With more than a week before the UFC Manila event, headliner BJ Penn is set to pull out from his featherweight match against Ricardo Lamas on October 15 at the Mall of Asia Arena due to an undisclosed injury.
A source told MMA Junkie's John Morgan on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time), said the UFC Hall of Famer sustained an injury during training and will no longer face Lamas in the main event of UFC Fight Night 97. The decision has yet to be formally announced by the UFC and it remains unclear who Lamas will be facing as replacement.
The development is a big blow for the former lightweight and welterweight champion who was hoping for a comeback since his loss to Frankie Edgar in 2014. Penn came out of retirement early this year but was hampered by a suspension after his disclosure of banned substance use and a case of alleged sexual assault in is native Hawaii.
The main card of UFC's anticipated return to the Philippines still includes a heavyweight clash between Derrick Lewis and Marcin Tybura as the co-main event. Filipino fighter Jenel Lausa also takes on Yao Zhikui in a flyweight bout, while featherweights Mizuto Hiruto and Cole Miller also face off.
The card also includes a lightweight battle between Jon Tuck and Medhi Baghdad, and a welterweight bout between James Moontasri and Alex Morono, along with the face-off of middleweights Dongi Yang and Ryan Janes. The UFC also added another middleweight bout between Alex Nicholson and Sam Alvey to the undercard.
Tickets for UFC Fight Night Manila: Lamas vs Penn are priced at P12,500 (VIP), P9,500 (Patron), P7,200 (Lower Box A), P6,000 (Lower Box B), P2,350 (Upper Box), and P1,350 (General Admission) plus applicable service charges. Tickets can be purchased at all SM Tickets outlets or through www.smtickets.com.