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MANILA, Philippines – It’s official: BJ Penn and Ricardo Lamas will meet in the 5-round featherweight main event of UFC Fight Night Manila 2 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on October 15.
Before Penn and Lamas set foot inside the Octagon, both fighters will meet eye-to-eye at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s on-sale press conference on Wednesday, August 17 at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City to promote the organization’s second live event in the Philippines.
Penn (16-10-2) announced his decision to come out of retirement this past January after briefly calling it a career when he suffered a brutal third-round stoppage loss to Frankie Edgar in July 2014.
His much-awaited Octagon return at UFC 199 last June was postponed after the two-division world champion was slapped with a 6-month suspension due to a violation of the promotion’s anti-doping policy.
Penn disclosed his usage of IV in the pre-fight drug test, which is prohibited by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Penn’s suspension comes to an end on September 25, making him available for UFC Fight Night Manila 2.
The 37-year-old native of Hilo, Hawaii is currently on a 3-fight losing skid and has not won a single match since he knocked out Matt Hughes in just 21 seconds in November 2010.
Penn is one of the only two fighters in UFC history to win world titles in multiple weight classes, submitting Matt Hughes for the welterweight championship in January 2004 before adding the lightweight belt to his résumé 4 years later with a second-round submission win over Joe “Daddy” Stevenson.
“The Prodigy” was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July 2015 for his stellar stint in the lower weight classes.
In the other corner, Lamas (16-5) is fresh from a unanimous decision loss to Max Holloway in June and has only won 3 of his last 5 professional outings since yielding to then-UFC featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo.
Prior to his unsuccessful attempt to dethrone Aldo, the 34-year-old Lamas was riding high on a 4-fight winning streak, which included remarkable triumphs over Cub Swanson and Erik Koch.
Also in attendance for UFC Fight Night Manila 2’s on-sale press conference is retired Filipino-American stalwart Mark Muñoz, who currently serves as the company’s “Philippine ambassador” and will be taking part in a number of press engagements.
Tickets to UFC Fight Night Manila 2 will be available at all SM Tickets outlets on August 17, but MMA fans can avail of a 10% early bird discount rate on selected sections for tickets that are purchased between August 10 and August 16. – Rappler.com