Only three days after losing at UFC 63 to Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn spoke on his situation and what happened in the fight.
I felt great going in, Matt started trying to take me down from my right leg, it’s something I expected he might do. He got me down against the fence, but I was thinking about this position alot and I was ready. When he went for a big elbow, he missed and I capitalized and started going for his back. At this moment, when I was making the turn towards his back, I felt my ribs seperate on my right side. Although I didn’t know the severity of the situation. I was thinking I have to finish him now because I knew something was wrong. Matt defended himself well and got through the round. When I got up to walk to my corner, I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t want to talk about it with my corner. I wanted to be the champ. I wanted to keep fighting.
I remember standing up out of the corner in pain. But I was thinking, “Earn your title this is what you have to do to get your belt back, fight through the pain”. I knew the oppurtunity I had with getting this fight, especially after losing my last fight. I wasn’t going to quit on the corner. I kept going because I honestly believed it was destiny. When me and Matt were boxing I felt like I couldn’t breathe and had no mobility in my core. But I kept thinking something good is going to happen. When Matt started dominating the stand up I tried for a takedown. I had nothing and pulled to guard. I felt like I couldn’t do anything on the ground. But I was still positive. Matt hit me in the ribs from half guard. The pain was so excruciating I had to use my far hand to block it. I would rather Matt pass my guard and punch my face the hit my ribs. When Matt was in his favorite position that he likes. I was still thinking I was going to win somehow. Big John gave me plenty of time. I practiced defending against that position with flexibility, but I had none with my core. Even when Big John stopped the fight, I was still so positive I thought I escaped. Congratulations to Matt, he is a great fighter. It’s not his fault that that happened, he fought like the champion he is. He deserved the victory.
Ending the interview B.J. gave his thoughts on what’s next.
I’ve got to take care of my ribs, so I’m taking 2 months off, and my suspension for the TKO. I talked to Dana and he said to give him a call when I’m ready to fight. It takes a long time to prepare for these fights and I’m very disappointed I got injured like that. I gotta sit down for a couple weeks and clear my head and see where I am in fighting.