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It has been nearly a year since former two-division UFC champion BJ Penn last set foot in the Octagon. It could be a while before he does so again, if ever, but the Hawaiian has one scenario in mind that would most certainly beckon him back to the cage.
What Would Draw BJ Penn Back to the UFC Octagon?
“Everywhere I go, people ask me, ‘Are you going to fight again?'” Penn said in an interview with his home state news outlet Khon2 in Honolulu.
“I’m happy that they think I’m young enough and they think that I still got a chance. A big part is my family. Getting hurt and different things. As you get older, the wear and tear of it, but I’m not looking out. I wouldn’t go around talking to the UFC and asking them to get me a fight somewhere, but if something happened and the UFC came to Hawai'i and I’m still young enough to do it, I don’t see how I can turn that particular fight down.”
Though Penn is one of the more decorated and popular fighters in UFC history, he's found it rough going trying to keep up with the times. He's still competitive, but after going 15-5-1 in his first 21 professional bouts, Penn is 1-7-1 in his last nine trips to the Octagon.
He's tried dropping weight classes, training with Greg Jackson in New Mexico, and more, but hasn't been able to crack the code that puts him on the winning track in today's UFC.
The UFC is Finally Considering an Event in Hawaii
Fellow Hawaiian Max Holloway is the current UFC featherweight champion and has been dominating his division. Having become one of the more popular fighters on the roster, Holloway has the UFC brass considering its first event in Hawaii.
Going to Hawaii has long been on UFC president Dana White's wish list, but he has been hesitant because the only stadium big enough to make the expensive trip to Hawaii worth while is Aloha Stadium, an outdoor venue. Weather in Hawaii is notorious for rain, which is something that has made White gun shy on holding an event there.
With Holloway running red hot, the UFC has been in talks with officials in Hawaii about finally taking a chance and putting an event together in Honolulu. That is something that Penn could not let pass him by.
“That would be unbelievable. You see all kinds of rumors and stuff and the last time I was in Vegas, I saw the MMA commission from Hawaii and someone representing Aloha Stadium up there, so it’s interesting. I would love to see something happen. It would mean everything,” said Penn.
“I think that if you get it in the summertime in July or August. I think they can just build a tent overnight like they did in Abu Dhabi. Just put a tent up and everything would be fine.”
Everything would be fine and Penn would likely make one more trip to the Octagon.