In the build up to UFC 137’s main event between BJ Penn and Nick Diaz it’s clear that there’s not much in the way of animosity between the two men, but the Hawaiian revealed yesterday that he does have beef with his opponent’s manager Cesar Gracie.
Firstly, Penn told MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani yesterday that it was Gracie who pushed for him to fight Diaz despite the fact that he wasn’t keen on the idea of fighting an ex-training partner.
According to the former champion he was told by Dana White that Gracie would love to have Diaz fight him, only for Gracie to then deny that and say it was down to the UFC president when Penn asked him about it.
“I ended up thinking Dana had set me up and try to get me into a personal thing, but it’s really Cesar. Cesar hoodwinked me, I guess.”
Penn had more reason to be suspicious of Gracie when, after the fight was agreed to, he immediately began campaigning for it to be a five rounder even although there was only a few weeks left until fight night by this stage.
“I said I would do the five rounds, no problem, but right now it’s scheduled to be a three round fight…but if Cesar wants the fight so bad, me and Cesar can do a five round fight, anytime, anywhere, whenever he feels like it.”
Check out more of Penn’s pre-fight interview below.