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BJ Penn: "I just want to be the best that I can be, and I’m ready man."

BJ Penn is set to meet Joe “Daddy” Stevenson for the UFC’s main event at UFC 80: Rapid Fire tomorrow in Newcastle for the interim lightweight title. Penn sat down with Hawaii Tribune-Herald to discuss Joe Stevenson, his training, and getting serious about MMA.

Penn, Who Weighed 164 12 Day’s Before Weigh-In’s, On His Weight:

I’m right on weight. That nine pounds is all salt and water. So I just drink a lot of water, keep on pushing the salt out, and I should have no problem making this weight.

Penn On Joe Stevenson:

He’s a good fighter. He’s a mixed martial artist. I’m not going to sit here and say he’s one-dimensional. He’s a good grappler, he’s got the footlock, he’s got a good guillotine. … He’s got one or two weapons everywhere. He’s got one or two weapons on the ground, one or two good weapons on his feet and maybe one or two good takedowns. Not to belittle him in any way, but that’s what I see when I look at him. As a person, I like Joe Stevenson. I’ve always had a great relationship with him, see him around. His wife (Maia) is from Maui and I’ve always had pleasant times meeting up with him and hanging out with him.

Penn On Getting Serious About MMA:

The second Hughes fight was a huge reality check. But it didn’t hit me right away. When I first got home, I was still in the bars; I was still hanging out and was doing a bunch of things. I wasn’t in the gym. Then, on my birthday when I turned 28 (Dec. 13, 2006), it was time to get serious, time to wake up.

Penn On Training For Stevenson:

The life I live is hearing about the meal at the dinner table you can’t eat and hearing about the party you can’t go to. I worked some specific stuff for Joe Stevenson, but I concentrated on myself. I got myself as strong as I could get, as fast, as explosive — my cardio, my conditioning. I concentrated on BJ Penn. I just want to be the best that I can be and I’m ready, man, I’m ready.