According to reports, BJ Penn will end his four-fight welterweight hiatus to complete his trilogy with Hall of Famer Matt Hughes at UFC 123.
Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com confirmed Monday evening that both legends had agreed to meet inside the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Michigan.
The Hawaiian shocked Hughes in their first meeting at UFC 46 by moving up a division to steal the 170-pound crown. After the 1stRound rear-naked submission victory, Penn vacated the title and left the UFC because of a bitter contract dispute. Hughes gladly reclaimed the belt shortly after and proceeded to rule the division for the next couple of years.
Hughes avenged his loss in their rematch at UFC 63 back in September 2006. Although their first two rounds were competitive, Penn was completely gassed in the final stanza and was sent off to dominate the lightweight division immediately after.
Up until his last two outings, Penn was unquestionably the planet’s top 155-pounder. Fast forward two convincing unanimous decision losses to reigning king Frankie Edgar and Penn once again finds himself division hopping.
Hughes, who turns 37 next month, choked out Ricardo Almeida in his last outing at UFC 117. He’s rattled off three straight wins.
A light heavyweight bout between former champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida will headline the November 20th show.
Here are the contestants rumored/expected to participate in the pay-per-view broadcast:
Darren Elkins vs. Edson Barboza
Gabe Ruediger vs. Paul Kelly
Dennis Hallman vs. Karo Parisyan
Rory MacDonald vs Matt Brown
Nik Lentz vs. Tyson Griffin
Tim Boetsch vs. Phil Davis
Joe Lauzon and George Sotiropoulos
Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida