The combat sports community was shocked when it was announced that the UFC gave BJ Penn another fight.
Penn will settle his longtime rivalry with Nick Lentz inside the Octagon at a date and location yet to be determined. The legendary Hawaiian is on a seven-fight losing streak, and hasn’t won since 2010 when he knocked out Matt Hughes in 21 seconds at UFC 123. UFC President Dana White was asked about the situation during last night’s (Sat. July 27, 2019) UFC 240 pay-per-view (PPV) post-fight press conference.
In regards to why White granted Penn another bout, he admitted the fight was agreed upon on one condition only. That it be Penn’s final in the UFC – win, lose, or draw:
“Cause he terrorized me for, freaking a week, and wouldn’t stop texting me for three days straight,” White said. “He talked me into it. We have a deal now. Win, lose, or draw, this is BJ Penn’s last fight. Because I won’t give him another fight. It’s very clear between us now that there won’t be another fight no matter what.”
When asked about the possibility that Penn take a fight somewhere else after his bout with Lentz, White said there’s nothing he can do to control such a decision:
“There’s nothing I can do about that,” White said. “I’ve voiced my concerns, I’ve known BJ Penn since he was, like, 19-years-old. You know, BJ is gonna do what BJ wants to do. I’ve had a very crazy relationship with him and his family for the last 20 years, and BJ walked me through a million reasons why he needs this fight and why he has to have it.
“He talked me into it, and, you guys know me, when I’m in, I’m in and I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do. So, we’re doing this. He has promised me; 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 guarantee you. We won’t be sitting here doing this again. That I promise you.”
Penn’s last bout resulted in a decision defeat to Clay Guida at UFC 237 after 15 minutes. As for Lentz, he recently had a two-fight win streak snapped by Charles Oliveira. Lentz was finished in the second round at UFC Rochester.
What do you think about Penn fighting the final bout of his UFC career against Lentz?