Despite a seven-fight losing streak in the UFC, B.J. Penn is returning to the Octagon again.
On Friday, UFC president Dana White confirmed that he was booking Penn against Nik Lentz in a fight that will most likely take place at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi in September. The decision to give Penn another fight came less than two months after he fell to Clay Guida by unanimous decision and White said afterwards that he just couldn’t give him another opportunity in the UFC.
Following UFC 240 in Edmonton, White explained what led to his decision to alter course and book Penn yet again.
“Cause he terrorized me for freaking a week and wouldn’t stop texting me for three days straight,” White said at the post fight press conference. “Talked me into it. We have a deal now — win, lose or draw, this is B.J. Penn’s last fight.
“I won’t give him another fight. It’s very clear between us that there won’t be another fight no matter what. If all you people who are concerned are doctors, give me a call. If you’re not, then mind your business.”
Medical degrees aside, Penn has absorbed a lot of damage throughout his career, especially during this recent slide that has seen the Hawaiian legend drop his record to 16-14-2 with his last win coming in 2010.
Still, White is going to take Penn at his word that he will retire after his next fight regardless of the result.
“I’ve voiced my concerns. I’ve known B.J. Penn since he was he was like 19 years old. B.J. is going to do what B.J. wants to do,” White stated. “I’ve had a very crazy relationship with him and his family for the last 20 years. B.J. walked me through a million reasons why he needs this fight and why he has to have it. He talked me into it. You guys know me, when I’m in, I’m in and I’m going to do what I’m going to do. So we’re doing this.
“He’s promised me that win, lose or draw, he will retire after this fight. We’ll see if he keeps his promise.”
Obviously, Penn could decide to fight elsewhere but White promises that this will be his last opportunity to compete inside the UFC Octagon.
“He won’t fight here though, that I can guarantee you,” White said. “We won’t be sitting here doing this again, that I promise you.”