With Jon Fitch injured and an important rematch off the table, BJ Penn has decided to withdraw from UFC 132 as well rather than face a hungry welterweight contender like Carlos Condit looking to catapult himself up the ranks with a win over the Hawaiian. MMA Junkie has the details:
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with sources close to the Hawaiian that the UFC is not currently seeking an opponent for Penn, and “The Prodigy” will instead return to action at a later date.
Penn had been expected to take part in a rematch with Jon Fitch (23-3-1 MMA, 13-1-1 UFC) at the July 2 event, but the perennial welterweight contender was forced to withdraw from the bout with a shoulder injury.
Sources indicated while the UFC was actively seeking a new opponent, Penn preferred to reschedule his next contest.
Well, that explains why we went a full week without getting the slightest indication who would replace Fitch.
The question now is, what does this mean for the welterweight title picture? The winner was supposed to get the next title shot, but if they don’t fight till the fall or later, does GSP (if he beats Jake Shields) sit out for the rest of the year if he doesn’t vacate the title for a middleweight super fight against Anderson Silva? If you ask me, I say they bring Nick Diaz over assuming both he and GSP both win their fights this month for a title unification bout, but I don’t even know if that’s possible with Showtime involved or if it’s something the UFC and Nick Diaz would even be interested in doing. Probably wishful thinking more than anything on my part.
Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog
Update: MMA Fighting adds that Penn suffered an undisclosed injury that forced him off the card, so it wasn’t necessarily BJ being picky about who he fought.