Trilogies have become a part of great film series and great fights.
The next trilogy in MMA will take place at UFC 123 when former welterweight champions B.J. Penn and Matt Hughes settle the score in the co-main event of the Nov. 20 event in Detroit.
Rumors about the bout began to circulate on Monday when Hughes posted on his official website that UFC president Dana White had contacted him with an interesting proposal for the November card.
Penn previously stated on his website that he had also been contacted about a potential return in November.
The pieces started falling together and the two legends were put together for a third fight. MMAWeekly.com sources on Monday confirmed the rumors that Penn and Hughes had agreed to meet. MMAFighting.com was the first to officially report the bout.
Penn originally met Hughes in January 2004, when the former lightweight decided to make the trip to 170 pounds to face one of the most dominant champions the weight class had ever seen. While Penn went into the bout as an underdog, he was more than happy to shock the world. He submitted Hughes with a rear naked choke in the first round.
The two met again in September 2006, and after a back and forth war early, Hughes eventually got Penn down, trapping him in a crucifix position and hammered the Hawaiian with punches until the fight was stopped.
Now, in November, the pair will finally put their rivalry to rest.
Hughes had stated after his August win over Ricardo Almeida that he intended to take some time off and return in 2011, but he’s also said numerous times that he doesn’t turn down the UFC when they come calling. This appears to be one such instance.
This will be the first trip back to 170 pounds for Penn since he lost to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 94 in January 2009.
The bout between Penn and Hughes will serve as the co-main event on the card headlined by former light heavyweight champions Lyoto Machida and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.