BJ Penn Interview

9/2002DDN: So now that you are a very experienced fighter with 5 UFC fights under your belt. How has your training program changed as well as your mental preparation?

BJP: I train a lot smarter now. Now, I don’t always try to push real hard all the time in the gym. I just try to train hard with a good mental focus. I Just make sure I train all areas, before I used to go balls out all the time. Now, I just really save myself for the ring.

DDN: In this last fight you seemed extremely relaxed. Are all your preflight jitters a thing of the past?

BJP: I don’t know if it is a thing of the past. I have already felt the pressure from when I was the main event of the night. Now everything is just like a cakewalk. Real easy. No pressure really. Of course the jitters will always be there but I have been through the pressure so many times I am used to it.

DDN: What did you eat the day of and before your last fight?

BJP: Not much, I had to make weight. I didn’t get to eat much but afterwards. I ate everything I saw.

DDN: Now that you are a famous do people stop you and ask for your autograph?

BJP: Only if they want to tease me. When my friends say, “When are you going to give me your autograph?” I say, “When I become a Rock Star”.

DDN: Do street punks still want to test their skills against the best fighter in the world?

BJP: Every once in a while, I try to stay out of trouble but I always some how get sucked in to it.

DDN: So in your last fight were you watching the jumbo-tron screen just to see yourself fighting live or were you actually using it as a technique?

BJP: Ya I was using it to watch his coaches behind him and see what they were saying. I knew he wasn’t really a hard puncher. So I wasn’t really worried about those rabbit punches on the inside. So I was just actually watching his corner outside Matt Serra & Renzo I was looking at them.

OTM: So you can see the screen pretty good from the octagon.

BJP: Yup, That’s how you know if you got knocked out or not just get up and look at the screen.

DDN: What is your favorite video game now? What box are you playing it on?

BJP: I haven’t been playing as much. Of course Grand Theft Auto Three, but I have played so much I am just waiting for Four. Well as soon as I got home, someone stole my X-Box and PS2 so I have to wait till I get a new one.

DDN: So we noticed that the On the Mat logo keeps getting smaller on your shirts. Looks like you have some real sponsors now who are they?

BJP: Rockstar Games The creators of Grand Theft Auto 3,, Spencers Health and Fitness, RVCA clothes and Evolution Sportswear.

DDN: So we hear your academy is growing fast. Who do you see coming up out of there to come and kicking some ass? What kind of training are you focusing on at your school now?

BJP: Royden Demotta he is 0 and 2 but both guys he fought were tough guys who went straight to the UFC. He fought real well both times. The first guy he fights that is not UFC caliber he is going to destroy.

DDN: What is going on at your school these days and what kind of training are you doing there?

BJP: No holds barred pretty much. We still have the gi class at night. But everything else is NHB, but Jiu Jitsu is the Martial Art that I really want to pass along. NHB is for the people that want to fight but I want to keep Jiu Jitsu alive and growing.

DDN: Are you still training with a gi?

BJP: Ya, I train in the off-season and at night in the class. I suck at gi now.

DDN: Who teaches the gi classes there?

BJP: Leandro Niza everyday, me & my brothers.

DDN: Has your street fighting record changed since we last have spoken with you?

BJP: We got mobbed! I got mobbed by a bunch of Samoans. A had to jump in a crowd of angry Samoans. I went in with all my clothes on and came out with just my pants on. I think my shoes and shirt disintegrated.

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