Dana White Outlines How BJ Penn-Frankie Edgar III Came Together
By FCF Staff
The MMA world is still buzzing about the news that not only is BJ Penn going to coach opposite Frankie Edgar in the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, but that the two will fight at 145 in April, 2014.
Although there had been speculation that Penn was planning to return at lightweight, the legendary fighter hasn’t fought since last December, when he was beaten by welterweight Rory MacDonald.
So how did the bout come together? While speaking to “UFC Tonight”, UFC President Dana White relayed:
“We were trying to do Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Edgar, but Edgar didn’t want to go to 135 and Faber didn’t want to move to 145. I don’t like to do fights at a catch weight. Then out of the blue BJ texted me and said he wants to fight Benson Henderson. I said ‘Why?’ He said: ‘I think if I beat Ben, then you’ll give me a fight vs. Frankie Edger.’ He said that’s all he wants. ‘I want to move to 145, beat Frankie, and fight for that title.’ He says that he’s been training and taken the time off.”
“When BJ gets fired up, he goes crazy and he fires me up. He wants this worse than anything and to fight at 145. It’s tough to say no to BJ. He just did a new deal with the UFC, so maybe if he wins this, then fights Ben, then fights for a title.”
Edgar and Penn fought twice in 2010, and in both bouts, Edgar emerged with a unanimous decision win. The first fight marked the end of Penn’s reign as lightweight champion.
The filming for TUF 19 is expected to get underway next month and will air in January.