B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar to coach The Ultimate Fighter 19, fight at featherweight

Esther Lin

The retirement home isn't just calling B.J. Penn just yet.

In fact, not only is the former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion preparing for his return to the Octagon, but he also plans on competing at 145 pounds for the first time.

Penn will coach The Ultimate Fighter 19 head to head with former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani broke the news on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight.

"When B.J. Penn gets fired up about something, he goes, crazy, you know what I mean?" UFC president Dana White said. "The kid's fired up, he's got me fired up about this, he believes he can beat Frankie Edgar, he can compete at 145 pounds. It's tough to say no to B.J."

The show will feature middleweight and light heavyweight fighters. The two will then square off in a coaches fight at the end of the season.

The duo, of course, have already fought twice, with Edgar taking both of their 155-pound fights.

Edgar (16-4-1) ended Penn's two-year reign as lightweight champion with a unanimous-decision victory at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi. The pair rematched at UFC 118 in Boston, which Edgar won on another decision, which was more one-sided than the first fight.

Penn (16-9-2) returned to welterweight after that fight to mixed results. He knocked out Matt Hughes in a trilogy fight; drew with Jon Fitch in a title eliminator, and lost one-sided fights to Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald.

Edgar, meanwhile, went on to defend the belt nearly two years before losing a decision to Benson Henderson at UFC 144. Edgar then lost close decisions to Henderson in a rematch and featherweight champion Jose Aldo before defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 162 in a Fight of the Night performance.

The 19th season of The Ultimate Fighter will begin airing in April of next year. The exact date and location of the coaches fight are yet to be determined.

In an interview on UFC Tonight, Dana White indicated the initial plan was to have Edgar coach with Urijah Faber. But Edgar didn't want to come down to bantamweight, Faber didn't want to go up to featherweight, and White is not a fan of catchweight fights.

"It was going to be Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar," White said. "Faber is at 135 pounds, Edgar is at '45. Edgar didn't want to go to '35, Urijah wasn't crazy about going to '45. They were talking about catchweight fights. I don't like catchweight fights."

White also indicated that Penn has signed a new contract with the UFC.

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