B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar to Coach TUF 19, Trilogy to Take Place at Featherweight

September 11, 2013
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Frankie Edgar vs BJ Penn UFC 118 The UFC has signed B.J. Penn to a new contract and the former two-division champion’s first fight back will be against former lightweight titleholder Frankie Edgar in a featherweight bout.

Not only will Penn and Edgar fight for a third time, the two will coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.

UFC Tonight first reported the development on Wednesday.

“We were putting together The Ultimate Fighter coaches for this season and it was going to be Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar.  Urijah Faber is at 135-pounds.  Edgar is at 145.  Edgar didn’t want to go to 135 and Urijah Faber wasn’t crazy about going to 145.  They were talking about a catchweight fight.  I don’t like catchweight fights,” explained UFC president Dana White.

“This thing was all in limbo and then all of a sudden I get a text from B.J. Penn.  B.J. Penn texted me and says, ‘Hey Dana, I want to fight Ben Henderson.’  My question to B.J. is why?  You’ve accomplished so much.  You’ve won the title two times in two different weight classes.

“He said the reason why is ‘I think if I beat Ben Henderson you’ll give me that fight that I want, which is Frankie Edgar,’” added White.

Edgar and then-champion Penn first fought at UFC 112 in April 2010.  Edgar defeated Penn by unanimous decision to capture the UFC lightweight title.  The fight was extremely close and an immediate rematch was scheduled for UFC 118 where Edgar defeated Penn again to retain the belt.

“He says, ‘Frankie Edgar, I can beat Frankie Edgar.  Those two first fights were B.S.  I want that fight again.  I want to beat this guy so bad.  It’s all I want.’  You know how B.J. is,” said White.  “I started thinking.  I’m like, that fight is at 145 B.J.  He’s a 145-pounder.  He goes, ‘I want to move to 145, beat Frankie Edgar, and fight for that title.’

“He wants this thing worse than anything.  He believes he can beat Frankie Edgar.  He wants to fight at 145-pounds.  It’s tough to say no to B.J,” added the UFC president.

The next season of The Ultimate fighter will premier on Fox Sports 1 in April 2014 and feature middleweight and light heavyweight contestants.

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  • Dragon Kid


  • Tiddy28

    First off, glad to see Penn return to the UFC. However, I’m not sure why he’s fighting Edgar. He’s lost to him twice (yes, he DID lose that first fight) and for Edgar why would he take this fight?What has he got to prove in beating Penn again? (if he does). He has more to lose than gain right now. I understand you have to beat the best, and Penn is that, but I think there are better fights for Edgar. Glad it’s at 145 but while I can’t wait to watch this fight, I’m not sure how much sense it makes.

    • Shawn

      Penn easily won that first fight. Look at the Fightmetrics.

      • Marcus Miles

        Im a Penn fan but he didnt win that fight. It was close but Edgar got it for sure. He countered everything Penn threw and was taking Penn down as well and was passing Penns guard. The take downs are what gave Frankie that fight.

      • TK

        That fight wasn’t easy for Penn or Edgar.

    • TK

      BJ is probably 100% sure he can beat Edgar this time and erase the first two fights. Hopefully, BJ will be smart and take his nutrition seriously year round (not just 10 weeks before a fight), and get on a Marinovich like strength and conditioning regiment.

      BJ is also a very big name and an international mma legend, people will tune in to see if the prodigy can return to relevance. I know I will.

      I am not a BJ fanatic but I love the way he fights. It’d be cool if BJ RNC’s Edgar and goes on a run at FW.

  • Darin

    This came out of nowhere. I think it could make for an interesting season of TUF, but probably another 25 minutes of a dancing Frankie and a frustrated Penn when it comes to the fight.

    • uncle

      UFC could at least find coaches that haven’t
      fought already

  • Fist and foremost I admire the UFC for putting this together. Great business ethic. I would love to do business with anyone with that type of thinking. Don’t lie. We’re all going to watch. Can’t wait.

    • TheCerealKiller

      Really? This is garbage! BJ has already retired himself. Bj can’t win top level fights anymore.

      • Marcus Miles

        I love BJ but he lost twice to edgar and the second fight was a dominant win for edgar without a doubt. BJ has had a good lay off and he could use a tune up fight for sure. BJ gets his ass kicked and says he wants to retire because he dosnt want to go home to his kids looking like he got his ass kicked. Edgar is gonna retire him for the second time.

