Earlier this week the UFC dropped a pretty surprising news bombshell on us: BJ Penn would not only be returning to fight again, but it would be against Frankie Edgar (for the third time) AND at 145 pounds. On the Ultimate Fighter. Yep, that’s a lot to digest. Here’s Dana White explaining WTF:
So we’re putting together the Ultimate Fighter coaches for this season. It was gonna be Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar. Urijah Faber is at 135 pounds, Edgar is at 45. Edgar didn’t want to go to 35 and Urijah Faber wasn’t crazy about going to 45. They were talking about a catchweight fight, I don’t like catchweight fights. So this thing was all in limbo and then all of a sudden I get a text from BJ Penn.
BJ Penn texts me and says “Hey Dana, I wanna fight Ben Henderson.” And my question is always to BJ is ‘Why?’ Why, you’ve accomplished so much. You won the title two times in two different weight classes. You’ve been around forever, this that and everything else. And he says the reason why is because “I think if I beat Benson Henderson you’ll give me the fight I want which is Frankie Edgar.”
I’m like Frankie Edgar? He says “Frankie Edgar, I can beat Frankie Edgar, those two first fights were BS. I want that fight again. I wanna beat this guy so bad it’s all I want.” You know how BJ is. So then I start thinking well that fight’s at 145, BJ. He’s a 145 pounder. He says “I wanna move to 145, beat Frankie Edgar, and fight for that title.”
Say what you will about catchweight fights, but Urijah Faber vs Frankie Edgar was still a pretty compelling fight between two of the top lighter weight fighters in the sport. This BJ Penn fight just seems like a mess across the board – we just spent all of 2010 watching Frankie and BJ fight and then fight again. What strange alternate dimension is Dana White’s twitter feed picking up where people are crying out for not only another fight, but an entire season of BJ and Frankie on TUF?
On the non-negative Nancy side of things, BJ is back. And if he decides to stick around and keep fighting after Frankie (probably) beats him again, we all get to enjoy seeing more of his patented Hawaiian blitz n jitz. And that’s pretty damn okay.