B.J. Penn has not stepped into the Octagon in over two years, and the game is drastically changed from the one the Hawaiian legend left. Penn, who makes his return this weekend against Yair Rodriguez, has been watching the new wave of UFC fighters, and certain trends have angered him.
Ahead of his comeback fight, Penn expressed disdain for the recent trend of fighters asking for “money fights” rather than taking their careers into their own hands.
In the prime of Penn’s career, the former lightweight champion rarely took the safest options and always chased risks — he challenged for the welterweight title on multiple occasions,winning it once from Matt Hughes. He even fought Lyoto Machida in a heavyweight fight in 2005.
Though Penn is older and perhaps a shadow of the fighter known as “The Prodigy”, he maintains the same mindset now that he had in his youth.
“I’ll tell you this,” Penn told Fox Sports, “I’m not the guy to go out there and say ‘oh give me this money fight, give me that money fight’. I look at all these guys doing that and I’m like why don’t you go knock out a 100 guys and become the money fight yourself. (Expletive) (expletive).
“‘Oh I want to fight this money fight, this money fight’ — why don’t you make yourself the money fight? Let’s just start there.”
Penn will have the opportunity to reinvigorate his own career this weekend, but a victory will be no easy task for the 38-year-old. He faces one of the most promising and dangerous prospects in the featherweight division when he steps into the cage with Rodriguez on Sunday night.