UFC lightweight champion, BJ Penn, confirmed that he extended his contract with the UFC last week, and that he plans a return to the Octagon in December. Penn is back to work in the gym after taking a two and a half month break since his UFC 84 victory over Sean Sherk.
Penn did not go into specifics regarding his contract extension, however he simply stated that it was, “for a couple more years.”
Penn told MMAWeekly.com that he needed to give his body time to recoup since he had put it through so much in the past year and a half. Not only through a much more dedicated and vigorous training regimen, but he has also posted victories over Jens Pulver, Joe Stevenson as well as the aforementioned Sherk during that time.
“It came to the point where it was like, if you don’t do this it’s going to hurt you really bad down the road,” Penn stated.
Now that he is well rested and 100% healthy, Penn is focused on his future with the UFC. He will be particularly interested in this weekend’s UFC 87 event, which contains two bouts that directly impact his future. The first bout will be in his own weight division where Kenny Florian will be taking on Roger Huerta in a top contender bout, with the winner getting the next crack at the 155-pound title.
The main event of the card will feature the welterweight showdown between current champion, Georges St. Pierre, against Jon Fitch. Even though Penn does not currently compete in this division, he has made no bones about wanting a rematch against St-Pierre, who defeated Penn at UFC 58 just two years ago. But, if Fitch is able to pull off the upset this weekend, Penn would be more than happy to take him on for the 170-pound belt.
“Without a doubt, Jon Fitch is a great opponent, a tough opponent, but St. Pierre brings the whole backing of Canada with him to a fight,” Penn said. “It would be great to put on a big fight with me and St. Pierre, but then again, it’s about me fighting the best fighter and if Fitch goes down and proves he’s the best fighter, then he’s the man.”
Penn confirmed that he would be competing on a December 27th card for the UFC. It has been rumored that if GSP were to win his bout and escape healthy, he would take on Penn and defend his welterweight title in a rematch for the ages.