BJ Penn’s (pictured) comeback has suffered yet another setback. According to reports, an undisclosed injury has forced the former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion out of his UFC Fight Night 97 bout against Ricardo Lamas just 11 days before showtime.
MMAJunkie.com first reported the news Tuesday. The UFC has yet to confirm Penn’s status for their return to the Philippines.
Penn, 37, came out of retirement for the third time in January. He initially called it quits after getting blasted by Nick Diaz at UFC 137 in October 2011. The Hawaiian decided to return to the cage 14 months later, but was once again was steamrolled, this time at the hands of contender Rory MacDonald.
Instead of walking away again, Penn decided to try and reinvent himself by dropping to featherweight. Unfortunately for Penn, Frankie Edgar rained on his parade and sent him on another trip to the retirement home – but not before thrashing his face with firsts and elbows.
Penn was slated to return to action in a featherweight fight with Cole Miller, then Dennis Siver at UFC 199, but was pulled from the bout after flunking an out-of-competition drug test for illegal IV use.
Penn was issued a six-month suspension, which expired on September 25.
No word if the UFC intends on keeping Lamas in the lineup against a new opponent. As the bout order currently stands, Derrick Lewis and Marcin Tybura are slotted as the co-headliner.
SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay hosts the October 15 event.
Here is the card’s current roster:
(UFC Fight Pass 6:45AM ET/3:45AM PT)
Ali Bagautinov vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
James Moontasri vs. Alex Morono
Seo Hee Ham vs. Danielle Taylor
Ryan Janes vs. Dongi Yang
Jon Tuck vs. Alex Volkanovski
Sam Alvey vs. Alex Nicholson
(UFC Fight Pass 10AM ET/7AM PT)
Mizuto Hirota vs. Cole Miller
Jenel Lausa vs. Yao Zhikui
Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
Ricardo Lamas vs. opponent TBD