BJ Penn has reportedly been forced out of his UFC Fight Night 97 headlining bout opposite Ricardo Lamas.
Penn was supposed to make his return from retirement against Lamas on Saturday, Oct. 15, in Manila, Philippines. An undisclosed injury, however, has forced the UFC Hall of Famer to withdraw from the fight. MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed the news first reported by MMAJunkie.com.
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Penn has now been planning for his return for nearly a year, but has had several attempts to return to the Octagon derailed. His most recent stumbling block was a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency imposed six-month sanction for admitting to an intravenous infusion that violated the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Penn later issued a statement saying that he wasn’t aware at the time of the infusion that it was a violation.
The Hawaiian fighter hasn’t set foot in the Octagon since Frankie Edgar stopped him via TKO in The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale in July of 2014. That fight was Penn’s featherweight debut, which is the same weight he intends on fighting at when he eventually returns.
With UFC Manila just 10 days away, the UFC is left to scramble for a new opponent for Lamas.