Former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn has lost his luster in the eyes of many fans after posting two consecutive losses to current champion Frankie Edgar. Penn is now scheduled to face old rival Matt Hughes in a rubber match but stresses that the bout is not a farewell affair. “The Prodigy” recently spoke with FightersOnly.com and revealed that he still plans on remaining as active as he possibly can. The Hawaiian native also reflected on his last performance against Edgar.
“That fight–I don’t know why I ended up performing like I did that night,” Penn said of his UFC 118 bout with Edgar. “… I know I didn’t perform very well that night and I guess I just gotta keep fine tuning and keep adjusting until I find what works for me.”
Penn also warned anyone who has written him off that he isn’t to be counted out yet and that he actually sees this as an opportunity to reinvent himself as a fighter.
“A lot of people could be counting me out but I really think that when I find out what works best for me they’re gonna see that it’s really a new beginning,” he said.
One of the more lasting mythologies surrounding “The Prodigy” is that he has often relied on talent in place of hard work and that his laziness has cost him more than one fight that he should or could have won. Penn has addressed this repeatedly and told FightersOnly that he plans on making fighting his full-time focus.
“I wanna train year round I don’t want to do a three month training camp and then take two months off and fight once or twice a year,” said Penn. “I’ve done that for the last ten years, I’ve done that whole thing. I wanna try and take a new approach to this. …I wanna fight year round.”
The Hilo kid indicated that he is looking to pull a Chris Leben and fight absolutely as often as he can, even if that means returning to the cage a matter of weeks after a fight.
“Say I beat Matt Hughes in the first round and I come out without any scratches–which is always the best case scenario–then, ‘Dana, when can I fight again? Two weeks? Perfect, let’s go…’ I just want to be as busy as I can and train year round,” he said. “I think I’ve got the recipe to do it, I’m just getting the supporting cast to help me out on this.”
Penn and Hughes III is set to take place on the main card of the upcoming UFC 123 fight card which is expected to take place on November 20th at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.