In an interview with FOX Sports, former UFC champion BJ Penn teased that he was considering a comeback, especially if he could fight Nik Lentz. Having made recent moves that indicate he might have been serious, Penn again called Lentz out, specifically requesting a date at UFC 197 on March 5.
Penn recently resurfaced at Jackson Wink MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., where he is training alongside the likes of UFC champ Holly Holm, stripped former champ Jon Jones, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, and a host of others. While head coach Greg Jackson has declined to comment about any specific plans for Penn, the Hawaiian quickly took aim at the fight with Lentz.
“This is a formal challenge for Nik Lentz to meet me in the Octagon March 5th in Las Vegas,” Penn wrote on Instagram. “Nik you wrote a silly poem about me making fun of me, you said stuff about me and my parents, and you been making a #bringpennback hashtag, I ask you today to be a man and back up everything you said, talk the talk walk the walk, Uncle BJ is mad already.”
Lentz responded in a lengthy letter to MMAFighting.com, basically stating that he would gladly fight Penn, but only under his terms.
Those terms, according to his letter, included the fight not being at featherweight, Penn donating $22,000 being donated to a dog shelter in Hawaii in the name of Mike Dolce, and the fight not taking place at UFC 197, but at a time and place of Lentz’s choosing.
Lentz believes the weight cut is too hard on his body and will no longer fight at featherweight. He also claims Penn still owes nutritionist Dolce money and doesn’t believe he will ever pay him, thus the reasoning behind the donation. And, as for the timeline, believes that he should control the timing because he is an active fighter, while Penn would be coming out of retirement for the fight.
This could, of course, all be as much bravado as anything, but only time will tell how serious Penn is about coming out of retirement. More than likely, him training at Jackson Wink MMA will gauge whether or not he truly feels he should return to the Octagon, following an already UFC Hall of Fame career.