Dana White: BJ Penn declined Melendez, return likely at 170

source: mmajunkie.com
 

"I tried to do [Melendez vs. Penn], but it was at the time when BJ was like, 'Yeah, I'm not fighting for a while,'" UFC President White told MMAjunkie.com.

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

"I'm done with telling him where to go as far as weight goes. The guy's handled himself in both weight divisions, and if he wants to come back at 170 – plus you get to an age where cutting down to 155 just doesn't make sense anymore."

"(Penn will return) whenever he's ready. That's up to him. Whenever he's ready. I don't ever push guys. Guys know when they're ready. Guys know when they want to come back.

"This isn't a sport where you can just say, 'I know your head isn't in it right now, but get back over here and fight.' This isn't that kind of sport. Guys let me know when they're ready to fight."

"Gilbert Melendez is a Strikeforce fighter. He's been great in dealing with it. He wants to come over here, and he wants to challenge himself against the best, and I know a lot of other people want to see it, too, but he's in that Strikeforce deal.

"The thing that sucks for Gilbert and that's disappointing is that I was 100 percent fired up and gung ho to go over there and work on Strikeforce. The whole thing fell apart. I know he's bummed out about, and other people are, too, but it is what it is. It just didn't work out."

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tags: UFC   Dana White   Gil Melendez   BJ Penn (detail)  



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lionsoul site profile image  

5/6/12 1:10 AM by lionsoul

Bolded...  This is the single greatest misconception about Penn...   He literally weighs THE SAME at weighins when he fights at WW.   This alone demonstrates his greatness.  Guys are routinely 20-25 pounds heavier than him...  It really is incredible.  

fightharder site profile image  

5/6/12 12:58 AM by fightharder

The fact that BJ wants to come back and compete at 170 says to me that he still wants to compete but he has made peace with the fact that he is not a title contender anymore. I think it would be naught to impossible at lightweight but at welterweight BJ is not going to manage it. I hope to UFC will be able to put together some fun fights for BJ. He would be a very harsh gatekeeper for young talent breaking through to the top five/six in the division.I do not think it would be smart to put him against a guy like Rory for example though. It would be a great learning experience for Rory because their are not a lot of fighters with BJ skill set but i would not want to see BJ suffer the potential beatdown at the age he is.Their still some fun fights out their. A Hughes Penn rematch. BJ Penn vs Thiago Alves. Bj Penn vs Maia or a rematch between BJ and Diego or maybe even Shields. Would not want to see BJ against guys like Ellenbergen or Story. Though Kampman might be a good fight as well.But i am curious how long BJ will be able to motivate himself if their is no realistic chance to take another title. Only time will tell.

fightharder site profile image  

5/6/12 12:58 AM by fightharder

The fact that BJ wants to come back and compete at 170 says to me that he still wants to compete but he has made peace with the fact that he is not a title contender anymore. I think it would be naught to impossible at lightweight but at welterweight BJ is not going to manage it. I hope to UFC will be able to put together some fun fights for BJ. He would be a very harsh gatekeeper for young talent breaking through to the top five/six in the division.I do not think it would be smart to put him against a guy like Rory for example though. It would be a great learning experience for Rory because their are not a lot of fighters with BJ skill set but i would not want to see BJ suffer the potential beatdown at the age he is.Their still some fun fights out their. A Hughes Penn rematch. BJ Penn vs Thiago Alves. Bj Penn vs Maia or a rematch between BJ and Diego or maybe even Shields. Would not want to see BJ against guys like Ellenbergen or Story. Though Kampman might be a good fight as well.But i am curious how long BJ will be able to motivate himself if their is no realistic chance to take another title. Only time will tell.

chawkins site profile image  

5/4/12 7:24 PM by chawkins

Agreed. If BJ is going to train lazy (which, of course, is a relative term for a pro athlete), that makes seeing him fight less of a thing to look forward to.

Mix6APlix site profile image  

5/4/12 7:08 PM by Mix6APlix

Gil would turn into Barychnikov quickly in BJs hands.

Silverball site profile image  

5/4/12 6:36 PM by Silverball

Dana seems to indicate that BJ wants to stay at 170, which means he still doesn't want to commit to training at the level he did when he was at his best. So, if that's still going to be the case, then I'd rather see BJ surfing, eating what he wants, and training for fun when he feels like it.

Malvert the Janitor site profile image  

5/4/12 4:52 PM by Malvert the Janitor

I do.

thehenriques site profile image  

5/4/12 4:36 PM by thehenriques

I don't think so

glasscasket site profile image  

5/4/12 3:17 PM by glasscasket

BJ would beat the fuck outa Gil

lionsoul site profile image  

5/4/12 2:09 PM by lionsoul

No dipshit... BJ didn't do any cutting to make that weight (167).  Instead... he ate a burrito before weigh-ins.  



 

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