Former two-weight class champion B.J. Penn is no stranger to big fights.
The Hawaiian has been in more than his fair share of main events, title fights, and even what could be described as “super fights” when he’s fought well out of his own weight class.
He’s fought at lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and even what was considered “open weight” when he took on former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida back in 2005.
His willingness to always step up and fight the best competition, regardless of weight class, has shown Penn’s fearlessness throughout his career. Of course some would say Penn’s choices could also be described as foolhardy considering his domination of the lightweight division for much of his career, but he is best defined as the fighter who will literally fight anybody.
That mentality is probably a big part of the reason why Penn is such a fan of the “super fight” concept, which pits two fighters against each other from much different weight classes.
“I think super fights are great. I think it causes a lot of hype, and Dana (White) knows that. Look at the name ‘super fight’, it’s awesome, it’s what this sport is about. It’s what this sport was built on. Get the two best fighters in the world and put them in the ring, and I’ve got to give that to Dana White, he does that every time,” Penn said on Tuesday.
“He doesn’t let no (Floyd) Mayweather/ (Manny) Pacquiao situations ever happen, he’s the man.”
The Mayweather/Pacquiao situation is reference to the long standing idea that would pit the two pugilists considered the best pound-for-pound in the sport together in a bout, but because of contractual hold ups, promoter bickering and other issues, it’s never actually happened.
Penn loves that White is willing to put together the biggest fights possible, just like when he jumped up from lightweight to face welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in 2009.
Penn had battled St-Pierre to a split decision in 2006, but after three straight wins at lightweight including capturing the belt, he was offered the chance to go back to welterweight and face the 170lb champion one more time.
The fight ended with St-Pierre the victor once again, but Penn has no regrets about his decision making about taking the “super fight”.
Recently, the super fight on everybody’s minds has been middleweight champion Anderson Silva taking on St-Pierre, for what most believe would be the biggest fight in UFC history between two of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
Silva has already signed off on the idea, but St-Pierre has been a bit more skittish with the idea of accepting the bout. Penn won’t question what St-Pierre ultimately decides to do, but he knows what he would do if he got the same call from Dana White.
“That fight, that’s on Georges himself, but everybody on this call knows what B.J. Penn would do,” said Penn.
Whether the Silva vs. St-Pierre fight becomes a reality remains to be seen. St-Pierre is currently on vacation following his win at UFC 154, but when he returns UFC President Dana White plans on broaching the subject with the welterweight champion about potentially facing Silva by the middle of 2013.