BJ Penn vs Matt Hughes confirmed as UFC 123 Co-Headline; UFC 123 Poster revealedPosted on September 14, 2010, 07:35 AM by Daniel Cassidy
Just a few days ago, fans were curious who BJ Penn would face next, as he promised a November return in his video blog. Shortly afterwards, Matt Hughes revealed Dana White has spoke to him about a possible November match up, and immediately tongue's started wagging about a potential rubber match between the two former Welterweight Champions. It seems this is what Joe Silva had in mind all along, as today it was confirmed by Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com that a highly anticipated rematch between the two will take place at UFC 123 on on November 20, 2010 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan.
The match will serve as Co-Headline, the card headlined by the Light Heavyweight clash between Lyoto Machida and Rampage Jackson.
Penn's future was uncertain, following his 50-45 loss to current Champ Frankie Edgar, the man who took the belt from Penn's waist in their previous outing at UFC 112. While many expected him to dominate Edgar in Abu Dhabi, then make another run for the Welterweight gold, but this was not to be. While some expected Penn to start from scratch and make another run at Lightweight, "The Prodigy" has elected to move up in weight.
Hughes fortunes have been on the up of late. Since being badly outdone by Thiago Alves, Hughes returned to the drawing board. The Hall of Famer is now riding a 3 fight win streak, taking a close decision over Matt Serra, a TKO win due to leg kicks over Renzo Gracie, and choking out Ricardo Almedia most recently at UFC 117. Surely a fourth consecutive win against the always dangerous Penn would put Hughes within touching distance of another title shot?
While Penn vs Hughes III is set for November, both fighters already hold a win over each other. Penn was the first to take a win, and the Welterweight title, from Hughes, way back at UFC 46, in January 2004, when he caught Hughes in a perfectly executed Rear Naked Choke. The two would rematch at UFC 63 in September of 2006, where Hughes would eventually TKO a tired Penn in the third round, to keep his Middleweight belt.