Former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion BJ Penn has a third match up with Matt Hughes set for November 20th at UFC 123 and if you were wondering how exactly that fight came to the table, Penn explains in a recent interview:
“I talked to Dana, and they tried to put me in the ring with Florian, (and) Dana said Florian was hurt,” said Penn, who submitted Florian in 2009 to defend the belt. “[Dana] said, 'What do you think about Hughes?' I said, 'Matt Hughes?' I got chicken skin all over my body. I said, 'Tell him I'm coming. Tell him, let's go.'”
After suffering back-to-back defeats, Penn said he had more sense than to request a fight with a UFC Hall of Famer who fights at a heavier weight class – especially one who's climbed back into title contention with a string of wins over Matt Serra, Renzo Gracie and Ricardo Almeida. But with the opportunity to fight again quickly, and with Hughes on board, he simply couldn't pass it up.
“I'm more respectful than that to lose two fights in a row and say, 'OK, give me Matt Hughes,'” Penn said. “They offered me that fight. Matt was really excited about the fight. Dana called me and said, 'We offered Matt the fight. He's going to put everything on hold to take the fight if you want it.' And I said, 'I've got nothing else better to do. Let's do this.'