BJ Penn is Considering a Return to Fighting in the UFC Lightweight Division

June 5, 2013

BJ-Penn-UFC-107-Post-Presser-478x270Former two-division UFC champion BJ Penn is contemplating a return to fighting in the lightweight division.

UFC Tonight reports that “the door is still open” for Penn to “return to MMA in the near future.”

In fact, the 34-year-old Hawaiian is currently in training to assess whether or not he is “mentally and physically prepared to get back into this sport.”

Penn has bounced around weight classes throughout his career, but if he returns to fighting, it will be in the lightweight division.

Penn (16-9-2) made his professional mixed martial arts debut in the UFC on May 4, 2001, at UFC 31.  He fought in the inaugural UFC lightweight title fight at UFC 41 against Jens Pulver, losing by majority decision.

In his welterweight debut, he defeated former champion Matt Hughes at UFC 46.  He was later stripped of the title for accepting fights outside of the UFC.

He returned to the UFC in an unsuccessful run in the 170-pound division before dropping back down to the lightweight division, capturing the title and defending it twice.

While holding the lightweight belt, Penn moved back up to the welterweight division for a rematch with Georges St-Pierre.  He was soundly defeated, unlike in their first meeting at UFC 58.

He lost the lightweight title to Frankie Edgar at UFC 112 and was defeated by Edgar in an immediate rematch at UFC 118.

After relinquishing the 155-pound title, Penn returned to the welterweight division, fighting Jon Fitch to a draw before losing his last two fights to Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald.

UFC president Dana White recently stated that he wants the UFC veteran to retire.

The answer to whether or not Penn will return to fight is expected in the next couple of months.

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