When Georges St-Pierre was injured and withdrew from his planned UFC 137 main event title fight against Carlos Condit and original co-main eventers Nick Diaz and BJ Penn had their bout promoted to top billing, Diaz’s coach Cesar Gracie issued a challenge to Penn to step up and make it a five-round affair with the Stockton bruiser.
Well, it looks like The Prodigy isn’t scared, homie.
“I’m happy to do a five round fight,” Penn said. “I’ve done five rounds many time in my career, many times in the UFC. This is a job and I want to be compensated accordingly. That’s it. I’m more than willing to do a five round fight. If Dana (White) wants a five round fight, he can just give me a call and we can put it together right now. Or if Cesar wants to make it a five round fight, he can compensate me personally and put his money where his mouth is.”
Though he’s always — at least ostensibly — maintained a solid relationship with the Cesar Gracie fight team, Penn didn’t mince words when admitting that he was a bit off-put by Gracie’s prodding.
“Cesar’s a strange guy. I don’t know why he did that in the first place,” said the Hilo native. “I think Cesar should have to be the guy to compensate me to take it, not Dana. But at the end of day, no, I don’t mind. I’d love to do a five-round fight. If I’m compensated, this is a job… there’s nothing wrong with a main event being five rounds.”
UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz goes down on October 29 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada; there’s no word yet on exactly how many rounds the bout will be scheduled for, so stay tuned.