We’ve been working under the assumption that BJ Penn and Jon Fitch would be doing battle for a second time later this year once Fitch recovers from shoulder surgery, but it seems that may not be the UFC’s plan after all.

In fact according to Penn, despite the two men being willing to go at it again after their initial meeting at UFC 127 in February ended in a ‘majority draw’, the UFC are less than enthused by the prospect.

“@jonfitchdotnet tried to make it happen but Joe Silva said “the fans don’t want it & I’m not interested”. Not much more I can do on my end,” Penn informed his rival today via Twitter.

If true that’s a slightly surprising turn of events as the UFC had originally given the rematch the greenlight earlier in the year prior to Fitch’s shoulder injury.

So what are the UFC’s alternative plans then? With Fitch expected to be out until late in the year it’s possible that they are now seeking to get Penn back into action sooner rather than later.

With that in mind the obvious opponent for him would be Carlos Condit who’s currently lighting up the division with a string of exciting performances, going on a four-fight winning streak in the process.

A fight between Penn and Condit would certainly capture the fans imaginations and could establish a new No.1 contender, but it would be rather rough on Fitch, who’s on a six fight unbeaten stretch of his own right now, to be overlooked once again for a title shot.

Hopefully the UFC will come out and confirm officially what they have in mind in the near future to avoid any further confusion and give a clearer indication of the plan for the upper reaches of the 170lb division leading up to 2012.