Leading up to UFC 240 we got some news that left many fans scratching their heads in confusion: the UFC had booked BJ Penn for another fight, this time against Nik Lentz. Once one of the most dominating fighters in the sport, age has not been kind to Penn. He’s gone 1-9-1 since 2010, earning himself the dubious records of most losses in a row and most significant strikes absorbed in UFC history.
When asked after the pay-per-view event in Edmonton why the UFC had booked Penn again, UFC president Dana White was his usual honest self.
“Because he terrorized me for a week and wouldn’t stop texting me for three days straight and talked me into it,” he told the post-event press conference media. “We have a deal now: Win, lose or draw, this is B.J. Penn’s last fight. Cuz I won’t give him another fight. It’s very clear between us now that there won’t be another fight no matter what.”
One reporter brought up that troubling 1000+ significant strikes absorbed stat, but White shrugged it off.
“If all you people that are concerned are doctors, then give me a call,” he said. “If you’re not, then mind your business.”
As for whether Penn could continue to fight outside the UFC after this fight with Lentz?
”There’s nothing I can do about that,” White said. “I’ve voiced my concerns. I’ve known BJ Penn since he was like 19 years old. You know, BJ is going to do what BJ wants to do. I’ve had a very crazy relationship with him and his family for 20 years and BJ walked me through a million reasons why he needs this fight and why he has to have it, so he talked me into it. So you guys know me, when I’m in I’m in, and I’m going to do what I’m going to do.”
”We’re doing this, he’s promised me that win, lose or draw, he’ll retire after this fight. We’ll see if he keeps his promise. He won’t fight here, though. That I guarantee you. We won’t be sitting here doing this again. That I can promise you.”