B.J. Penn Shoots Down UFC 221 Rumors, Says He Should Have Never Fought at 145 Pounds

By: Tristen Critchfield
Jan 2, 2018

If and when B.J. Penn elects to return to the UFC, it will not be as a featherweight.

Over the weekend, rumors surfaced that Penn would fight against Suman Mokhtarian at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia on Feb. 10. “The Prodigy” denied that matchup was in the works in an interview with BJPenn.com.

“I wish,” he said. “But as of right now there is now plans of me fighting.”

Since his last successful lightweight title defense at UFC 207, Penn has compiled a 1-7-1 mark in the Octagon that included a three-fight stint at 145 pounds. The 39-year-old Hawaiian ended a two-plus year retirement in 2017, dropping bouts against Yair Rodriguez and Dennis Siver upon his return. The loss to Rodriguez was particularly lopsided, as Penn fell to the Mexican prospect 24 seconds into round two of their UFC Fight Night 103 headlining encounter.

For now, Penn doesn’t have any plans to compete again.

“I don’t know, I haven’t really been thinking about fighting that much lately. But one thing is for sure, I would never fight at 145-pounds again,” he said.

“I should have never fought at 145. It was a bad decision to move down in weight at my age. Maybe if I had made the move in my early twenties it would have been different. But I did not feel good at 145.”

Reigning featherweight champion Max Holloway has been vocal about the UFC bringing an event to Hawaii. If the Las Vegas-based promotion were to travel to the island, Penn would have to serious consider lacing up the four-ounce gloves once again.

“Of course I would love to fight in Hawaii.” Penn said. “Hopefully the UFC and the state of Hawaii can come together and get it done. I know that Hawaiian fans are starving for a UFC event. It would be amazing.”

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