Well, color me surprised. On this week’s edition of “UFC Tonight,” it was announced former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion BJ Penn (pictured) has decided to cut his retirement short (again).
Penn will coach opposite Frankie Edgar on “The Ultimate Fighter 19.” The rivals will collide in a featherweight affair in 2014.
“The Prodigy” initially wanted to return against Benson Henderson because he felt a win over the former lightweight champ would earn him a trilogy against Edgar. Conveniently, a coaching spot on TUF opened up when Urijah Faber couldn’t nail down the specifics to fight Edgar.
Although he’s never competed at featherweight, Penn claims he’ll have no issues making 145-pounds.
Penn abruptly retired after dropping a convincing unanimous decision loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137. The Hawaiian decided a scrap with Rory MacDonald was the right man to make his initial comeback against. However, MacDonald quickly proved Penn had made a poor choice by steamrolling him in December.
Penn owns a 16-9-2 professional record. He’s the only fighter to don the UFC welterweight and lightweight titles.
Edgar, meanwhile, posted two decision wins over Penn when most pundits believed Penn was the greatest lightweight to ever compete in MMA. Edgar then appeared in five straight title bouts, two of which were lightweight rematches and one at featherweight.
“BJ really hates the fact that he lost to Frankie Edgar,”said UFC president Dana White. “It’s something that’s been burning deep inside of him for three years now.
So, he’s moving down to 145 lbs. to not only avenge those defeats, but to try and become the first fighter in UFC history to win titles in three different weight classes.”