UFC President Dana White continues to say that future hall of famer BJ Penn will indeed return to the Octagon, despite Penn’s coyness. But Thursday, White provided more details to MMA Junkie on what weight the pound for pound great will fight at, and revealed that Penn declined a bout with Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez.
“I tried to do [Melendez vs. Penn], but it was at the time when B.J. was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not fighting for a while,’” White told Junkie.
Apparently, he didn’t say if that match up would have meant Penn going to Strikeforce or Melendez going to the UFC.
White seems to think that Penn will be back at welterweight. “I’m done with telling him where to go as far as weight goes,” White said. “The guy’s handled himself in both weight divisions, and if he wants to come back at 170 – plus you get to an age where cutting down to 155 just doesn’t make sense anymore.”
Penn announced that he was retiring after losing to Nick Diaz last October. While White is certain that Penn will return, he says he isn’t rushing the former champ.
“Whenever he’s ready,” White said. “That’s up to him. Whenever he’s ready. I don’t ever push guys. Guys know when they’re ready. Guys know when they want to come back.”