As BJ Penn prepares to battle Joe Stevenson for his third shot at the UFC lightweight title he took some time out with Thomas Gerbasi of UFC.com to look back at where he comes from and look forward to where he’s going.
BJ comments on the following quote he made about himself in 2006 before the second Hughes fight:
There’s just something about BJ Penn that gets people amped up. You don’t know what’s gonna happen, but something’s gonna happen though. He might disappoint you, he might make you happy, he might make you cry, he might make you jump out of your chair, but he’ll do something to you.
I think that’s it and that’s how I feel. I can piss you off, a bunch of different things can happen, but something is gonna happen. Plus, I think the fans appreciate that fighting is my life.
BJ Penn On The Early Part Of His Career:
The Din Thomas fight and the Caol Uno fight, those were probably two of the best things for my career, to blow me up and to get me a bigger fan base, but they were also the worst things for my career as far as getting me experience to get ready for that title fight. And I was scared going out there and being the main event. I think I was more afraid of everything else. I was afraid to have that lightweight title, I was afraid to be the main event…but don’t do something great if you can’t take the congratulations, and I wasn’t ready to get congratulated. I was just a kid.
Penn On Making History:
Dana White has given me the chance to make history and to become the only other guy in the UFC with two belts in two different weight classes besides Randy (Couture), and I can’t pass that up. I fought for the lightweight title twice and it’s eluded me, and for myself, I gotta go finish that off and put it away.
Penn On Sean Sherk Statements About The “Interim” Title:
If he’s gonna sit there and say this is a fake belt, he just tested positive for steroids, so what more can I say?
Penn On How His Public War Of Words With Sherk Has Cause People To Forget About Joe Stevenson:
Everybody has forgotten about Stevenson but me. I know this guy and he brings some things to the table. He was the Ultimate Fighter champion, he’s got 40 fights, and he’s done a lot of things. He’s got a great choke, he’s got great foot locks, he isn’t gonna be scared to throw his punches at me, and he’s gonna be coming. I know it ain’t gonna be easy, but I’ve got to go out there and do this.
Penn On How He Wants To Handle The Rest Of His Career:
I don’t want to do the five fights a year thing for three years and then I’m done, like all these fighters have done. I want to do one to two fights a year for the next ten years. I want to keep my name out there for the next ten years.
Penn On Being More Experienced:
Now I can actually think about what’s going on, where back then it was just a dream. But now I’m more used to it. I’ve had a lot of big fights, I’ve had the highest highs and the lowest lows throughout my career, and like they say, you can’t beat experience.