The comeback of former two-division UFC champion BJ Penn has hit yet another snag.
Penn announced in January of this year that he planned to make a return to the octagon and revealed that he had his sights set on championship glory in yet another weight class.
“I want to get that 145-pound belt,” Penn, who previously held titles at 155 and 170lbs, told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. The Hawaiian suggested that he was looking to fight at either UFC 196 or UFC 197.
However, the following month, allegations of sexual assault were made against Penn and his comeback was delayed while the incident was investigated by a third party.
Penn was later added to UFC 199, scheduled for June 4th in Los Angeles, opposite German veteran Dennis Siver. Siver subsequently pulled out in May, only to be replaced by Cole Miller.
But Penn wouldn’t make it to LA either.
In June, the fighter admitted to United States Anti-Doping Agency officials that an intravenous infusion he received in March was “administered in a volume greater than 50 ml within a 6 hour period.”
The fighter claimed that he had not been aware of the UFC’s ban on IV infusions of this nature, a measure that had come into effect during the period in which Penn was retired. Nevertheless he was withdrawn from the Miller fight and handed an six-month suspension.
In August it was announced that Penn, whose suspension was due to end in late September, would face Ricardo Lamas in the headline bout at UFC Fight Night 97 in Manilia, the Philippines, on October 15th.
But on Tuesday, just eleven days out from the bout, MMAJunkie confirmed with a source possessing knowledge of the booking that Penn had suffered an injury in camp and, thus, he will not face Lamas as planned.
At present, it is unknown if Lamas will remain on the card. If he does not, a heavyweight contest between America’s Derrick Lewis and Poland’s Marcin Tybura, currently the co-feature, is likely to be promoted to the main event.