Greg Jackson on BJ Penn: ‘I believe in his comeback 100 percent’

By Russell Ess - February 11, 2016

UFC Hall of Fame legend BJ Penn recently announced his decision to come out of retirement with a goal of becoming the only fighter in UFC history to win three weight division’s titles. Penn, who already has two titles in separate weight classes along with fellow UFC Hall of Fame legend Randy Couture has been in Albuquerque, New Mexico training at the JacksonWink MMA Academy.

BJ Penn

Coach Greg Jackson spoke on the Three Amigos podcast that was released on Thursday and gave an update on working with “The Prodigy” and his potential in the featherweight division.

“I think 45 is where he needs to be,” Jackson said. “We have very high-level strength and conditioning people that monitor all kinds of craziness that is way over my little head, but looking at his numbers, athletically, he certainly can compete. What we need to do with BJ is fundamentally change a lot of the things that he been comfortable doing for a while, and just get him loving it again, just getting him motivated.”

Jackson said one of the things that people warned him about before allowing Penn to join the team was that he was lazy. Penn is showing that is certainly not the case.

“I can’t keep BJ out of the gym,” Jackson stated. “I’ll give him the schedule, and he’ll show up early, and I’m like ‘OK, but we’re not working for a while.’ ” Jackson said, “He’s so hungry right now, and he’s so excited about the martial arts that I believe in his comeback 100 percent, or I wouldn’t have said yes to it.”

Jackson added that Penn who already has been a world champion doesn’t need to be fighting to make ends meet, but is excited about fighting again and is very happy to be a part of Penn finding himself again.

“What makes him dangerous right now, is that he wants to do it, and there is a big difference between having to do something and wanting to do something.”

Jackson says that BJ has made the sacrifices of being away from home and has a lot of respect for him in doing so.

“I really admire BJ for sucking it up, and you know like he used to say ‘just scrapping.’ He’s just getting in there and doing it.”

Although it has not been officially announced by the UFC, Penn has been told he will be fighting on April 23 at UFC 197 where Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier will meet in the main event.


BJ Penn