fight since knocking out Matt Hughes at UFC 123 in November of 2010.

No replacement for Penn has been made, nor has UFC made an official announcement regarding Penn or the fight. With the show only 10 days away, it may be difficult to find a replacement for Penn on a card where he was by and far the biggest name on the show.

A heavyweight bout between Derrick Lewis and Marcin Tybura is the scheduled co-main event.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: This is a major blow to this card and must be very frustrating for Penn who has been talking of a comeback for some time now. You have to wonder if this is a sign that Penn shouldn’t be coming out of retirement. He did not look good in his last fight at all and Ricardo Lamas is a serious threat in the Featherweight Division. It would have been hard to watch Penn take punishment similar to how he did against Frankie Edgar.

As for a replacement for Penn, there isn’t really anyone available who can match his name value, but I would love to see Dooho Choi step in to take the fight. Choi is South Korean so he has a semblance of local roots that UFC likes to have on its shows. It’s a big step up in competition for him but he’s been looking great recently and a win or even a competitive showing against Lamas would put him in the top tier of featherweights and make a name for himself. It’s a Fight Pass show, so name value is less important here than on pay-per-view or TV so I think if Choi is ready and willing, he should get the fight.


-Khabib Nurmagomedov told Luke Thomas on his Sirius XM radio show that if he beats Michael Johnson at UFC 205 and doesn’t get a title shot afterwards, that he will quit the promotion.

-Enrique Barzola vs. Chris Avila and Henry Briones vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade have been announced for the TUF Latin America 3 Finale on Nov. 5 from Mexico City.

-Zak Ottow vs. Sergio Moraes and Warlley Alves vs. Kamaru Usman have been added to UFC Fight Night from Sao Paolo, Brazil on Nov. 19.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S NEWS UPDATE: TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/4: UFC Fight Night 96 ratings suffer with weak main event and little undercard support

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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