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B.J. Penn, Confident for UFC 127 After Training with Matt Hughes

Written on February 17, 2011 by John Paul Vill

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Penn and Hughes have battled thrice in the past. In the past they were opponents, now they are training partners.

For B.J. Penn, is the best training partner to prepare for his battle with . Penn and Hughes battled thrice in the past. Their rivalry dated back 2004 when Penn was at the welterweight division and defeated Hughes at 46.

Last November, Penn won again via K.O. against Hughes at UFC 123 ending their trilogy. However, when it comes to preparing for his upcoming UFC 127 fight, he depends on the man who used to be his greatest opponent.

“I was talking to Matt’s boxing trainer, Matt Pena, and we were talking back-and-forth. He was kind of talking to me about Fitch and what he likes Fitch to do. I guess he’s kind of studied Fitch over the years,” said Penn. “After a while I said, you know what, just give me Matt’s number. I think it would be a good idea to have Matt (Hughes) come down and train with me.”

“I texted Matt a few times, and I didn’t know what kind of response I was going to get. He texted later and Matt ended up saying, you know what, I’m in,” explained Penn.

“I had a great time training with Matt. It really upped my confidence,” said the former UFC lightweight and welterweight titleholder.

“I definitely think that was the best training partner I could have had for this fight,” added Penn. “I know he isn’t exactly like Fitch as far as height as far as boxing and kickboxing goes, but on the one area that Fitch always pushes his opponents, grinding them out and pushing them against the fence and taking them down, Matt really pushed me in those areas.”

“I gained a lot of confidence working out with Matt.”

UFC 127 takes place at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia on Feb. 26. The welterweight showdown between Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn headline the UFC’s second trip to Australia.

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