BJ Penn did an interview with UFC Tonight on Tuesday night and talked about retiring in a way that the fans would remember him, putting everything he’s got into the upcoming fight vs MacDonald and wanting to get redemption for UFC 94.
Penn had retired after losing to Nick Diaz at UFC 137. He told UFC Tonight why he came back.
“The reason why I came back to fight Rory, after he put that challenge out, is, you know, Rory is a guy with a lot of hype around him. It’s a lot of good hype, ya know? It’s justified. He’s been doing very well. I wanted to go up against him, Firas, the whole Tri-Star team. The have a real good thing going on up there, and I wanna take a crack at it. I had the fight with them, I think it’s a few years ago now, and I really feel that I could have put on a better performance. I wanna give it another shot, and I wanna walk away, after that, knowing that everything was left in the Octagon.”
Penn fought GSP at UFC 94, losing by TKO. The stoppage caused a lot of media controversy once the fight was over, especially from BJ who had accused St. Pierre of “greasing.” But now, he’s ready for redemption.
“I definitely wanna get redemption. I think it’s a little of both. I wanna get redemption for UFC 94. You know, win, lose or draw, I just wanna let them know who I am. I just wanna let everyone know who shows up to that arena in Toronto, that night, I wanna let everybody know who the hell B.J. Penn is. That’s what they’re gonna find out that night. And yeah, going up against all of them, as a whole, they got a good thing going. They got many great fighters coming out of that gym, and I know, of course, they’re gonna have Rory prepared. What I’m gonna use is my inner fire, my inner fight. That’s what I always was. I always felt that I wasn’t an athlete, I was a fighter. I’m just gonna go out there, and I’m gonna fight my heart out.”
At UFC 152 on September 22nd in Toronto, Canada, BJ will get to take another shot at Tri-Star gym taking on i’s highly touted welterweight prodigy, Rory MacDonald. Penn added he psyched to take on another talented Tri-Star fighter.
“This is exactly what I needed. It’s got everything that interests me, you know? The Canadian fans, I have a lot of Canadian fans that always come down and tell me “hi” when I’m in Hawaii — stop by my gym and stuff. But there were also a lot of Canadian fans that were really hard on me because of some of the stuff I said in the ‘Prime Time’ leading up. Ya know, I said some things about Firas. I said some things about ‘GSP.’ I know that’s the past, but I wanna go up there and show them that, hey, I’m someone to be reckoned with. When I’m standing across in the Octagon, this is gonna be a tough fight. This isn’t gonna be a walkthrough. This isn’t gonna be, ‘Let’s go push B.J. Penn up against the fence. Hold him on the fence for a little bit and now we got him.’ You know, I got some ideas going into this camp, and I think it’s gonna be great. The fans are the ones who are gonna win in the end.”
Here’s the excerpts of the interview & the video itself. Full Transcription available on (and provided by) MMAMania.com.