Is BJ Penn next in line for Artem Lobov?
BJ Penn is being heavily linked to a move to bare-knuckle boxing. The Hawaiian has been officially released by the UFC as of today and is free to make his next career move. Even though he’s fallen far from grace, “The Prodigy” remains a UFC legend and an icon of the middle era of MMA.
The former lightweight and welterweight champion got into a street fight a couple of weeks ago. UFC president Dana White responded by saying that Penn would never fight for the organization again. This came despite their intention to match him up against fellow veteran Nik Lentz.
Now Penn is searching for his next opportunity. RIZIN and BKFC have been linked with the Hawaiian with Artem Lobov one of the biggest names mentioned. Could he really take on the GOAT?
After Penn got knocked out in a street fight, that was the last straw for the UFC.
“He won’t fight again. It’s not even that this was the last straw. I didn’t love him continuing to fight anyway. But when you have the relationship that he and I have, he’s getting me on the phone, begging me for another fight, begging me for another opportunity, it’s hard for me to, you know, turn him down. But after what I saw on that video, BJ needs to, you know, focus on his personal life.”
Now it has been officially confirmed that Penn is a free agent. It’s a sad ending for a man who has given so much of his life to the promotion.
While a fight with Lobov is probably not what Penn needs right now, it is the sort of crazy thing he would do. He would absolutely fit the profile that BKFC is looking for as a combat sports legend. They want guys with notoriety behind their names. Paulie Malignaggi was ‘The Russian Hammer’s’ last opponent and many believe that Penn could be up next.
Some MMA journalists have actually linked Penn to a rematch with Takanori Gomi under the RIZIN banner. That’s the sort of fight that absolutely shouldn’t happen, but we’d all watch.
Lobov will definitely be fighting for BKFC again. The SBG Ireland fighter is planning on stepping back into the ‘squared circle’ before the end of the year, although an opponent hasn’t been announced. BKFC will definitely be looking to build on his cult status. After beating Paulie Malignaggi, it’s essential that they maintain momentum. Penn would fit the bill.
“I will be fighting either end of November or early December, and it will be bare-knuckle,” Lobov said. “All the details will be released very soon because we’re still working at the moment on where it’s going to take place. We’re trying very hard to make it in Boston. I would absolutely love to put on a show for the Irish-Americans. What a great city that, is and I have a few Irish fighters in mind that could share the card with me.”
Which is mightier? The GOAT or the Penn?