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Wednesday, 12/07/2011, 03:54 pm

UFC NEWS – BJ Penn Blogs About The Evolution Of Mixed Martial Arts

When I first started out in this sport, I did it for the test, for the purity of being a martial artist and putting up my jiu-jitsu against the craft of other tough, competing athletes and their styles. I didn’t do it for fame, for money or for titles and championships.

Back when I started, my first UFC fight sold out in Atlantic City with about only 2,500 fans in attendance. The sport wasn’t that big, I could walk down any street and no one would recognize me or anything like that.

Back then my goals where to just have a jiu-jitsu academy, have a successful school that I could teach at and that was pretty much it. But the sport grabbed a hold of me.

I had a good run in the beginning. I kept winning and I had a good relationship with the UFC. Suddenly, the hunger for world titles started to become a priority of mine.

And it still wasn’t for the money or the fame, because again, back then there wasn’t really any of that. My hunger was still purely driven by the test: to prove I was a world-class fighter with skills that could rival anyone.

Things have definitely changed since then. I used to be able to get Dana White on the phone pretty easily, a text or phone call if not immediately answered would be returned in the very near future, but now the president of our organization is so busy, it’s much harder to reach him.

Back then, the company still wasn’t that big. It was more of a family atmosphere. There weren’t all the media obligations that there are today, the signings, the press events. All that stuff was just on a much smaller scale.

Today, to be a UFC fighter is more than a full-time job, it is a lifestyle. In my time with the company we went from small venues to huge arenas, from being virtual unknowns in the sporting world to being on video-game commercials and TV shows. Fighters today are now global celebrities who have a chance at fame, power and wealth. More sponsors, more publicity, everyone seems to want a piece of the MMA world nowadays.

It is because of these new aspects that we have seen a new type of athlete enter the sport. Not just in the UFC, but in other promotions and in MMA gyms across the country. It’s a completely different energy now.

Fighters now are hungry for titles; they are hungry for the fame and the money. It’s just not like it was back when I first started out in the game where we just wanted to test ourselves. Today, rather than fighting for the sheer test or competition, the up-and-coming guys are hungry to make a better life and are living from the sport. Now they’re here to make their dreams come true.

The level of athlete has also improved a bit. The competition has maybe gotten a little steeper, but in reality, it’s not like anyone is bringing anything new to the table. I mean, you have good jiu-jitsu guys, good Muay Thai guys, good boxers, and so on. But we have always had that in the sport.

Sure, guys are more well-rounded now, but the styles they use have been around since before the UFC existed and the new guys aren’t really bringing in anything we haven’t seen before. They are just hungrier for things that didn’t even exist when this sport was on its way up.

I think that with the new FOX deal and with the popularity constantly growing, the sport hasn’t even come close to reaching its peak… Finish Reading His Blog HERE on Bleacher Report.


11 Responses to “UFC NEWS – BJ Penn Blogs About The Evolution Of Mixed Martial Arts”

  1. Lex w says:

    Man just work on yo cardio n come back n whoop some ass so people can stop lookin at me crazy when I say bj penn is tha best fighter ever

  2. Taimanglo says:

    MMA is advancing and so is the homosapien. I think future MMA fighters will be more fluent at finishing opponents in spectacular fashion. Like Water!

  3. magoo says:

    Definite evolution BJ,and anyone that gets to have you as a teacher in this awesome competitive growing sport of mma is already one step ahead of his opponent,good read thanks beej.

  4. mmaislandjunkie says:

    gotta go to bleacherreport to read about bj not oh how i miss the good old days where it was nothing but new bj penn videos everyday.

  5. fongsta says:

    I think the problem with BJ isn’t just his cardio, it’s his mental toughness, the willingness to sacrafice and work hard. I just think that there are tons of other fighters, maybe not as talented as BJ, but work harder and put up more sacrafices in life to become a MM Artist. BJ is mentally weak.. i am very disappointed in him…

  6. Ted says:

    It is not about the fight anymore BJ, that is why you have such a huge fan base even if you lose, nick diaz same thing. Boxing is like this too, it used to be about the battle, winning is always there of course you want to win but the real fighters are there exchanging because they wouldn’t want to be any place else.

  7. steven horgan says:

    Ten years is a long time to try stay hungry in a sport where you are rich, beaten the best,became a 2 time world champion in the bigest promotion..jack dempsy champ pro boxer said its hard to get up in the morning and run when your wearing silk shorts…the worst thing to happen to a fighter is when they loose the fire….what kept bj going was he believed he was the best truely believed even so much that he would jump weight classes fight anyone…that bj has been slowly dien from fight to fight, overworking himself ..if bj went back to marv to in his own words he said he ‘brok e him down and built him back up get the body back in sync with the mind’ and relight that fire will be the only way he will ever come back……………the clock is slowly tickin for bj to go down as just 1 of the greats or prove himself up with the greatest of all time..if not the greatest

  8. Mike Diaz says:

    PENN NATION is still waiting for a response from Pedro Carrasco to elaborate WHY us members and other BJ Penn fans have to go to other websites to find up to the minute news on BJ Penn, blogs on BJ, videos on BJ, etc……waiting, waiting, waiting. PENN NATION!!!!!

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