The MMA community recently received word that former two division UFC champion, UFC Hall of Famer, BJ Penn would be returning to the Octagon in January at ‘UFC Fight Night: 103’ as he steps into the Octagon to face streaking featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez.
Penn announced earlier this year that he was ending his retirement, and with famed coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in his corner, revealed that he was planning to make a run at the featherweight championship. Unfortunately however, Penn’s return to the Octagon was halted when he was forced to withdraw from his ‘UFC Fight Night: Manila’ headlining scrap against Ricardo Lamas due to an injury.
Fortunately, since then, Penn has since recovered from his injury, and will look to make his triumphant return to the Octagon against Yair Rodriguez as he also looks to snap a three fight skid and return to the win column following his 2014 TKO loss to Frankie Edgar.
This week, the UFC made the decision to have Conor McGregor ‘relinquish’ the featherweight championship, and promote Jose Aldo to the undisputed featherweight champion, in order to have Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway fight for the interim featherweight championship at UFC 206 on December 10th.
In an exclusive interview, Penn spoke with us about whether or not the UFC’s decision to promote Aldo to featherweight champion had any impact on The Prodigy’s plans to make a run at the 145 pound belt given that when he announced the end of his retirement, he stated that he was gunning for Conor McGregor and the featherweight championship.
“I am not fighting again to fight any specific opponent, I am only going for the belt. As far as Jose Aldo goes, we will cross that bridge when we get there, there is no reason for me speculating who will be champ when I get there.”
“I have nothing to say to the people who don’t want me to be champion, they know once I get the opportunity, their dreams will be crushed lol
I’m tired of talking about motivation, I’m here right?”