Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion BJ “The Prodigy” Penn hopes to have a big comeback when he battles UFC featherweight contender Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas in the UFC Fight Night Manila slated on October 15 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Fighting out of Hilo, Hawaii, Penn is making his return to mixed martial arts (MMA) after a brief retirement in 2014, facing Lamas in an explosive five-round featherweight fight.
“This is what I live for—doing what I do best,” said the 37-year-old Penn on Wednesday during a news conference at the Conrad Hotel Forbes Ballroom in Pasay City.
Penn, who is coming off a three-game losing streak, said it would not be a walk in the park against Lamas.
“It’s going to be a tough fight. I have watched some of his highlights and he looks capable in the ring with everyone,” Penn said.
Penn is considered as a living legend in the sport and the only actively competing Hall of Famer. He was recognized for his dominant performances in both the UFC lightweight and welterweight divisions.
He holds a professional MMA record of 16 wins, 10 losses, and two draws.
Penn lost to Frankie Edgar via technical knockout in July 2014, to Rory Macdonald via unanimous decision in December 2012, and to Nick Diaz also via unanimous decision in October 2011.
On the other hand, Lamas who has a 16-5 record wants to spoil Penn’s return to the Octagon.
“He is a living legend and a Hall of Famer. I am ready to put on a good show and ready for any challenges,” said the 34-year-old Lamas.
“I want to create memories I can pass on with my children and grandchildren,” said Lamas, who’s fighting out of Chicago, Illinois.
Besides the Lamas-Penn bout, there will be a flyweight showdown between third-ranked Kyoji Horiguchi of Japan and No. 8 Ali Bagautinov of Russia.
Horiguchi has a 17-2 card while Bagautinov has 14-4 record.
“We are very excited to return to Manila and for our fans to witness their epic battle between a true MMA legend. It is an event that cannot be missed by fans and followers of the sport,” said UFC Asia Executive Vice President and General Manager Kenneth Berger.