When B.J. Penn announced he was returning to mixed martial arts competition, coming out of retirement to fight once again in the UFC, the Hawaiian fighter gave the anticipated fight date of March 5 at the already stacked UFC 196 fight card in Las Vegas.
Penn, who has been training with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has since announced a change of date.
“I thought the fight guaranteed was going to happen because the UFC, they set up medicals for me to do,” Penn explained on his own bjpenn.com website. “I did the medicals and they were sending a film crew down and we were getting all that together and I assumed we were setting up the fight, and that might have been what was happening. But, at the end of the day, [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby called me and said it would be more convenient for all of us to move the fight to April 23.”
Nik Lentz, the fighter with whom Penn has been bitterly rivaling with via the Internet took to Twitter to mock the UFC Hall of Famer’s premature announcement.
@bjpenndotcom How’d March 5th work out for ya, Stupid? …. @ChuckMindenhall
Penn retired from mixed martial arts competition in July of 2014 after a third loss to Frankie Edgar.
The April 23 date that Penn most recently announced is the UFC 197 card set to be headlined by a light-heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, while the flyweight belt will also be on the line in the co-main event as Demetrious Johnson fights Henry Cejudo.