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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.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/STRIKEFORCE

8 COMMENTS
  • Rece Rock says:

    Although that would have been a nice fight you can’t really blame BJ…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Bjs done. He never got beat up that bad and he didnt no how to take it. If he comes back he needs to stick to lw.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • JBAR says:

    B.J. vs Gilbert would be an exciting fight that I would not mind seeing in the future, that being said if B.J.’s heart is not in the fight he will not put in the training and he will gas out early again and I am not really interested in seeing that.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Too bad. Would have been a sick fight if BJ got his head and heart into it. Either way Zuffa needs to find some quality opposition for Melendez as long as they are going to keep him in SF.

    Aren’t Gray Maynard and Clay Guida scheduled to fight sometime this summer? They should move loser of that fight to challenge Melendez in SF. It would be a fresh challenge and a known name.

    Otherwise we will get to see Melendez fight the same few guys over and over.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Would have been a awesome fight, BJ has looked pretty good at LW I think he would have taken Gilbert.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  • AlphaOmega says:

    They don’t need to get just fresh blood in LW, all the SF fighters are getting to the point of fighting the same people over and over, then again so is Frankie..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • darth_irritable says:

    BJ’s to lose if he’s motivated.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Every name fighter in SF is leaving, has left or wants to leave.
    HW division gone, Co-pro gone, Overeem gone, Hendo gone, Diaz gone, Fedor gone, Big Foot gone, Shields gone, hope for the future gone, a reason to sign with Strikeforce…GONE!.
    Why would BJ come out of retirement to join Strikeforce when all of the Strikeforce fighters are jumping overboard or being forced to go down with the ship? BJ is crazy but not stupid.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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