ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Former UFC champion BJ Penn is very serious about his return to the octagon.
“I was just like, you know what? I am going to make one more run at this,” said Penn. “Greg Jackson just came in my head and I was like, I am going to call him right now. I called him on Christmas. He didn’t answer. I called him. I texted him. He texted me back right away. He said let’s do this man.”
The 37-year-old has been working out at the famed Jackson and Winkeljohn Academy in Albuquerque, anticipating his next fight. Penn still isn’t sure when he will get the call from UFC but believes it will be soon.
In the meantime, Penn continues to work in an environment that has some of the best fighters in the world.
“I am still very nervous to come in here,” said Penn. “This is like the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for mixed martial arts. I mean, these are all the best fighters in the world and that is not a joke.”
Penn originally made the trip to Albuquerque planning to stay a few weeks but weeks turned into months. He now has three months in the Duke City.
“I am very glad I got to stay because I am holding my own in there and I feel good,” said Penn.
The Hall of Fame fighter, affectionately known as the Prodigy, is hoping to add the 145 pound title to his stash and become the first UFC fighter to win in three separate weight classes.
“You know what? I was running in the mountains the other day and I was like Greg if we can’t beat the champ just tell me to stop running right now,” said Penn. “Let’s leave and I will pack my bags you know. I am here to beat the best guy. I don’t care if you beat me before. I don’t care if you beat the best guy in the world before. Let’s go.”