Capping off perhaps the most unusual 48 hours in mixed martial arts history, UFC president Dana White has announced BJ Penn (Pictured) will face NICK DIAZ in the co-main event at “UFC 137: St-Pierre vs. Condit” on October 29th.
“This is crazy but here we go again! You wanted it so you got it. Penn vs Diaz [Oct 29th] in Vegas,” White tweeted just moments ago.
Penn found himself dateless on Halloween weekend after Carlos Condit agreed to replace Diaz and challenge Georges St-Pierre for his welterweight crown in the night’s featured attraction. Diaz was yanked from the title tilt on Wednesday after he missed back-to-back press conferences to promote his bout with St-Pierre.
After putting Paul Daley down in a thrilling scrap in April, Diaz expressed great displeasure in the lack of zeros in his paycheck. In search of greener pastures, he abandoned his Strikeforce belt to swim in St-Pierre’s pond. The primary disclaimer in his new UFC contract was that he needed to “play the game.”
When White called him back up to the big leagues earlier this summer, he had a poignant conversation with Diaz about needing to talk with the media in order to help promote the sport, as well as his upcoming fights.
After Diaz pulled two no-shows this week, which cost the company $15,000 in airfare, White abruptly removed him from the blockbuster bout.
Penn fought Jon Fitch to a highly controversial draw at UFC 127 this past February. It was the Hawaiian’s second welterweight contest since getting trounced in consecutive outings by reigning lightweight king Frankie Edgar. The future Hall of Famer owns a 16–7–2 professional record.
The Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada will host the extravaganza.
Here is the card’s complete roster:
Dannny Downes vs. Ramsey Nijem
Eliot Marshall vs. Brandon Vera
Jeff Curran vs. Scott Jorgensen
Tim Credeur vs. Brad Tavares
(Spike TV 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Bart Palaszewski vs. Tyson Griffin
Dennis Siver vs. Donald Cerrone
(Pay-Per-View 9PM ET/6PM PT)
Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop
Roy Nelson vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Matt Mitrione vs. Cheick Kongo
BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz
Carlos Condit vs. Georges St-Pierre (UFC Welterweight Champion)