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Tuesday, 09/24/2013, 01:17 pm

EXCLUSIVE | BJ Penn Tells All: Why 145, Why Edgar III, Why TUF, Why Nova Uniao & More


Last Friday, BJPENN.COM RADIO was visited by the bossman himself, Mr. BJ Penn.

With news that he will return to action in a TUF coaching slot opposite Frankie Edgar at 145 pounds, the former two-division champion had a lot of items to discuss.

Check it out:

On Charity Event:

“It got put together that some very gracious gentleman made a nice contribution to the military and arm service for all that they do and what they paid for was to grapple with me and Brian Stann and Brian has to head back because he’s going to have a, God Bless Him, he’s having a baby either today or tomorrow. So, he had to leave early but I got to spend the rest of the day with the donator’s and enjoyed ourselves and had some great dinner, some great Italian food over there in New York. We really had a good time.”

On TUF:

“Next week I have to head up to the Mr. Olympia; Me and Matt Hughes are doing a promotion up there. Then we’re going to go sit down with Dana White and Lorenzo and talk story and make sure we put everything together.”

On His Drop to 145:

“I look at Frankie Edgar– I mean I can’t say enough good things about Frankie. As an athlete, every time he shows up he brings his A-Game. It doesn’t matter if he starts having a rough road in the beginning or having a rough road in the end or whatever it is, you know, I really respect how Frankie always pulls it together, he always brings his A-Game on fight night. So that’s for sure; we all know Frankie Edgar does that. Number two, watching Frankie’s fights, I didn’t get to see his second fight with Benson, but I heard Frankie did very, very well. A lot of people kept telling me that they really thought Frankie won the fight. Then, Frankie dropped down to 145 and fought Jose Aldo and did well, you know. Maybe, some people say it could have been a draw or Frankie was coming back. Arguably, nobody has really been able to do much to Frankie. He’s been hurt, he’s been dropped a few times. Benson dropped him. Gray dropped him. But no-one has really been able to put him away. He has two decision wins over me, and I look at him and that’s the guy I want to fight. The way it got put together, me and Dana were talking about fighting again and he asked “Why do you want to fight again, man?” I’m like, “Maybe a couple good fights and maybe see if I can earn my shot back up and maybe get a chance to redeem myself against Frankie.” And at that time, of course that wasn’t on anyone’s radar, BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar. I’m sure it wasn’t on Frankie’s. I was kind of thinking about it, of course because he beat me and I want to get another shot at him, of course, everybody always thinks like that. There’s so much stuff to think about, man. I just got off the plane, sorry I lost my train of thought. My brain’s just going 1,000 MPH right now with everything.”

Being A Coach On TUF again:

“I do feel kind of like a little bit of a rebirth type feeling, getting another opportunity like this to be on the Ultimate Fighter and going up against somebody like Frankie Edgar. It kind of reminds me of the position that I was put in with Pulver a few years ago (TUF 5) where he beat me, then I got to go on TUF and go against him and it’s just amazing how this all got put together. But, as far as The Ultimate Fighter show goes, we’re just going to have to let that work itself out. We’re going to see what happens. I’m sure there’s going to be some fun things going on.”

Being Broadcasted to the New Fox Audience:

“I definitely see this as a major opportunity for myself and this is an opportunity that I shouldn’t let sit by, I’m real excited. Going back, I got my train of thought back as to how this got put together, Dana said he was having some problems getting the Ultimate Fighter show because they didn’t know if they were going to do it at 135 or 145 and it was going back and forth. He was like, “You know what? if you really want to fight Edgar, why don’t you just do The Ultimate Fighter?” We talked about it and then now we’re flying up to Vegas next week to talk to Dana about it.”

If He will Go to Brazil and Train w/ Andre Pederneiras at Nova Uniao for the fight:

“Yes, that will happen. We’re going to Nova Uniao, Brazil and like I said, we’re not trying to let this slip away. And I’m sure Frankie isn’t either. So, Frankie knows that if BJ really wants to avenge his loss and this and that, this is BJ’s chance. I know Frankie’s coming (prepared for the fight). You know, I really do wish this fight was at 155 lbs. Nothing to do with the weight, it’s just I really feel that Frankie hasn’t lost yet. He’s right up there, and I feel everybody says I’m supposed to be the greatest at lightweight. Frankie beat me twice. Frankie never really lost yet. Pettis is the new champ, you got all these new guys coming. Well if Frankie and me are the old guys, maybe who walks out of that ring will be one of the best lightweights of all time. We’re going to find out.”

If He Wants to Revisit the Fight at 155:

“At the end of the day, whatever makes the UFC comfortable. It might be a good thing for me, 145 might be the best thing to ever happen to BJ Penn. We’ll find out.”

