The MMA world thought we had seen the last of B.J.Penn after losing soundly to Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 5 last December. We were all mistaken as the UFC announced that the former two division champion will be returning to the UFC, but this time as a featherweight as he will coach the 19th season of The Ultimate Fighter alongside former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Penn and Edgar will then fight for third time at an event that wasn’t announced at this time.
The pairing was announced earlier this evening on “UFC Tonight”. UFC President Dana White said this was a fight that Penn wanted really bad.
“B.J.Penn is moving down to 145 lbs. to coach The Ultimate Fighter against Frankie Edgar,” said UFC President Dana White. “BJ really hates the fact that he lost to Frankie Edgar. It’s something that’s been burning deep inside of him for three years now. So he’s moving down to 145 lbs. to not only avenge those defeats, but to try and become the first fighter in UFC history to win titles in three different weight classes.
“When B.J.Penn gets fired up about something, he goes, crazy, you know what I mean?” UFC president Dana White said. “The kid’s fired up, he’s got me fired up about this, he believes he can beat Frankie Edgar, he can compete at 145 pounds. It’s tough to say no to B.J.”
Penn (16-9-2 in MMA) is one of only two men to win UFC world titles in two separate divisions. The former welterweight and lightweight champion has defeated a Who’s Who of MMA, including UFC champions Matt Hughes, Matt Serra and Sean Sherk. His reign over the UFC’s 155lbs. division was ended in 2010’s Upset of the Year, when he was outpointed by Frankie Edgar. “The Prodigy” not only returns to the UFC but also The Ultimate Fighter, after coaching season five back in 2007.
After defeating Penn in two fights, Edgar (15-4-1) established a reputation for lightweight excellence. “The Answer” defended the lightweight championship in a pair of all-time classic battles with Gray Maynard before losing the title on a controversial decision to Benson Henderson. Edgar then dropped to featherweight where he lost to featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 156 in February and rebounded with an unanimous decision over Charles Oliveira at UFC 162 in July. Many believe he will join Penn as a two-division world champion.