White: Penn declined Strikeforce's Melendez but eyeing UFC return at 170 pounds

MMAPlayground.com » Community » MMA News Share Forum » White: Penn declined Strikeforce's Melendez but eyeing UFC return at 170 pounds
Budgellism
5/3/12 7:49:01PM
So it turns out there was something to those rumblings of Gilbert Melendez (20-2 MMA, 10-1 SF) vs. B.J. Penn (16-8-2 MMA, 12-7-2 UFC) for the Strikeforce lightweight title, after all.

Following today's pre-UFC on FOX 3 press conference in New York City, White revealed he tried to put the fight together but was rebuffed by Penn, ultimately leading to Melendez vs. Josh Thomson III on May 19.

White said Penn simply wasn't up for a fight at that time, though things have since changed. The UFC boss said Penn could be back sooner rather than later, and it will be at 170 pounds.

"I tried to do [Melendez vs. Penn], but it was at the time when B.J. was like, 'Yeah, I'm not fighting for a while,'" White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

"In October, former UFC champion Penn suffered a one-sided loss to Nick Diaz, prompting "The Prodigy" to call it quits at the conclusion of the fight. Penn has yet to publicly commit to another fight, but as he did less than two weeks ago, White insists things are different behind the scenes.

"He wants to come back," White said of Penn.

While most MMA pundits believe Penn, who has held titles at both 155 pounds and 170 pounds, is best suited for the lightweight division, White said Penn will make his return at welterweight.

LINK
Budgellism
5/3/12 7:54:06PM
If it's at 170 I don't want him to come back. There are only so many fights at 170 where he won't get completely manhandled. At 170 his cardio isn't good, he's very undersized and he has to deal with a ton of very powerful wrestlers that won't choose to strike with him.

He doesn't even have to cut much to get to 155. It's only a few pounds if he gets himself in good shape. The fights there are so much better. Maynard vs. Penn, Pettis vs. Penn, Miller vs. Penn, Nate Diaz vs. Penn, Barboza vs. Penn, Cerrone vs. Penn, Bendo vs. Penn. I mean come on.
crushedbacon
5/3/12 8:17:30PM
If BJ wants to get back in there at 170.... Give him Rory Mac. He'll be back at 155 quicker than Nate Diaz.
Poor_Franklin
5/3/12 8:25:41PM
ugh melendez is one of the fights i wanted
Twenty20Dollars
5/3/12 9:05:25PM
Stay retired.
TeamDEY
5/3/12 9:11:46PM
I would love to see Penn continue to fight. He is still an elite fighter IF he is well trained. I'd rather see a BJ Penn who kicks ass in the first round then gasses, then no BJ Penn at all.
Chael_Sonnen
5/3/12 9:31:04PM
Not cool Beej

The only fighter that I know that turns down fights is Andy.....please Beej, for the love of humanity, DO NOT lump yourself into that category, you are better than that!
Adrenaline
5/3/12 9:44:28PM

Posted by Chael_Sonnen

Not cool Beej

The only fighter that I know that turns down fights is Andy.....please Beej, for the love of humanity, DO NOT lump yourself into that category, you are better than that!




.....I think? Anyway I love you BJ, in a slightly homoerotic way but please come back at 155.
FastKnockout
5/3/12 10:41:45PM
Not interested in seeing him come back at all to be completely honest.
george112
5/3/12 11:46:24PM
With the consensus.


Why even come back at 170?? He can't win a belt at that weight.


Maybe he just wants a paycheck. Who knows
prozacnation1978
5/3/12 11:50:07PM
I don't blame Penn.
Penn has been in the Ufc for years and years now.
It's his home. Why go to strikeforce
KungFuMaster
5/4/12 12:14:41AM
I have felt it before but have never said anything about it. I think it's clear Dana has a soft spot for Penn. Penn will be in the ufc hall of fame. He can have a desk job with the ufc if he so pleases. I can see him earning a healthy pay check working alongside Chuck.

Anyway, Hawaii is a popular destination for people who have money in their wallets. I think Dana is very wise about not burning bridges.
RhythmAndStyle
5/4/12 12:43:28AM
another loss for Penn, smh..
tcunningham
5/4/12 1:17:56AM
ill never be as excited about a penn fight at 170 like i was about his fights at 155. it just seems like he doesn't want to make the cut and he is fine with being a small WW. i think he could still be a top fighter at 155 and that pisses me off
pmoney
5/4/12 8:31:15AM

Posted by prozacnation1978

I don't blame Penn.
Penn has been in the Ufc for years and years now.
It's his home. Why go to strikeforce



This x1,000.

Trust me, I am no kind of Penn nuthugger. But he is a HoF'er for sure, a two division UFC Champ. And IMO, he still has skills that trump the majority of fighters at 155 and 170.

Losses to GSP, Edgar and Nick Diaz are no shame. BJ would have KO'ed most fighters if they took the shots Nick Diaz took in the first round of their fight.
scoozna
5/4/12 1:13:55PM

Posted by tcunningham

ill never be as excited about a penn fight at 170 like i was about his fights at 155. it just seems like he doesn't want to make the cut and he is fine with being a small WW. i think he could still be a top fighter at 155 and that pisses me off



This is how I think of it...at some point in his career, it seemed like too much effort for him to get to 155.
hashyandy4
5/4/12 1:59:16PM
BJ at 170 is lame
lohmann
5/4/12 11:26:39PM
I think it is ridiculous that Gilbert Melendez vs. BJ Penn would happen anywhere but in the UFC.

Penn has a better shot against most welterweights than against Melendez.
aussiemma
5/5/12 7:49:12AM
its good to see penn back but he really finds himself in a hard place. some of the dudes at 170 now are just absolute beasts and so big and the lw division is stacked !
jay98107
5/5/12 4:16:18PM
I don't see why Penn would want to leave the UFC. Could be ducking Melendez here, but could also not want to go to a smaller organization to fight for a much less meaningful belt.
GettinsomeBas
5/6/12 6:50:01AM
BJ is from a wealthy family and money has never been a really issue. I would love to see BJ back at 155 but not much interest in return to 170