Now that B.J. Penn finally has a date and a name, the wheels are slowing rolling into motion for his return.
The former two-division UFC champion, who last year was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, is scheduled to fight Dennis Siver on June 4 at UFC 199. The news marks the end of an 18-month retirement for Penn and the beginning of one last hurrah towards UFC gold under the guidance of head coach Greg Jackson. And if Monday was any indication, Penn couldn’t be more excited.
“The way everything worked out, I don’t know what made me pick up that phone,” Penn said on The MMA Hour. “I called Rich (Chou) from Bellator. I called the matchmaker of Bellator, and I was like, ‘Rich, what’s Greg Jackson’s number?’ He just gave me the number. I texted him and he texted me back right away, and I think he knew already where I was. He knew. I mean, this is our honor. This is our honor. I want to come back. I want to make a living. Of course, I want to make a living. But this is our honor. This is our f**king honor, and I wouldn’t want anybody else but Greg Jackson behind me. Nobody is going to out-crazy me and f**king Greg Jackson.”
Nearly three months have passed since Penn announced his intentions to return to the sport. However, the ride has been anything but easy.
Penn initially hoped to return in March at UFC 197. Those plans were scrapped once allegations of sexual assault against Penn arose from a former employee of the fighter’s website, however an independent investigation launched by the UFC found no substantiation for the claims, paving the way for Penn to ultimately be reinstated.
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Source:: mma fighting