We’re now just one month away from the hotly anticipated Octagon return of MMA legend B.J. Penn. The Hawaiian great will be taking on dangerous featherweight Ricardo Lamas in the main event of the UFC’s return to Manila on October 15.
As we eagerly await Penn’s comeback, another legend of the sport appears to be gearing up for a comeback of his own: former Penn rival Georges St-Pierre. Though the Canadian is currently mired in contract negotiations with the UFC, he’s made no secret of his desire to return to the cage.
Given their coinciding comebacks, and the fact that St-Pierre has suggested he could successfully cut to the lightweight division, Penn recently reached out to his old rival, offering him a fight at 155 lbs in New York City in November.
Hey @GeorgesStPierre if you can make 155 easily, I'm free in November and would love the opportunity to fight you at 155 pounds in New York.
— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) June 27, 2016
In an exclusive interview with BJPenn.com’s “Rapid Fire“, Penn explained the reasons for this gentle call-out of St-Pierre.
“I don’t feel like I called him out, I just said it would be a great test if he ever came down to ’55,” Penn said. “But I don’t know if he could ever make that weight.”
Apparently, however, this is not a fight that interests the returning St-Pierre.
“I have nothing to gain going back to fighting B.J. Penn,” St-Pierre told MMAFighting.com in early September. “B.J. is a very dangerous opponent. You never know. If he trains hard, I think B.J. Penn is very skilled. He’s one of the most skilled guys I fought.”
“It’s an unnecessary risk for my legacy, for my career, to fight a guy like him right now,” St-Pierre continued. “It has nothing that will be good for me right now. I think he’s very dangerous. If it would be a walk in the park, I would do it.”
In his interview with BJPenn.com, the former two-division champ offered up his thoughts on St-Pierre’s reluctance for a trilogy bout:
“I remember when I fought him the first time, when he was nobody, I didn’t think about it being risky for my legacy,” Penn said. “That’s why I believe, when all this is said and done, that’s why I’ll be remembered but he will never be remembered. You know, Anderson Silva was there, he could have fought Anderson Silva, but he never fought Anderson Silva for his legacy. Just as a rule of thumb, for myself personally, I don’t live thinking about my legacy. I’ll fight. I want to fight anyone, you know?”
Are you surprised that Georges St-Pierre is uninterested in a third fight with B.J. Penn? Sound off, PENN nation!