UFC: BJ Penn headlines Phoenix event against Yair Rodriguez
BJ Penn’s return to the octagon has been derailed a number of times, but the UFC is giving him another shot.
The Hawaiian legend is slated to face young Mexican standout Yair “Pantera” Rodriguez in a five-round featherweight bout at UFC’s card in Phoenix, Arizona, on Jan. 15.
The 37-year-old Penn (16-10-2) has been away from fighting since July 2014 when he suffered a lopsided beatdown from Frankie Edgar.
The Prodigy announced his return late last year and had scheduled matches against Dennis Siver and Cole Miller in UFC 196 and 197, respectively. However, both fights did not materialize due to a string of injuries.
His most recent setback came in October, when an entire fight card in Manila was canceled, as Penn suffered a rib injury and had to pull out against Ricardo Lamas.
His opponent, Rodriguez (8-1), meanwhile, has been tearing up the division as of late and is currently unbeaten in 6 UFC fights.
The Ultimate Fighter Latin America winner, 24, has been a fans’ favorite due to his flashy striking and well-rounded fight style.
The UFC Fight Night event marks the promotion’s first show in Phoenix since December 2014. Khristian Ibarrola