Rejoice fight fans, BJ Penn is coming out of retirement and is focusing on the 145lbs strap. Penn, who has been out of action since his loss to Frankie Edgar in July 2014 has a renewed focus for fighting and has aligned himself with Greg Jackson in a last ditch attempt at a career resurgence.
At 37 years old and with a record of 1-5-1 in his last seven bouts the odds are definitely stacked against him but if anyone can do it, BJ Penn has the credentials and #WHOATV look at five fights to welcome “Baby Jay” back to the Octagon.
Throughout the duration of his UFC career Swanson has always been a guy in the upper echelon of the division and would be a great opponent to welcome BJ back to the 145lbs division. Swanson is coming off two tough losses to Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway and so is keen to get back to winning ways and a win over BJ Penn will always sit well on anyone’s record regardless. Swanson is known for his striking and would be a tough test to Penn’s cardio especially at Featherweight and fans could be guaranteed a show stopper if these two ever met.
Lamas is eager to get back to Title contention and looked great in his last bout with Diego Sanchez. Penn would offer Lamas the named win he could really do with at the moment and would help him put his name in front of the other Featherweights when vowing for a Title shot. In the UFC he has only lost to Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes, arguably number 1 and 2 at the time of fighting them and so a win over Penn could definitely help “The Bully” raise his stock.
Just like Penn, Guida is in need of a win after going 5-3 in his last eight bouts and unable to rack up back to back wins since early 2011. Guida has jumped between Lightweight and Featherweight but 145lbs is the place I think suits him best and I think a name like Penn would really bring out the best in him. Both of these guys have been in the sport a long time and are in similar positions in their career in that a putting a few big named wins behind them could really go a long way and their names alone would likely help to push them ahead of those just using rankings to make their way to the top.
For me I am struggling to see what’s next for Mendes and why he can sit around and ponder who to fight next in the top 5 or top 10 of the division why not get BJ to jump right in there with him. A win for Penn over Mendes ultimately pushes him up the Featherweight rankings and a win for Mendes solidifies his existence at the top of the pile and maybe lines up another fight with Aldo to work on a future Title contender?
Barao was the man for such a long time at Bantamweight but now that he has two knock out losses to former Champion TJ Dillashaw and with Cruz returning, why not move up a weight and fight a legend? Barao has had issues making Bantamweight and with a division that is probably likely to have a few Title fights in the firing line, Featherweight should certainly be a consideration for the former Champion who with a few wins could definitely be in the mix for a shot at the 145lbs gold.