B.J. Penn will still get the chance to headline a card for his return, but the level of opponent will still be extremely high. Penn will meet top prospect Yair Rodriguez in the main event of a UFC Fight Night show in Phoenix on January 15th.
The promotion announced the bout on UFCEspanol.com earlier today.
Penn (16-10-2) was scheduled to return against Ricardo Lamas on a card in Manila, but when the show was cancelled after he suffered an injury, the UFC decided to go in another direction with the two fighters. Penn hasn’t competed since a 2014 one-sided loss to Frankie Edgar.
Rodriguez (8-1) has won all six of his bouts in the Octagon thus far. The TUF Latin America champion is coming off his first headlining bout, a big win over Alex Caceres in August.
The card will go down in Talking Stick Arena, and takes place on a Sunday following the NFL football playoffs.