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B.J. Penn formally challenges Nik Lentz to fight at UFC 197

Esther lin photo

If Tuesday's initial Instagram post from JacksonWink wasn't enough of a clue, it's now clear that UFC Hall of Famer B.J .Penn wants to return to the Octagon.

And not just against anyone. He has an opponent, date, and place in mind.

Penn, the former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion, made his second Instagram post in less than 24 hours on Wednesday and challenged UFC featherweight contender Nik Lentz to a fight, specifically calling him out for a bout at UFC 197 in Las Vegas.

"This is a formal challenge for Nik Lentz to meet me in the Octagon March 5th in Las Vegas," Penn said. "Nik you wrote a silly poem about me making fun of me, you said stuff about me and my parents, and you been making a #bringpennback hashtag, I ask you today to be a man and back up everything you said, talk the talk walk the walk, Uncle BJ is mad already."

Penn and Lentz had a heated online skirmish back in early October, which led to talk of Penn coming out of retirement for one more fight. While that chatter eventually simmered down, three months later, Penn is now at JacksonWink and apparently serious about a return.

Penn's last fight was a third-round TKO loss to Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale on July 6, 2014. It was his third consecutive loss. After a two-year run as lightweight champion, Penn (16-10-2) went 1-5-1 to finish his career, with fights at welterweight, lightweight, and featherweight in that stretch.

Lentz (26-7-2, 1 NC), for his part, is coming off a split decision win over Danny Castillo at UFC on FOX in Orlando on Dec. 19, his second win in his past three fights and his fifth in his past seven.

See Penn's Instagram post challenging Lentz below.

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