Anyone that is telling you today that they ‘knew’ BJ Penn was going to coach opposite Frankie Edgar in TUF 19, and then fight the featherweight for a third time, is either the biggest liar or a psychic. Even if it was looking like Penn would indeed fight again, following one sided losses to welterweights Rory MacDonald and Nick Diaz, it appeared as though he would come back at 155, not 145.
Well, UFC President Dana White appeared on the latest episode of “UFC Tonight“, and relayed the following about how the surprising match-up materialized.
“We were trying to do Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Edgar, but Edgar didn’t want to go to 135 and Faber didn’t want to move to 145. I don’t like to do fights at a catch weight. Then out of the blue BJ texted me and said he wants to fight Benson Henderson. I said ‘Why?’ He said: ‘I think if I beat Ben, then you’ll give me a fight vs. Frankie Edger.’ He said that’s all he wants. ‘I want to move to 145, beat Frankie, and fight for that title.’
“He says that he’s been training and taken the time off. When BJ gets fired up, he goes crazy and he fires me up. He wants this worse than anything and to fight at 145. It’s tough to say no to BJ. He just did a new deal with the UFC, so maybe if he wins this, then fights Ben, then fights for a title.”
Now it remains to be seen if Penn can avenge his consecutive, unanimous decision losses to Edgar. It’s going to be fascinating to see how “The Prodigy” looks at 145.
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