UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn is scheduled to return to the Octagon… again.
B.J. Penn is ready to return after a two-year retirement following a loss to Frankie Edgar back in 2014. The former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion, hopes the fifth time is the charm.
His return had to be postponed on several occasions. First due to an unvoluntary violation to the new USADA regulations -which he claimed he didn’t know at the time.
He was then scheduled to fight Dennis Siver (originally at UFC 196, then at UFC 197). When both bouts failed to happen he was then set to fight Cole Miller at UFC 199. None of those fights came to fruition for different reasons. After that, he was scheduled to fight featherweight contender Ricardo Lamas in the main event of the UFC Manila card in October. However, he suffered an injury a few weeks before the fight and the event was cancelled.
He will finally make his return against featherweight standout Yair Rodriguez in the main event of a Jan. 15 Fight Night card in Phoenix. The UFC made the official announcement of the fight on their Spanish-language website on Monday.
The opponent of B.J. Penn
On the other hand, Yair ‘El Pantera’ Rodriguez (8-1), is one of the most sensational up-and-coming fighters in the game. The Chicago resident by way of Chihuahua, Mexico was the winner of the first TUF: Latin America and is currently 6-0 in the UFC.
His most recent victory was a five-round split decision over Alex Caceres on Aug. 6. The fight earned both men a bonus for Fight of the Night. Rodriguez is ranked 11 in the featherweight division.
A win for the Mexican marvel would solidify him in the top 10 of the division. ‘El Pantera’ said last month in Mexico that he believes he is bound for a title shot after two or three more wins. He hopes to make a statement out of B.J. Penn.