Penn to Have Cataract Surgery in Utah

February 12, 2013, 7:31 AM HST
* Updated February 12, 11:19 AM
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B.J. Penn’s mixed martial arts career will lay in the hands of a Utah surgeon.

Penn, a multi-division champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championships, announced Monday in a story on his website,, that he is traveling to Utah to meet with Dr. Alan Crandall. The noted eye surgeon will operate on the fighter’s left eye to try to repair damage caused by cataracts.

“I got a cataract in my left eye and I’m heading out to do (sp?) see Dr. Crandall”, said Penn in an interview on his website. “He is the guy that did Margarito’s eye and the UFC set this up for me.”

Antonio Margarito, a boxing champion, had his surgery in 2011, and according to, had an artificial lens put in his right eye which helped him regain his boxing license. The surgery was also done on famed boxing promoter Bob Arum and his wife.

Penn told the website that he has been dealing with the problem for over a year, but says that the cataract played no part in his loss to MacDonald on free television. He also said that he is not sure that he will fight again, regardless of the outcome of the surgery, saying that this is more than just a career decision.


“The number one reason for the surgery is just for daily life,” said Penn in the interview. “I have a tough time driving at night when the lights are shining and I’d like to get that back. On the other hand, you never know what you’re going to be thinking if the surgery goes well. If I go in the gym and I’m knocking down all my sparring partners and doing awesome I would definitely think of fighting again.”


Penn has not had a fight scheduled since December’s loss.

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