BJ Penn Talks Redemption, Bisping Discusses Injury, Plus Updates on Rua and Fernandes
UFC Tonight Airs Tuesdays 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT
LOS ANGELES, CA – On this week’s “UFC Tonight,” Host Todd Harris and Analyst Kenny Florian interview BJ Penn about his return from retirement. Plus, Michael Bisping talks about his recent injury and when he will fight next. Insider Ariel Helwani reports on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Bibiano Fernandes and Rich Franklin. And, we’ve got a sneak peak of the upcoming “UFC Roundtable: Legends” premiering on FUEL TV Monday at 11:00 PM ET/8:00 PM PT.
Quote of the Week: BJ Penn on if his upcoming fight with Rory MacDonald is about redemption: “I definitely want redemption for UFC 94. Win, loose, or draw, I want to let them know who I am. Everyone who shows up to the arena in Toronto that night, I want to show them who the hell BJ Penn is. I know that they [Tristar] have a lot of good fighters coming out of that gym, but I am going to use my inner fighter. I always felt that I wasn’t an athlete, that I was a fighter. I’m going to go out there and fight my heart out.”
Penn on why Rory MacDonald drew him back into the Octagon: “I think Rory is a great fighter. He has a lot of hype surrounding him. I think the hype is well placed, it’s justified, and he is doing really well. But, I wanted to go up against him and the whole Tristar team. They have a lot of good stuff going on up there and I really want to go up against them. When I fought last time, I thought I could have done better and I want to give it a shot again and walk away better.”
Penn on whether Rory calling him out was what he needed to get back in the Octagon: “Yes, this is exactly what I needed. It has everything that interests me. I am going to go up to Canada. I have a lot of Canadian fans who stop by my gym, but there are also a lot of Canadians that don’t like me because I said some stuff about Firas Zahabi and GSP and I know that stuff has passed. I want to go up there and show them that I am someone to be reckoned with. When I’m standing across from you in the Octagon it is going to be hard, and I’m not just going to be pushed up against the fence. I have a lot coming up in this training camp and it’s going to be a good fight for the fans.”
Michael Bisping discussing his injury: “I’m going to have surgery tomorrow. All in all, it’s not too bad. It’s not a disaster. I have two loose bodies floating around in my knee and a torn meniscus and tomorrow I go under the knife. And, I think in three to four weeks I’ll be back in the ring.”
Bisping on Chael Sonnen’s twitter message: “The thing is, to be honest, direct messages on twitter, it’s personal, it’s private and I think it would be inappropriate to divulge that message. But, leave it to me to be inappropriate. The message said: ‘You are not hurt and if it isn’t real send me a code tweet with the word ‘Lad’ in it.’ And, meanwhile, I was sitting in the doctor’s office thinking he is scared to fight me again. Then another tweet came through later and it said, ‘Alright, conspiracy theory over. Get well soon.’”
Bisping on all the recent UFC injuries: “It’s a very physical sport. My mindset is you have to train the way you fight. If you don’t, and you hold back in the training room and only train 75 percent, then you go and fight at 100 percent, you are not going to be used to that. You are going to burn out. That said, you have to train smart and you have to have people around you who are looking out for you and who are not going to take you down the wrong way. But you have to train hard and you have to train smart.”
Bisping on getting overlooked for the next title fight: “Well listen, you know, I have been in several number-one contender matchups in the past and I have no one to blame but myself because I have lost those matchups. But I have been in the UFC for a while now and I deserve a fight. I think the general consensus is that I won the fight against Chael. And if Chael wins his upcoming fight, I think I deserve a shot. Regarding Hector Lombard, I have never seen him fight. It is hard enough keeping up with the UFC, let alone some subpar organization. He could be great, but we aren’t going to know because I haven’t seen him fight.”
Bisping on a possible upcoming fight in Nottingham: “Fighting in England for me has always been a very, very proud moment and they are very supportive of me. Some of my best moments have happened in England and we will see what the UFC has in store for me. Me personally, I want to fight for the title and I don’t care where it is, if it’s my backyard, in Vegas or anywhere.”
“UFC Tonight” Analyst Kenny Florian’s take on the recent rash of injuries in the UFC: “I think that the real issue is that coaches have to be more on top of their fighters’ training. They have to be aware of what their fighters are doing in training. A fighter will go off and do his conditioning at one gym, his sparing at another gym and it is hard for the head coach to keep tabs on all of his different training. Sometimes they will go from training session to training session injured or tired, and they really have to be careful how they train. The coaches have to be aware of who their guy is sparing with, their weight class, their level and their experience. Sometimes preventing those injuries can happen if you put people together who are better matched to spar.”
“UFC Tonight” Insider Ariel Helwani reports on Rich Franklin’s TRT comments: “Rich actually told me that he has started to actually consider using TRT because he is 37 years old and he obviously doesn’t feel the same as he used to. Some believe if you do TRT, you have to stick to it for the rest of your life. He doesn’t think that he needs it right now, which raises the question of whether guys are using this because they have a medical issue, or because they want to feel 23 again.”
Helwani reports on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s comments about Glover Teixeira: “I spoke to Shogun’s manager and he said he didn’t want to talk about it. They’ve got the FOX fight against Brandon Vera and they want to look to the future and stop looking to the past. I asked him if Shogun asked to be cut instead of having to fight Teixeira and he laughed and said, ‘Come on now, what do you think?’”
Helwani on Bibiano Fernandes not signing with the UFC: “This is a very interesting situation. Last week on the show we talked about the UFC signing Bibiano Fernandes and a few minutes after our show aired he got an offer from another organization internationally. Now, he is weighing his options and, in turn, UFC has pulled him from the upcoming fight card. So as of right now, he is not part of the UFC.”
Helwani on when there will be a Flyweight Title fight: “Right now, I don’t have an answer for you because when Demetrious Johnson went home he was experiencing some pain in the lower part of his body. He went to the doctor who told him he has a hernia and said he needed surgery. A second doctor told him he did not need surgery. So now, he is going to a third doctor on Monday to see what he should do. If he does in fact need surgery, he will be out for four to six weeks.”
“UFC Tonight” is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, airing every Tuesday night at 10:00 PM ET on FUEL TV. The show is co-hosted by veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian and former UFC host and WEC Announcer Todd Harris. Two-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani adds insider news.
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