Former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion B.J. Penn was thought to be on his way out of MMA after a one-sided loss to Rory MacDonald last year. Penn, long regarded as one of the pound-for-pound greats in MMA history, shocked a lot of people when he decided to make his latest comeback - at featherweight. He will coach The Ultimate Fighter 19 against Frankie Edgar, then meet him in a 145 lb. contest after the show is over. Penn has never made 145 before but if you believe UFC president Dana White, he's already close to that weight even though his fight isn't for months. White made the claims in his usual post-fight media scrum after UFC 166 (transcribed by MMA Mania)
"First of all, everyone is questioning his weight? He's almost there now. Wait till you see how skinny he is, it's crazy. BJ is one of those guys, once he sets his mind to something this is what he's decided to do. He believes he's going to rip through these guys and win that title and I love that. That's what I want guys here for. That's why when the older guys try and come back, I ask 'why?' You're at this age, you've accomplished so many things, look what BJ Penn has accomplished. BJ Penn built the 155 pound division at a time when people used to go, 'Oh those guys are too small, we don't want to see the small guys fight. Those guys will never be a pay-per-view draw.' BJ was one of the biggest PPV draws in the UFC at the time."
Many fans have begged for a "motivated" B.J. Penn since he moved back up to welterweight in 2010, and it will certainly take some motivation to fight at 145. Can the 34-year-old get through Edgar in their third fight? We'll find out next year if everything goes according to plan.