Former UFC champ B.J. Penn could return – as a lightweight


bj-penn-16.jpgAlthough UFC President Dana White has pressed hard for the fighter’s retirement, B.J. Penn apparently is looking for another fight, and it’d likely come at lightweight.

“UFC Tonight,” the UFC’s weekly news program on FUEL TV, reported the possibility on Tuesday.

Penn (16-9-2 MMA, 12-8-2 UFC), a former lightweight and welterweight champion in the UFC, hasn’t fought since a bloody UFC on FOX 5 loss to 170-pound contender Rory MacDonald in December. The defeat moved the 34-year-old “Prodigy” to just 1-4-1 in his past six fights.

Before the defeat, the future hall of famer was on a 5-1 run that included a successful stint as the organization’s 155-pound champion. The lone defeat came to Georges St-Pierre as Penn tried to recapture the welterweight championship and become the first UFC fighter to simultaneously hold two titles.

As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported this past month, White, though, is pushing for Penn to hang it up.

“I want B.J. Penn to retire,” he said. ” … B.J. is too tough for his own good.

“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.”

While Penn’s legendary career has the fighter set for life, White, who’s dealt with the recent retirements of fellow notables such as Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin, said he understands their desire to fight on.

“Dude, you’ve won belts in two different weight classes,” he said. “You’re one of the greatest ever. You became a huge superstar. You have money. You have a beautiful family. But it’s hard, man. It’s hard to walk out of that. The arena’s packed, everybody’s screaming your name, and you’re making tons of money. It’s hard to walk away from that – really hard to walk away from that.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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