While many are still trying to process whatever the hell it was that they saw from the Triller Fight Club event on Saturday night, there’s one thing we know for sure: the event generated a massive amount of interest and a money. Jake Paul defeated Ben Askren via technical knockout in the first round (watch it here), so of course there’s going to be more events like this in the future, and Paul will continue to fight washed out athletes en route to his holy grail of a Conor McGregor fight.
Offering himself up as one of these athletes? Former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn.
Penn, 42, hasn’t fought in three years. Previous to that he went on an unparalleled 1-9-1 skid between 2010 and 2019. In the end, it was trouble outside the cage that ended his career: UFC cut him after several videos popped up in quick succession showing Penn fighting outside of bars (and losing there, too).
In some ways, Penn is the perfect follow-up for Jake Paul: Askren was a ONE and Bellator champion but never came close to UFC gold. Penn is one of a very small circle of fighters to not only be a UFC champion but to have held belts in two divisions. He’s also much smaller and way past his prime to the point where Paul could easily win.
But the fight also comes with some serious baggage. BJ Penn’s life has become a pretty big mess over the years, with disturbing allegations of sexual and physical abuse being levied at him by the mother of one of his children. Then there was an incident where he allegedly threatened a neighbor with a machete, the previously mentioned street fights, and a couple of DUI arrests as well.
Jake Paul was accused of sexual assault leading up to the Askren fight, so maybe these kinds of allegations won’t stop a fight from coming together. Or maybe Paul’s team won’t want an even larger shadow of potential revelations hanging over their next fight. As it stands, it’s just an offer Penn is dangling out there on the internet: some serious clout, if Paul has the stones to box one of the first UFC fighters to be renown for his boxing skills in his prime.
We feel like Paul would probably prefer fighting Dillon Danis.