Now, don’t get your hopes up, that headline reads “Past Rumors.”
B.J. Penn and Gilbert Melendez likely won’t be fighting anytime soon, but UFC president Dana White revealed yesterday that he tried to match the two fantastic lightweights together in a Strikeforce bout (an idea originally proposed by MMAFighting’s Mike Chiapetta). Unfortunately, at the time White tried to put the fight together, Penn was uninterested in returning to the cage.
“I tried to do [Melendez vs. Penn], but it was at the time when B.J. was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not fighting for a while,'” White told media after yesterday’s UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs. Miller press conference.
Though MMA fans may never see what would have surely been a barnburner between two of this sport’s greatest lightweight competitors, White did reveal the good news that Penn will be coming out of his brief retirement sometime in the near future.
Following his UFC 137 loss to Nick Diaz this past October, the fiery Hawaiian called it quits from MMA competition. Several months off have apparently rekindled the 33-year-old’s motivation to fight, though.
Melendez is on the docket to face Josh Thomson in a rubber match (that we could all do without. Seriously, get Melendez to the UFC!) at Strikeforce 40 on the 19th of this month.