VIDEO | Cris Cyborg Grapples With Surprise Guest BJ Penn at the UFC 222 Open Workouts

Cris Cyborg

The combat sports game is chaotic, sometimes you have to roll with punches outside of the cage just as much as the punches inside of it. After the main and co-main events got switched and transplanted, Cris Cyborg stepped up to defend her UFC women’s featherweight title against former Invicta FC bantamweight champion Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 222 this weekend. She was a highlight today at media day a brought a super special guest with her to open workouts: A masked man revealed to be none other than BJ Penn himself.


“[Cris] Cyborg is fighting this week so of course I’m staying. I called to extend my ticket, paid almost $1000 to extend my ticket for me and my kids and we’re all going to watch the fights. My kids are going to go and meet Cyborg, so I’m excited. Cyborg taking the fight on three weeks notice is not even in my mind. I know she’s always in shape and she’s the best in the world right now. That all counts, that all adds up. That stuff’s real.”   

“Cyborg shows today that she is the best in the world I think. Don’t get me wrong, Ronda [Rousey]. I really respect Ronda. I respect all her skills, respect everything. She helped blow up the women’s MMA and MMA. Thank you, Ronda for that. But Cyborg is showing where she is now and she’s still in the game. It’s about staying power and who stays. Who stays the longest and who stays the strongest and Cyborg is still here, so she’s number one.” — BJ Penn speaking on Cyborg’s own CYBORGNATION video series.

The last time a masked man attended an open workout was Josh Barnett’s back in the beginning of 2016. His identity was never revealed, but BJ Penn was unmasked mid-grappling workout. He was also featured in Cyborg’s video blog being produced during the lead up to the big fight this weekend. Be on the lookout for the forthcoming episodes of UFC’s Embedded and he may be featured on there as well.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/1/2018.