In the wake of UFC superstar Conor McGregor’s impact on the UFC over the course of the past two years, more and more fighters have continued to call for ‘money fights’.
While the idea of a superfight in order to secure a massive payday is certainly an appealing one to many fighters, UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn has a different take on the idea of money fights. The former two-divison champion spoke recently to discuss the surge in fighters asking for a ‘money fight’ ahead of his highly anticipated return to the Octagon on Sunday against Yair Rodriguez in Phoenix.
He spoke to MMAFighting:
“I’LL TELL YOU THIS, I’M NOT THE GUY TO GO OUT THERE AND SAY ‘OH GIVE ME THIS MONEY FIGHT, GIVE ME THAT MONEY FIGHT’,” PENN SAID. “I LOOK AT ALL THESE GUYS DOING THAT AND I’M LIKE WHY DON’T YOU GO KNOCK OUT A 100 GUYS AND BECOME THE MONEY FIGHT YOURSELF? ‘OH I WANT TO FIGHT THIS MONEY FIGHT, THIS MONEY FIGHT’ — WHY DON’T YOU MAKE YOURSELF THE MONEY FIGHT? HOW’S ABOUT THAT ONE? LET’S JUST START THERE.”
“THAT’S THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT.”
Penn of course is no stranger to working his way up to super fights. In 2008, Penn captured the UFC lightweight championship as he submitted Joe Stevenson in the second round of their UFC 80 scrap, earning ‘Submission of the Night’ honors in the process. Following his win over Stevenson, Penn defended his title against Sean Sherk as he picked up an iconic flying knee TKO win over the former champ at UFC 84. In his next fight, Penn moved up to welterweight to fight Georges St-Pierre in what was not only one of the biggest rematches, but also one of the biggest super fights in UFC history. The event, UFC 94, brought in an estimated 920,000 PPV buys, making it one of the biggest events in UFC history at the time.