Nine months since his last fight in the octagon UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn says he is not pursuing another match at this time, but an event in Hawai’i would change that.
The former lightweight and welterweight champion was on O’ahu Thursday visiting the UFC BJ Penn locations alongside fellow legend Uriah Faber.
When KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello asked where BJ was in regards to another visit to the cage, Penn said for the first time in a long time it was not hard to answer.
“Everywhere I go people ask me are you going to fight again.” Penn said.
“I’m happy that they think I’m young enough and they think that I still got a chance. A big part is my family you know? Getting hurt and different things. As you get older the wear and tear of it, but I’m not looking out. I wouldn’t go around talking to the UFC and asking them to get me a fight somewhere but if something happened and the UFC came to Hawai’i Ane I’m still young enough to do it I don’t see how I can turn that particular fight down.”
With the UFC and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority in ongoing talks about bringing an event to Aloha Stadium, Penn wouldn’t turn down a chance to appear on a card in his home state.
“That would be unbelievable. You see all kinds of rumors and stuff and the last time I was in Vegas I saw the MMA commission from Hawaii and someone representing Aloha Stadium up there so it’s interesting. I would love to see something happen. It would mean everything. Like I said though I’m not even fighting so maybe I just sit back and watch”
Penn is one of few UFC fighters that have fought in the organization in an outdoor venue. BJ faced Frankie Edgar at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, which still marks as the only event the UFC has held outdoors without a retractable roof.
Penn also fought at Aloha Stadium in July of 2005 at the K1 World Grand Prix. The stadium was fitted with a canopy over the ring to help avert rain.
“I think that if you get it in the summertime in July or August. I think they can just build a tent overnight like they did in Abu Dhabi. Just put a tent up and everything would be fine.” Penn added.
“I think the UFC can come on their own. I think if the UFC chooses the right fights. Lorenzo Fretita told me before that the stadium could hold 100,000 people.” Penn said of the former UFC owner.
“If he says that and he’s got a pretty good idea, he knows that game and I think if they chose the right fights they could sell the whole stadium out and be the biggest gate in the history of combat sports”
UFC legendary fighter and businessman Urijah Faber has a unique perspective on headlining a hometown event. Faber held his retirement fight in Sacramento with an emotional win over Brad Pickett in December of 2016.
“It would be great.” Faber said of a UFC event in Hawai’i.
“All my favorite fights were the fights in my hometown. It’s a bigger responsibility but it’s a bigger reward so I would love to see the UFC come here. Give these guys an opportunity to perform in front of their people. I feel like performances would enhance, the energy would be crazy and who doesn’t want to take a trip to Hawaii?
Faber, who remains retired, is open to represent the organization in helping the event if it were to happen.
“I would love to be apart of the card in some way shape or form. Guest fighter or something. It’s a pretty special place”