BJ Penn: "I dont believe my hype anymore"
I got here to Las Vegas and am ready for my UFC 137 main event fight with Nick Diaz.
He’s a great fighter who I respect and I like. Nick and his brother Nate actually came out to help me train for my UFC 101 match against Kenny Florian. We’re not close friends, but both of the Diaz brothers have really helped me out in the past and we have hung out. This isn’t a fight either of us would have asked for, but we are both at the top of the division and there’s no one else for us to fight.
Nick’s very dangerous with his punches; we’d have a great boxing match, and he’s got some of the purest jiu-jitsu in MMA.
That’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed away from the hype for this fight, but not the only reason. I’ve not even read part 1 of this Yahoo! blog, I sent it over via email and I haven’t seen it published on the site and I won’t read this one either once I am done doing it.
I was told today that Yahoo! called the blog “The Penn is Mightier,” which is pretty funny and a good title. But I won’t read anything, no interviews or previews. I won’t watch the Countdown TV preview show, nothing, because I want to stay away from the hype for the rest of my career.
There’s nothing wrong with talking smack and backing it up. Muhammad Ali did it and I did it in my career, but honestly I feel like I am too old now for that. As you get older, have a family of your own, talking about opponents stops being something you want to do or be part of.
I am still very passionate about MMA and my career. I love fighting but I want to save that passion for the fights and the training.
And I am tired of talking and not getting the result I wanted. I want my energy to be on training and winning, not on getting too emotional before the fight. I don’t want to be watching UFC Primetime two days before the fight going ‘Oh, why did you say that, you idiot?’
You can never choose how someone takes a quote of something you say and uses it. Once you say it you have to accept that it is out there. I said something one time about is it too much to ask to be the best fighter in the world, and that is out there forever.
Legacies and who’s the best pound-for-pound, I don’t know about that. There really isn’t one best fighter, even in one division you can have an argument.
I know a lot of people say Georges St-Pierre is the best welterweight ever, but in a lot of ways Matt Hughes is the best welterweight ever in my mind. Look at his record as UFC welterweight champion: He had eight stoppages. He was fighting the top guys and stopping them inside the distance. I can tell you about it myself. I don’t want to start anything with Georges, but I think finishing fights counts for something.
I’m happy with what I accomplished. How my career has gone is a little different to how I imagined it going, that’s for sure. I’m two-division champion and I have stayed around for a long time, so it is different to what Matt and Georges did by dominating one division over a long period of time.
Honestly, I feel there’s more to come from me. I want more big wins and hopefully a title shot and to win another title. But I’m also older and realize sometimes getting that title is timing. If I win fights and the champion is due to fight and I am healthy, I can get a title shot. But the timing has to be there for me, the champion and the UFC, and I can only control some of that.
If I end up losing to Nick Diaz, and losing other fights, I will be happy with my MMA career. But I feel I have a fresh start now, a new mentality and that I am adding things to my game which I didn’t have before. I’m looking forward to this fight, and the next, and the next and the one after that.
- By BJ Penn for YahooSports!