BJ Penn isn’t quit done with MMA just yet….
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that the UFC is working on a featherweight bout between the two world class grapplers: BJ Penn and Ryan Hall for either November or December.
Te 39 year old former 2 division champion Penn is on a 5 fight losing streak, last dropping a decision to Denis Siver and a TKO loss to Jair Rodriguez last year.
Penn is already training in Brazil for this. Last month, Penn said that he’d like to return to the UFC if the organization “gives me a guy that I can beat.”
In his mind, Hall might just be that guy…
This fight would be a grappling showdown since both have a great BJJ pedigree. Penn is the first foreigner to ever win a BJJ world championship and Hall is a ADCC bronze medalist.
Ryan Hall had every bjj practitioner around the globe excited when he first got signed to the UFC however things quickly took a turn for the worst when he was crucified for the calculated approach he had in beating Grey Maynard. You might remember headlines such as:
Now Hall is ready to explain where he’s been in the mean time and what does it all mean for his MMA career.
Hall recently shared on the ESPN mma podcast. On where he’s been
“I’ve been mostly in Virginia. I’ve been training all the time. I’m training with one of my good friends Kenny Florian a lot. I’ve been mostly at home again waiting for the opportunity to compete but always getting a little bit better. “
As for why he hasn’t competed since Maynard Hall said:
“Not for lack of interest on my part if I’m honest but uh.. I’ve been hoping to find an opportunity to compete with somebody particularly challenging and tough and I was comfortable waiting for a time to do that because you know I just turned 33 I don’t have 10 years to be in the sport and I think that I would be just looking to face the biggest opposition available.”
And as for why a match against a top 15 opponent hasn’t happened Hall explained:
“Hard to say… I’ve been told that a lot of the people will turn down the fight. I don’t know if that’s true or not that people have been turning it down although that’s been relayed to me. I think I find myself in the mildly unenviable position of being better than my reputation. Whereas other people have let’s say phenomenal reputation and phenomenal skill like for example Jon Jones or ah McGregor. People that are what everyone thinks they are pretty much in line”
“I think the easiest answer to get what I want is to go out there and disrespect people and act ina provocative manner which is something that’s not in line with my values as a person or a martial artist.”
“I think that I don’t understand the type of behaviour… I just want to compete against the best competition.”
As for what impression he has from the UFC largely ignoring him:
“The UFC finds itself in a precarious situation because what makes the NFL popular, what makes baseball popular, soccer popular, is the ostensibly image , ostensible image of being on the up and up. The team that won on the day gets to play and the people can always say the referee did that or the referees say that the referees helped the patriots but no one can question that Tom Brady and the Patriots have been a great team over the last x number of years. Internal rot is always a dangerous thing when you stop being a sport it’s not just public perception it’s the people that are involved – debut fighters are being paid more than Bryan Caraway “
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