Former UFC champion BJ Penn is making plans for his return to the Octagon after withdrawing from a July rematch with Jon Fitch and hopes to face fellow contender Jake Shields in a matchup that could put the winner in line for another title shot.
“I would never challenge one of Cesar Gracie’s guys, but you’ve been calling me out for years. Let’s do it! I’ll contact Dana,” Penn wrote on Twitter late Monday.
Shields quickly replied with “even better, let’s make it the first 5 round non-title fight,” which Penn followed up with “If that makes you feel more confident….. sure.”
With Fitch’s recent should surgery putting a rematch of their February draw on hold for at least six months, Penn (16-7-2) could instead look to rebound from a 1-2-1 stretch against Shields (26-5-1), who hadn’t lost in more than six years before falling to champion Georges St-Pierre last month.