UFC Hall of Fame legend BJ Penn will be making his way back into the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 103 on January 15.
The Hilo native is set to headline the FS1 televised event taking place in Phoenix, Arizona against rising star Yair Rodriguez.
With training camp underway, we got to catch up with our namesake for an exclusive interview and with the big news of UFC superstar Conor McGregor “relinquishing” the featherweight title, we asked BJ his thoughts on the situation.
“I was very surprised that happened. It makes the accomplishment kind of strange,” Penn said. “No knock on McGregor. I’m just wondering why UFC did it like that? Maybe everyone got to be happy that way.”
“The Prodigy” stated that when he went up in weight as the lightweight champion to challenge Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title at UFC 94, he went in with the mindset of defending both titles.
“When I went for the 170-pound belt I was going to try defend both belts. That would be a fight every 2 months I think.”
In the mix of McGregor no longer holding the featherweight belt, Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis are now fighting for the interim featherweight title at UFC 206 on December 10, which Penn thinks will be a great fight.
“I think Holloway and Pettis will be an amazing fight. Two top guys.
“It’s strange that it was moved to a title fight so close to fight time but more power and motivation for these two guys.”
As far as his own sights on a title fight in the featherweight division, “The Prodigy” is looking to get to the top of the weight class and ultimately become the first fighter in history to win three UFC titles in three different divisions.
“The only reason I am fighting again is to get the third belt,” Penn stated. “I don’t know where I will end up after I beat Yair, but I’m confident that everything will fall into place in the next few months after I beat him.”
Will you be tuning in for the return of BJ Penn as he takes on Yair Rodriguez in the main event of Fight Night 103 on January 15? Sound off in the comment section on how you see the fight going Penn Nation!