BJ Penn Eyes Possible Return to UFC Lightweight Division

Written by Tom Ngo
June 5th, 2013

UFC Welterweight BJ Penn

Apparently, future UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn (pictured) might not be done with mixed martial arts just yet. On this week’s edition of FUEL TV’s “UFC Tonight,” it was reported the 34-year-old is eyeing a return that would take place in the lightweight division. 

“The door is still open for BJ Penn to return to MMA in the future,” said reporter Ariel Helwani. “He’s actually training right now and has to check in with his body and mind in the next few months. If he does come back, it will be at 155 pounds.”

Penn’s last four fights have taken place at welterweight. He posted a disappointing 1-2-1 mark during that run.

In the fight business, there’s a cruel reality that athletes can turn old overnight. In Penn’s case, it took Rory MacDonald only 15 minutes to make the former two-divisional UFC champion look like he’s well beyond his prime at UFC on FOX 5.

UFC president Dana White urged Penn to re-retire following the December beatdown.

Penn abruptly retired after dropping a convincing unanimous decision loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137. At the time, the Hawaiian claimed a return wasn’t out of the question as long as the challenge got his blood pumping, and after declining scraps against Josh Koscheck and Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez, he decided skyrocketing MacDonald was the right opponent to cut his retirement short.

MacDonald quickly proved Penn had made a poor choice.

Penn owns a 16-9-2 professional record. He’s the only fighter to don the UFC welterweight and lightweight titles.

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