UFC legend BJ Penn was recently profiled for his “UFC Fightogrophy” special on UFC Fight Pass and during his interview, “The Prodigy” told a great story about a past UFC super fight that never happened, and because it didn’t, it ultimately led to Penn becoming the MMA icon that he is today.
In the clip, which you can view above, Penn explains that he was close to fighting current UFC welterweight champion several years ago, long before Lawler was a UFC champion, but instead, ended up getting matched with at-the-time UFC welterweight king, and arguably the most feared man in the UFC at the time, Matt Hughes.
The rest, as they say, is history. Penn would go on to choke out Hughes to become the new UFC welterweight champion, a fight that launched Penn into a different category of fighter, one who would go on to become one of only two multiple-division champions in UFC history alongside the legendary Randy Couture.
While Penn would lose the rematch to Hughes several years later, it was their trilogy fight where “The Prodigy” put forth his best showing against the UFC Hall Of Famer Matt Hughes, as he brutally knocked him out very early into the first round of their third UFC fight.
In UFC Fight Pass: BJ Penn “Fightogrophy,” Penn tells the story of nearly fighting Lawler instead all of those years ago, a course of action that could of potentially led to none of his aforementioned legendary accomplishments ever happening.
“Dana [White] offered me Robbie Lawler at one point, I said ‘Yes, Dana, I’ll take the fight,'” Penn recalled. “It was me and Robbie Lawler, then Dana calls me back and says ‘No, I got two of my young stars, that doesn’t make any sense.’ I’m like, ‘What about Sean Sherk?’ He goes, ‘What about Matt Hughes?’ I go, ‘That’s the only reason why I want to fight Sean Sherk, to get to Matt Hughes.'”
Penn concluded, “There it was, my welterweight career was born.”
As was one of the most historic runs in UFC history.
“Fightogrophy: BJ Penn” is now available on UFC Fight Pass, which you can purchase via UFC.tv