Will BJ Penn Be Making a Run At the 145 Title?:

“I know it’s really weird for a lot of people in America to understand this, but I’ve always been a loyal guy to my Jiu-Jitsu King. Ever since Jose Aldo has hit the scene and just went on an absolute tear has busted everybody up, I never had any intentions of fighting Jose Aldo. At this point, if I fight Jose Aldo who am I fighting? I’m fighting Andre Pederneiras. I’m fighting the man who gave me my black belt. It’s just not a comfortable feeling for me. Me and Andre Pederneiras will have to sit down and talk. Jose Aldo is going to have to sit down and talk. I know Jose Aldo was just about to fight Anthony Pettis. Now, is Jose Aldo going to go up to 155 and fight Anthony Pettis or is he going to stay at 145 and defend his belt? I think with some of the decisions Aldo will make, will help me make some of my decisions myself.”

On the hypothetical situation Aldo vacates the 145 title to pursue the 155 title:

“If that happens, I really do consider that a possibility. If that happens, great. I’ll take a crack at the 145 title. If he wants to sit there and defend, then me and Dana will sit down and talk. Really, one of the main things I want to do is just get that fight with Frankie Edgar. Maybe that’s the only fight I want? Who knows? We’ll see what happens when we cross that river.”

How He Succeeds Against Edgar This Time Around:

“You know what? Anything I say right now, right here, not going to change nothing. I gotta get out there, I gotta beat Frankie Edgar— I could say 1,000 things. I could say “I’m going to choke him, this time. I’m going to take him down early. Or I improved my boxing; I can beat him in boxing now.” Nothing matters. Talk is cheap, I’ll see Frankie in April.”

His Recollection on TUF 5 and Asking Contestants to Raise Hands to be on Team Penn, rather than Team Pulver:

“That’s one thing me and Jens talked about later because me and Jens are good buddies and he’s like “Man, as soon as the show started BJ, you just ripped me in half!” I go, “Jens, I didn’t mean it to go that way! I was just sitting there, looking at all the different guys and that’s just the type of person I am.” If you want to be on the other team, then I don’t want you on my team. That’s all it was. It had nothing to do with “Let’s see how many other people think I’m a better coach than Jens Pulver”, or whatever. That’s my whole thing. You don’t want to be on my team? Go to the other team.”

Will he have a Different Staff This Season:

“Andre Pederneiras is the first guy on the list. We want to have a lot of special guests. We’re working night and day. Me and my five buddies, my coaches/training partners… we’re trying to put together a good team that makes a lot of sense that really gives these guys what they need based off their careers. I think sometimes you could be sitting there and think “Maybe I should just get this guy! He’d be great! He’d be great entertainment.” But then on the other hand, it’s like if I bring this guy then he doesn’t even help build your team at all. Or you could have had somebody more qualified for the job. We’re sitting here and we’re trying to put everything together and it’s pretty tough. It’s tough looking at different names, who’s available, who’s not and everything. It’s taking some time. We really want to bring some top guys and some really high-level people so these young kids and newcomers can really can say “Hey, BJ tried to bring in the best guys and give us the best training he could possibly do for us.”

Does He Feel Like He’s Introducing How He was Brought Into the Game By His Coaches?:

“Definitely. With Andre Pederneiras coming in, I almost feel like my job is easy now that I’ve got Andre because he’s the mastermind. He’s the sensei. He’s the man who made me the first foreigner to ever win in Brazil. Let’s see if he can be the man to make me be the first person to finish Frankie Edgar. We’re going to find out.”

What Is He Looking Forward To Most During TUF?:

“Honestly? I’m just looking forward to finishing this season and fighting. I want to fight. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

On Spending Time In Vegas:

“It’s going to be good being up in Vegas. I’m going to have to figure some stuff out with the kids, bring them back and forth. I’m excited. I already have a bunch of gyms in mind to go and stop and train with a bunch of people.”

Final Thoughts, Open Microphone for BJ Penn:

“I just want to say thanks. Thank you to everybody. Thank you to the UFC, you never know what every day holds in the future. Couple months ago I was just hanging out, doing yard work. Just chilling out. Next thing you know, we’re back in the big time! Right Pedro, is that what you call it? Thank you guys for having me on. People were trying to get in touch with me and I had to tell them I’m under contract with BJPenn.com for my first interview.”

And that is the final word from ‘The Prodigy’ on his return to action and mindset going into the third fight against Frankie Edgar.

We also had Josh Thomson on the show to talk about his UFC on FOX 9 main event against Anthony Pettis, so if you missed the show, check the replay below.

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