UFC HOFer B.J. Penn is coming back to the Octagon after previously announcing his retirement in July 2014. Now with Greg Jackson in his corner, Penn is making it clear that his intentions are to become a champion again, this time as a featherweight.
"The motivation...I want to go get that 145 pound belt. That's definitely a huge motivation for me," Penn said on The MMA Hour.
Penn also talked about his change of camp and how Jackson has motivated him to get back in the cage.
"I believe with Greg Jackson's help I can get that done, and that I can walk away, the only man with three titles in three weight divisions."
"I made sure to tell Greg, I let him know the other day that if I can't do this, Greg, in any way, shape, or form, you feel that B.J. doesn't belong in the ring, please let me know. Please let me know. And he's very confident that we can get something done. With somebody like that, who has so many champions himself and who has does as well as he has in this sport, when he tells me that: ‘I know you can go out and I know you can beat all these guys,' it gives me a lot of confidence."
Penn first announced the move to Albuquerque, NM on his Instagram page, posing beside head coach Greg Jackson.
Penn's only fight at Featherweight was back in July of 2014 against Frankie Edgar. Penn lost the fight by TKO in the 3rd round, and announced his retirement in the post-fight interview. He had called out Lentz for a fight at UFC 197, but Lentz harshly shot that idea down.
Penn also stated on the show that he's targeting a bout at UFC 197 whether it's Lentz or not. He says he's coming back for honor, and believes he still has 2 years left in the sport.
"I'm coming back for honor. I'm coming back to do this, give everything I got, and when I look back, everybody is going to say: ‘you know what? B.J. f**king did it. B.J. f**king stepped up. He didn't talk the talk and not walk the walk. He stepped up, and he gave it his best effort. A lot of people might say, ‘you should've done this 10 years ago.' Hey, you know, there is a time and a place for everything. There's a time and a place. I've only been fighting one fight a year for the last three years, and I think I saved a lot of myself there. I think I saved myself. How old are UFC champions? (Fabricio) Werdum is my age. I think this is going to be good, Ariel. I think this is going to be good."
(Quotes via MMA Fighting)