Hilo’s B.J. Penn, who holds a UFC record seven-fight losing streak, will fight one last time UFC president Dana White said on Saturday.
Penn will face Nik Lentz later this year in a lightweight bout despite White’s recent public comments that he didn’t want to see Penn fight again.
The former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion is 0-7-1 in his last eight fights and has won only once in his last 11 UFC appearances.
“Because he terrorized me for friggin a week and wouldn’t stop texting me for three days straight and he talked me into it,” White said about making the fight. “We have a deal now win, lose, or draw, this is B.J. Penn’s last fight.”
Lentz (30-10-2, 14-7-2) has fought three times in the last year going 2-1.
“I’ve voiced my concerns. I’ve known B.J. Penn since he was like 19 years old and B.J. is going to do what B.J. wants to do,” White said. “I’ve had a very crazy relationship with him and his family for the last 20 years and B.J. walked me through a million reasons why he needs this fight and why he has to have it. He has promised me win, lose or draw he will retire after this fight.”
Penn is a UFC Hall of Famer and was the second fighter in history to win world titles in different weight classes.
Current UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has risen to the same level Penn was at in his prime. White was asked who the best fighter all-time from Hawaii is.
“It’s tough. B.J. Penn was such a huge talent, you know, and I think that B.J. was so talented he never took it as serious as he could have and should have,” White said. “But without a doubt. If you look at how small that island is and the talent that comes off that island is pretty incredible. They have two of the greatest fighters ever.”