There’s at least one opportunity that could convince B.J. Penn to step Octagon one more time.
The 39-year-old Hilo, Hawaii, native is winless six bouts since 2011, including a recent return from retirement that saw him lose to Yair Rodriguez and Dennis Siver in 2017. His last victory occurred at UFC 123 on Nov. 20, 2010, when he knocked out Matt Hughes in 21 seconds.
“Everywhere I go people ask me are you going to fight again." Penn told Hawaiian station KHON2.
"I’m happy that they think I’m young enough and they think that I still got a chance. A big part is my family you know? 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 Hawaii,” Penn continued. “I’m still young enough to do it. I don’t see how I can turn that particular fight down.”
A trip by the Las Vegas-based promotion to the Aloha State looks closer to becoming a reality than ever before. Earlier this year, a delegation that included the Hawaii Tourism Authority and officials from Aloha Stadium met with the UFC to discuss holding an event in Hawaii in the summer or fall.
“That would be unbelievable,” Penn said. “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. Like I said though, I’m not even fighting so maybe I just sit back and watch.”
UFC President Dana White initially expressed concerns about holding an outdoor event in Hawaii due to the possibility of inclement weather, but has since warmed to the idea. It doesn’t hurt that reigning featherweight champion Max Holloway has lobbied hard for an event in his home state.
“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,” said Penn, who fought in an outdoor venue at UFC 112. “Just put a tent up and everything would be fine.”