      • But after the Rory fight he must be pissed. And a fight with Frankie with TUF behind them must give him a spark. Either way it’s BJ Penn man!! He’s a character not a boring personality like … eh I don’t even wanna say and insult nobody but I’m sure we get it.

      • Hater

    • Manuel Lopez

      You’re kidding! is it April again?

      • Nothing more foolish then using a cliche. Just kidding somewhat. I like you and respect your opinion but even if you don’t agree with the format your a real mma fan and are interested in the new fighters and drama. Can we agree on that? 🙂

    • Ian Price

      It’s gonna be interesting seeing how BJ will interact with the usually shy Frankie for several weeks of training and filming.

  • Lucas Freire

    Dude, it gives me goosebumps just from thinking about a fit BJ Penn on 145. I know frankie is too fast, and even faster on 145, but dang I’d like to see how BJ would fit on this division. I always thought it was a possible move, and a good one, as he was already big at LW, but not as lean as he could be.

    • Ian Price

      If he beat Frankie and somehow got a shot and beat Aldo or Showtime, people would go apeshit. I know I would!

      Then we could stop chiding Anderson for calling Penn the GOAT.

      Chances are not great for that to happen, but it would be fun to see what happens!

      Hey, we’ve never seen Penn at his natural weight (probably somewhere between LW and FW?)

      • Lucas Freire

        I know, right?! Penn vs Aldo is a dream match-up. Even though he doesn’t get much attention from the media I think Aldo is top3 P4P( Spider above him coming from a loss doesn’t make any sense).

  • drkdisciple

    cant wait for the part where we hear that this time (unlike the previous ten times we heard it) BJ is really taking this seriously and is in the best shape of his life…he is dedicated and motivated like he never was b4….the last 10 times were all lies but this time bj is really taking it seriously.

    • Advance*

      Just because he lost some fights doesn’t mean he wasn’t motivated. He has no business fighting at welterweight these days but he still looked pretty good in the first two.

    • uncle

      Your right his cardio is a big problem

    • Jay Magallon

      He’s gonna have to be in great shape to fight at 145.

      • Ian Price

        I hope he will. Should be fun!

      • BobLemons

        Exactly that, if he can get to 145, he will have to be motivated.

      • drkdisciple

        Hope you are right. However can you remember when Ken Flo cut to 145? Weight cut was too much and he looked drained and weak…there is a strong possibility the same happens with BJ. Honestly I hope I am wrong but I am really questioning BJ’s commitment to fighting.

  • JonnyFabulous

    Did Dana White really get quoted as saying “…kike…”? Watch out Jews Dana (or MMA Weekly) don’t kike you.

    • El Gvapo

      I don’t get it? Never heard the term “kike” before, what does it mean?

      • Bocivus

        It’s a derogatory term to call a Jew.

        • jeremy

          Is it? because i thought it was kype not kike. So your both wrong.

          • JonnyFabulous

            check it out what the word means before you start spouting off on crap you don’t know anything about…GOOGLE the word Kype and Kike. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kike

  • Timothy Malone

    What the heck is the point of this? Are they doing best of 5?

    • Advance*

      I think the article makes it clear what the point is. BJ obviously wants to avenge those losses and the fact that it’s getting him to come down to 145 is probably a good enough reason for Dana.

      • TK


      • Timothy Malone

        But is it really avenging the losses to win 1 out of 3 fights? I suppose it is if in his mind he won that first fight, which was very close.

        • Ian Price

          Very close fights are just that. Could have gone either way…

    • Darin

      The Penn-Edgar Quintilogy!

      • DamianCross

        I cite Rampage/Wandy as evidence that yes, a 1/3 can make all the difference.

  • ronbo

    gottabefknkiddinme. wont even watch it. Penn is a has been.

  • shakejunt

    sorry to be this guy, but..

    “It’s tough to say no to B.J,”
    -Dana White

  • Manuel Lopez

    I’ll echo others by saying: this is garbage!
    This is damn pointless!!! Frankie Edgar gains nothing from this. He beat BJ twice!! doing it a third time isn’t worth it for him. And BJ is just going for a paycheck. What the hell is going on in UFC? They talk and talk about legitimizing the sport, DW mocks Bellator for putting Rampage and Ortiz together and then comes up with this bull$hit?!

    • Jay Magallon

      C’mon man, regardless of whether or not you feel this is pointless, it makes perfect sense in some ways. People want to see BJ fight, I know I sure do, whether they love him or hate him. You know he lacks no motivation to fight Edgar, and its happening at 145 which so many people have been wishing he would try for years. It gives the rivalry a whole new feel.

