UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn is famous for competing in much higher weight classes than his frame makes comfortable; he even won his first UFC title at welterweight. As Penn gets ready to defend his title against Frank Edgar at UFC 112, there have been rumblings of another move up in weight for Penn that would see him taking on contenders in hopes of recapturing the welterweight championship.
“Yeah, I think there is a possibility of that,” Penn said in a recent interview with IGN Sports. “I don’t in no way want to look past Frankie Edgar, he’s a good fighter. You never know what could happen. But if I go back to welterweight, maybe I’ll try to give it a run, maybe fight a couple of fights there, we’ll see how it goes.”
He went on to discuss his chances against the large 170lbs. like Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch.
“I think I could do good against some of the top welterweights,” he said. “Yeah, pretty big guys, but you gotta live some times, you gotta step up sometime, huh?”
Penn also said that, depending on the outcome of the upcoming Matt Hughes Vs. Renzo Gracie fight, that he is open to a rubber match with Matt Hughes (Penn submitted Hughes to win the 170lbs title but lost in a rematch). Penn seems to be leaning away from bouncing around in weight; he told IGN that he “might try to do it permanent.”
Before those of us who find a renewed Penn’s prospects at welterweight intriguing get too excited though, we should note that Penn and his innovative trainers (Marv and Gary Marinovich) “haven’t even talked about [moving up to welterweight].”
“The Prodigy” seems relaxed and in a groove right now in his career. Penn is very close to clearing out his division of worthy contenders. Depending on the results of his looming fight with Frankie Edgar, I don’t think that many people would be surprised to see him move up and try his chances against the bigger dogs at welterweight.