One of the UFC's all-time greats is coming out of retirement to target McGregor's belt

BJ Penn is back in business.

BJ Penn has not fought since he was TKO'd by Frankie Edgar in July 2014.
BJ Penn has not fought since he was TKO'd by Frankie Edgar in July 2014.
Image: Gregory Payan

BJ PENN IS coming out of retirement — again — and he has his sights set on Conor McGregor’s UFC featherweight title.

The legendary mixed martial artist, 37, confirmed yesterday that he is returning to training in a bid to become the organisation’s first three-weight champion.

Penn previously held the welterweight and lightweight belts, though not at the same time, and McGregor will be the first to hold simultaneous titles if he beats Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 197.

Penn is working with renowned coach Greg Jackson and has tentatively targeted that same card on 5 March as the date for his comeback.

“I want to go get that 145lbs belt,” he told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour.

“That’s definitely a huge motivation for me. I believe with Greg Jackson’s help, I can get that done. And I believe that I will be able to walk away as the only man with three titles in three weight divisions.”

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Penn has twice made unsuccessful returns to the octagon, against Rory McDonald in 2012 and most recently against Frankie Edgar in July 2014.

“I’m coming back for honour,” he added. I’m coming back to do this, give everything I got, and when I look back, everybody is going to say: ‘you know what? BJ fucking did it. BJ fucking stepped up.

“He didn’t talk the talk and not walk the walk. He stepped up, and he gave it his best effort.”

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Niall Kelly

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