Opinion: B.J. Penn Has Lightweight Opponent Options
By Michael Hatamoto
If former champion BJ Penn decides to enter the UFC octagon again, there are already a few fighters willing to welcome him back.
Undefeated lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov said he would like to fight the ‘best lightweight fighter in history’ if Penn decides to return to the cage in 2013.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@khabib13) June 5, 2013
Meanwhile, Evan Dunham also said he would be ‘an honor to fight’ Penn if the 34-year-old Hawaiian ‘needs an opponent’ if he returns back to the cage.
Penn won just one of his last six fights, with one draw and four losses, dating back to losing the UFC lightweight championship to Frankie Edgar at UFC 112 in April 2010. The Hawaiian veteran hasn’t fought since a unanimous decision loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz in December 2012 and his future has been unclear since that fight.
I think Penn should call it a career, as he has a phenomenal legacy as former lightweight and welterweight champion, facing some of the best fighters in modern UFC history. I think if Penn is in the gym and wants to work out, teach and train fighters, that’s fine – but the lightweight fighters today are cutting a lot of weight and are always in great shape.
UFC President Dana White wants Penn to retire, so I am unsure if we’ll ever see the former two-division champion return to the octagon again.