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Dana White tried to sign B.J. Penn vs. Gilbert Melendez

UFC President Dana White has said a number of times he doesn’t view former double-division champion B.J. Penn as retired. And, while “The Prodigy” has officially remained on the sidelines, that hasn’t kept White from continuing to push him for a return.

Before Gilbert Melendez signed to fight Josh Thomson for the Strikeforce lightweight title it was revealed through Cesar Gracie that the popular Hawaiian was a candidate to take on “El Nino”. Now, thanks to White, fans have been given confirmation of that scenario almost becoming reality.

“I tried to do (Melendez vs. Penn), but it was at the same time when B.J. was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not fighting for a while,'” said White, in a post-press conference interview with MMAJunkie.

“He wants to come back,” the UFC’s head-honcho added on Penn though offering no specifics beyond that.

Penn announced his retirement after a loss to Nick Diaz last year. Many felt it was a sudden-decision based around the defeat, but Baby Jay has remained retired since.