      • TheCerealKiller

        It doesn’t matter if you want to see BJ, this fight makes no sense! I don’t believe for one second that BJ is taking for any other reason than money. Frankie is going to beat his ass again and he gain nothing from it except TV exposure.

        • Justin E.

          BJ doesn’t need money. He never did. He had money before fighting. It certainly isn’t, and has never been about the money. The spotlight maybe, but not money.

        • Jay Magallon

          It makes perfect sense if its a fight people are willing to see. Between the show, and a ppv main event, it makes absolutely perfect sense. Plus if BJ pulls off an upset, he’s right there in the mix to be a contender.

        • Do your research hater. BJ’s probably got the highest net worth in the UFC

  • julian moran

    Other then adding star power to the division (which I am sure is the intent), I see no reason and have no interest in BJ Penn fighting at FW.
    BJ is good enough to make a statement and a run for the belt at LW, which is his natural weight class.
    I also have no interest in BJ/Edgar 3 which will but be a repeat of 1 and 2, the 2 most uninteresting fights BJ has had.

    • Justin E.

      No he isn’t good enough for LW anymore. He is a very small guy and should have been at 145 all along.

  • julian moran

    There are so many good fights for Penn at LW..

    • Dragon Kid

      The LW Division is getting thin now. Most of the good LWs have jumped to the featherweight division now.

  • Mark McDowall

    Now this is a season of TUF that brings back a good coaching rivalry!!!

  • james j

    Note to Dana, Why?

  • Justin E.

    I’ve always said…the only way I’ll be excited to see BJ again is at 145. The fact is, that is the weight class he should be at. He could make 135. He wont be able to make weight if he doesn’t take it seriously so as long as he makes weight, he should be good. Though edgar is a tough matchup and I’d rather see him get someone else, then Aldo. Cuz that would just be such a fun fight.


    not sure if BJ have it (physically) in him any more !!!

  • El Gvapo

    Has anybody thought that this isn’t about BJ avenging his losses to Edgar and nor is it about him finding a new motivation to fight at FW and make a charge for the strap.

    I think this is all about the UFC trying to give the ailing TUF format a shot in the arm. They need a personality, a big star, to coach on TUF. Silva won’t do it, GSP and Jones have done it recently, ditto Sonnen. That doesn’t leave much else out there. I think they’ve tried to pique interest this time round by having Rousey coach but the ratings seem to suggest that’s backfired somewhat.

    At least BJ, and to a lesser extent Edgar, will add that star power whilst at the same time offer an intriguing coaches fight.

    I’d love to be wrong, I’d love to see a prepared and motivated BJ back in the ring, but I don’t think it’s the case.

  • jrcr_15

    BJ will show up out of shape and lose .. again. He should just stay retired and not make himself look bad.

  • KungFuPanda

    I love BJ but somebody needs to sit this guy down and tell him that boxing is a young man’s game and he’s not young anymore. I’ve even read his mma instructional book and he himself says his strategy is (WAS) to use striking to set up the takedown and BJJ. He is so far from that strategy now because all the ‘yes man’ around him telling him that he can still out strike younger faster guys. BJ, I love you but if that’s your strategy going into this fight, you’ll be talking about retirement all over again when the fight is over….

  • David Britton

    After Benson lost to Pettis he was asked what Henderson would have a lot of work to do to get a rematch, considering he’s been beaten twice by Anthony. Now what makes Dana and the boys think that the viewers would want to watch a WASHED UP BJ Penn fight Frankie Edgar, who is always fighting towards a title shot? Trilogies are meant for fighters who have split two fights, with a win a piece, not for two fighters where one has clearly beaten the other both times. I know there has to be other options for coaches on TUF. Step up the game, UFC.

    • Bocivus

      On the judges card, yes, but I would have to argue “clearly beaten” in their first fight. I thought BJ got shafted.

  • solo

    BJ is crazy! He said to Dana that he wants to fight Benson. Dana was like no way man! So he asked for the Edgar fight and here we are.

  • Kbroesq

    Why???? I can only state the obvious. This isn’t a rubber match. Edgar won both fights (yes, I understand they were close), but arguably, since those fights. Edgar has gotten better and Penn has gotten worse. Edgar has been fighting nothing but champions in five round fights, and Penn has been losing novelty fights.

    Plus, their personalities together aren’t particularly good for TUF.


    Edgar vs Mendes or Cub!! And if BJ wants to fight at FW give him Conor McGregor , Dennis Siver or Clay Guida.
    I dont care who coaches the show i jus want to see good fights that make sense!