Just one man could bring BJ Penn out of a self-imposed retirement. Away from the beautiful weather of Hawaii.
Penn, who attended a kickoff press conference in Las Vegas for their July fight at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale, re-told a story between himself and UFC president Dana White.
The former UFC champion in both the lightweight and welterweight division will make his featherweight debut against Edgar – who twice defeated him for the UFC title. Penn has competed everywhere, from lightweight to heavyweight through his MMA career.
“I (told White), ‘I want to take another shot at Frankie,'” said Penn, who was willing to fight once or twice before getting his shot at Edgar. “Dana said there might be an opening now, but it’s at a lower-weight.”
White gave Penn time to think it over, but “The Prodigy” said he had already made up his mind “before I hung up the phone.
“I knew the answer was going to be yes,” he said. “I am real excited how all of this turned out.”
The stipulation involved a coaching spot on The Ultimate Fighter for Penn, who last fought in 2012 when he was defeated by top contender Rory MacDonald. Penn hasn’t won a fight since a 2010 knockout of fellow former champion Matt Hughes, going 0-2-1 in his last three.
In 2010, Penn lost twice to Edgar, with both fights ending via decision. The first cost him his title, but he was granted an immediate rematch just five months later.
Edgar (16-4-1) would go on to defend the title against Gray Maynard before dropping it to Benson Henderson in 2012. He also was given an immediate rematch, which he lost via split decision.
After the second Henderson loss, “The Answer” moved to featherweight where he immediately challenged Jose Aldo for the belt. He was dealt a decision defeat, but rebounded in 2013 for his first win in almost two years when he topped Charles Oliveira.