Former UFC champion BJ Penn will return from another extended hiatus to coach on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Frankie Edgar.
After the reality series airs, the two will meet for a third time at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale in July. Edgar won both previous meetings, which the UFC lightweight title was on the line in both of.
Penn, who has not fought since a late 2012 decision loss to Rory MacDonald, told The Roar recently about what he has been up to during his sabbatical.
“I just did yard work and farming, hanging out, raising my kids,” he said. “Trying to live a regular life because I have always lived an up-and-down life; always involved in sports.
“I just tried to be a normal human being for the last two years.”
Penn (16-9-2) reiterated during the interview that he originally asked to fight Benson Henderson after seeing Henderson drop the title to Anthony Pettis. However, “The Prodigy” agreed to meet Edgar as a chance to get closer to another title shot.
“I called (UFC president) Dana (White) and I said, ‘What do you think about me and Benson Henderson?’ He got back to me and said, ‘Why do you want to fight him?’
“I said, ‘Because when I beat him, Frankie has to fight me.'” He said, ‘Holy shit, well done.’ I said, ‘Dana, that’s all I want (a future title shot). Let me fight Frankie. It’s the only reason why I’m coming back.'”
Penn will be making his featherweight debut when he takes on Edgar, having fought all the way up to heavyweight before in his career. He has also made stops at welterweight and lightweight during his 13-year career.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports