Matt Hughes Picks Old Rival, New Friend BJ Penn To Beat Nick Diaz

Once competitive rivals, seasoned UFC fighters BJ Penn and Matt Hughes buried the hatchet following their UFC 123 fight last year, and have trained together on more than one occasion since then. Most recently, Penn traveled to the mid-west to get some work in with Hughes and his longtime training partners Jeremy Horn, Robbie Lawler, Pat Miletich, and others. Through his personal website, Hughes asserts his belief that The Prodigy has what it takes to defeat his opponent in tomorrow night’s UFC 137 main event, Nick Diaz. Hughes joins UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in picking Penn to win – as long as he shows up in shape.

“This weekend is UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz and Audra and I will be out there rooting for several fighters. Dustin Jacoby, who used to fight out of the HIT Squad is competing; also from Pat’s old gym, Bart Palaszewski; Jeff Curran, a native northern Illinois boy is competing; and, as you all know, I’m going to go out and help BJ cut any weight and help him out in any way I can,” wrote Hughes.

“I really feel that if BJ is in shape, he should win this fight. I think BJ’s striking is better, I think BJ’s take-downs are better, and I think BJ’s ground game is better. So the only way I see Diaz winning is if he gasses BJ out. If you’re going out for the fight, hit the forums and let me know.”

Whether St-Pierre and Hughes are correct will be determined tomorrow night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. FightLine will be back with live, ongoing coverage of the fights tomorrow starting around 5:50pm ET.

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