There’s been talk for a while that the UFC might visit Hawaii sometime in the near future, spurred on by the success of current featherweight champion Max Holloway.
However, Hawaii still remains synonymous with another legendary fighter, BJ Penn, and though his last few comebacks in the Octagon have proven to be disastrous, the 39-year-old admits that he’d still be tempted to return if the UFC did put on an event in his own backyard.
“I’m happy that they think I’m young enough and they think that I still got a chance,” Penn told the Khon2 channel in Honolulu. “A big part is my family. 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 and I’m still young enough to do it, I don’t see how I can turn that particular fight down.”
Penn only has one win in his last nine fights – a far cry from his heyday in the sport when he won both the UFC’s lightweight and welterweight titles, so stepping back into the Octagon again might not be such a great idea.
However, it remains to be seen if the UFC will even seal the deal to put an event on in Hawaii in the first place, with Dana White notably having been reluctant to do so in the past due to the lack of a large indoor arena in the region.
Nevertheless, Penn seems to think there’s a good chance it will happen.
“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.
“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.”