- PENN READY FOR RETURN TO UFC

December 21, 2005
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by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
BJ Penn was the most recent featured guest of MMAWeekly’s Sunday Night Conversation. Penn fielded questions from fans for over an hour, and if you missed it, here’s a brief recap.

Penn cleared up why George St. Pierre will be his next fight, explaining that it was negotiated in his contract that his first fight would be against the winner of the St. Pierre and Sean Sherk match. He said, “I wanted the winner of Sherk and St. Pierre…St. Pierre is a good fighter and I want a good fight.”

Questioned by one fan if he could handle George St. Pierre’s rhythm, BJ responded, “Can George St. Pierre handle my ability to win fights?” Penn said we could expect to see him back in the UFC octagon in “April.”

St. Pierre has looked impressive since losing to Matt Hughes, and many fans are convinced that he’ll beat Hughes and Penn. BJ was asked if he was “scared” of St. Pierre. He replied, “Why would I be scared when I’m the real champ?” BJ added,”He lost his title shot, you saw what I did with mine.”

Penn’s last several fights have been as a middleweight or bigger. When questioned what he is weighing now, Penn said, “185.” BJ went on to say, “I think I could make 155 easy,” and only plans on having to cut five pounds to weigh in for the St. Pierre bout. 175 is the weight Penn is most comfortable, and that’s where he plans on being when April rolls around.

Now that Penn is back in the UFC, he gets asked about a rematch with Matt Hughes frequently. “I would beat Hughes,” Penn told the fans on Sunday Night. He also commented, “I am the champ, not Hughes.” “Hughes is a great fighter though….Matt is the best welterweight champ ever.”

Penn proclaimed he had the “real” UFC welterweight belt. He said, “I have the real belt…its in my drawer right now.”

If Penn gets past St. Pierre and defeats Matt Hughes in a rematch, he said he wants to fight the best at 185, which is Rich Franklin as far as the UFC goes. Discussing a match up with Rich Franklin, BJ said, “I cannot predict how a fight would be, just the outcome.”

Can BJ hold titles in two different UFC weight divisions at the same time? Penn said, “Maybe. It’s up to Dana.” Several fans wanted to know why BJ would want to go up and fight Franklin. BJ responded by asking, “Why not?” He went on to say, “All I ever wanted to do in my life was get the belt. I have it. Now, all I want is good fights and I can die a happy man knowing I tried my hardest to fight anyone that I possibly could.”

Penn discussed his contract on MMAWeekly Radio where he said he’s with the UFC for the next two years. After his contract is up, will Penn stay in the UFC or seek match ups in other organizations like he did before? According to BJ, “I want to be in the biggest fights, but my services will always be open for the UFC.”

Leaving the UFC to fight Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig is what got Penn stripped of his title. Addressing why he took the fight with Ludwig, BJ said, “just to fight, that’s why I took it.” Knowing what he does today, would Penn change anything in his career? “No I wouldn’t change anything in my career.” Penn stated. “Live life with an exclamation, not an explanation.”

After discussing Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, and his future fighting intentions, Penn addressed some random MMA topics.

Penn declined to pick a winner in the rubber match between Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell and Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture, but did say he thinks Liddell can beat Wanderlei Silva and, “I think Liddell has a style for Shogun.”

One fan asked, “Which fighter do your presently admire most?” BJ said, “Fedor. Fedor is the best. I think he can beat everyone.”

A rematch with Jens Pulver? BJ said, “I’ve been trying to fight Jens for years. It will happen.”

Who’s going to be crowned the Pride lightweight champion? According to BJ, “I think Gomi will win.” Penn went on to say that he’d give Gomi a rematch in the U.S., “champion against champion” for a million dollars.

Other notable quotes from BJ Penn: “I don’t know how to do anything but figure out a way to win.” — “I think I beat Serra.” — “I am making an instructional.”

Don’t miss the next Sunday Night Conversation where you can interact and chat live with one of the top Mixed Martial Artists in the world.

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