BJ Penn Says He Would Come out of Retirement to Fight Nik Lentz (and Mike Dolce)
BJ Penn is a living legend. He was the first dominant fighter to emerge out of the Hawaiian Islands, and reminded the world how important Brazilian jiu jitsu was to MMA. His ‘I’ll fight anyone’ attitude took him into five different weightclasses, where he faced a laundry list of the sport's top talent.
He ended his career in 2015 with a bout against Frankie Edgar in the UFC’s featherweight division, and has been “taking it easy” in retirement.
There has been a lot of talk about the UFC holding an event in Honolulu, and local fighters like Max Holloway have been lobbying for BJ to return to the sport to help convince the powers that be.
This week on UFC Tonight, the ‘Prodigy’ sat down with Mike Bisping and Kenny Florian to talk about what he’s been up to, but the interview took an unexpected turn.
BJ started out joking around, but his mood quickly shifted when asked about Mike Dolce, the famous nutritionist/weight cutting “expert” he hired (and fired) before that last fight. The former champion blamed Dolce for his loss, while Dolce claimed that BJ simply didn’t train hard enough.
“You know what? I’m sick and tired of hearing about Mike Dolce,” BJ blurted out. “You know what, Mike Dolce? I put a challenge out right now. You go grab Nik Lentz—that’s your boy—and bring him down 145. I’ll run right through him in one round, and then I’ll find you in the back and I’ll smash you. OK? Let’s do that. Let’s do that right now. I’m ready.”
Mike Bisping, interviewing BJ alongside Kenny Florian, immediately tried to confirm that he would, in fact, come out of retirement.
“I mean, Mike Dolce wants to say all this stuff: I don’t train, and I don’t this and that. Let’s do this … Sounds like I would come out for that,” BJ responded.
He went on to say that he had such a bad showing during his final performance, that he would be interested in cutting back down to 145 for the grudge match, but then would be open to fighting other featherweights.
Who knows if BJ will follow up on his challenge, but seeing him at his best—passionate, emotional, and angry—has us daydreaming about an in-shape BJ Penn taking on Conor McGregor in a stadium in the tropics.
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