UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn is gearing up to face Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez this Saturday at UFC 107. Penn recently admitted that Saturday’s bout with Sanchez will be a “great test for him.”
“Diego is a great opponent and a great test for me,” Penn recently told SunSport. “Right now is a perfect time in my career to fight him.
“I’ve got good training coaches, a good regime — it’s going to be a great fight and it has the capability of being one of my biggest tests at 155lbs.”
Penn needs be in top shape this Saturday in order to successfully defend his title against the physically more imposing Sanchez, who has beaten his last four opponents and whose resume includes wins over Nick Diaz, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, Clay Guida and Joe “Diesel” Riggs.
“He’s really good; he’s really explosive,” Penn told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald of Sanchez. “He’s shown that he has some knockout power and he’s a very good grappler. He’s very hungry; he’s shown that he wants to be a champion someday. This is an important fight.”
The Prodigy went on to say that he is looking to fight any top rated fighter, regardless of weight class.
“As far as big-money fights go, we’ll have to see who the next No. 1 contender is. There will always be people to beat, and as the lightweight champion I have to honor that and keep defending the title.
“But as a businessman you hope it’s someone with a big name who can bring a big fan base into the fight.”
UFC 107 will be taking place inside the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee on December 12, and will also feature former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir facing top-ranked heavyweight Cheick Kongo in the co-main event.