Though their rivalry was one of the most high-profile in welterweight history, BJ Penn and Matt Hughes have extinguished any ill-will held for each other as is evidenced by the fact that Hughes traveled with his daughter to Hawaii recently in order to help Penn prepare for his upcoming bout with Jon Fitch.
Following the conclusion to their rubber match–in which Penn knocked Hughes out cold in 21 seconds–Penn was immediately offered a fight against Jon Fitch. Shortly after, he reached out to Hughes for assistance in his preparation for the fight and Hughes obliged. The nine-time UFC welterweight champion mimicked Fitch’s smothering wrestling attack in training and got an intimate look at how well prepared “The Prodigy” is to take on the world’s number two welterweight (arguably).
In his most recent blog post, Hughes talked about this weekend’s UFC 127 fight card and what he expects from Penn when he meets Fitch in the main event.
“This weekend’s UFC is an interesting card for me, with former teammate Spencer Fisher fighting and also local Illinois kid Jason Reinhardt on the card as well,” he wrote. “Then, with BJ on the card, it’s just a must-see night of fights for me. I don’t watch all of the UFCs, I’ve really got to be interested in a match-up or have a friend on the card; but this is one of those that I’ve just got to watch.
“I think if BJ goes in and does what we worked on, things are going to look really good for him; but sometimes gameplans are hard to implement, so we’ll just see,” he continued. “I can guarantee you that BJ has the tools to win and I think comes out with his hand raised.”