In BJ Penn‘s prime, he was the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He’s held the UFC lightweight title, the UFC welterweight title, and is in the UFC Hall of Fame. But it’s been a long time since Penn was in his prime.
On Friday, news broke that the 40-year-old Penn would face Nik Lentz later this year. TSN first reported the news, citing UFC president Dana White.
Penn last tasted victory in 2010. He’s lost his last seven fights. After lobbying White for another fight, the two have come to an agreement. Penn will face Lentz, but it will be his last fight inside the UFC octagon.
“He terrorized me for friggen a week and wouldn’t stop texting me for three days straight and talked me into it. We have a deal now: win, lose, or draw this is BJ Penn’s last fight,” said White during the UFC 240 Post-Fight Press Conference on Saturday in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
“I won’t give him another fight. It’s very clear between us now that there won’t be another fight no matter what,” said White.
Penn once lorded over the UFC lightweight division. He was only the second fighter in UFC history to have won titles in two separate weight classes. But his quest for legacy has seen him fall into a tailspin that he’s been unable to emerge from.
Penn hasn’t won a fight since knocking out Matt Hughes in 2010. As impressive as that 21-second victory was, he then went on to fight Jon Fitch to a draw. He has since lost seven consecutive fights, a UFC record which he surely doesn’t want and that no other fighter has been allowed to attempt.
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He’ll of course be hoping to finally get the monkey off of his back when he faces Lentz, but no matter whether he does or not, White sounds resolute that Penn will not ever fight in the Octagon again after that.
“He’s promised me that win, lose or draw, he will retire after this fight. We’ll see if he keeps his promise. He won’t fight here though, that I can guarantee you,” White declared.
“We won’t be sitting here doing this again, that I promise you.”