UFC Fight Night 97 returns to the Phillippines on October 15.
Our namesake, BJ Penn makes his return to the Octagon for the first time since July 2014 as he takes on #4 UFC ranked featherweight Ricardo Lamas in the main event of the evening.
Penn is looking to make a big statement against the former UFC featherweight title challenger and is looking to prove all his doubters wrong come fight night.
“Why would I care what anyone else thinks? The first thing those guys should do is go to the bank, drain their accounts and go put all of their money on Ricardo Lamas,” Penn told BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor in an exclusive interview. “Because the day before the fight I’m going to bet on myself and make a whole lot of money.”
Lamas is 3-2 since losing a featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo, who was the undisputed champion at the time in 2014. Most recently, Lamas lost a unanimous decision to Max Holloway at UFC 199 and is looking to keep his high rank in the featherweight division.
“It’s kind of a dangerous fight for me,” Lamas told BJPenn.com in an exclusive interview. “I have a lot to lose here. I’m the one that’s ranked up high in the division, he’s kind of making a comeback. I think there’s a lot of people that are expecting him to lose already. There’s not a lot of expectations coming from Penn’s side. All the pressure is on me to perform, and to win.”
“On the other hand, fighting a name like Penn is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Can’t turn it down. This guy is a living Hall of Famer, 2-divison world champion, so on paper he’s the most credentialed opponent that I’ve ever had, and I’m up for any challenge so we took it immediately.”
The UFC recently finalized the lineup for UFC Fight Night 97.
Heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Marcin Tybura will meet in the co-main event while the featured prelim bout will showcase Sam Alvey vs. Alex Nicholson.
The full UFC Fight Night 97 lineup:
MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 10 a.m. ET)
- Ricardo Lamas vs. B.J. Penn
- Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
- Janel Lausa vs. Yao Zhikui
- Mizuto Hirota vs. Cole Miller
PRELIMINARY CARD (6:45 a.m. ET)
- Sam Alvey vs. Alex Nicholson
- Mehdi Baghdad vs. Jon Tuck
- Ryan Janes vs. Dongi Yang
- Seo Hee Ham vs. Danielle Taylor
- James Moontasri vs. Alex Morono
- Ali Bagautinov vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
What fights are you looking forward to the most? Give us your prediction in the comment section on how and when your favorite matchups end!