Two of the most successful stars in the history of the UFC, BJ Penn and Matt Hughes will do battle for a third time in the co-main event of UFC 123 later this month, and you get the sense that they are both relishing the opportunity to lock horns once again.
At times the 31 year-old Penn has been accused of lacking motivation leading up to certain fights, but as far as he’s concerned that’s not the case this time around.
“For me this a championship fight. There’s no lack of motivation for me to go out there and beat Matt Hughes. This put’s me right back on the track and right back in the hunt,” Penn tells UFC.com. “I always knew this fight would come along one day. I’ve got a score to settle with Matt.”
Having already fought to a win and a loss over the former dominant champion, Penn is well aware of his rival’s M.O.
“You know what you’re getting when Matt Hughes steps into the ring, you know. He’s going to try to punch you and just gonna try to bulldozer you right in the fence, grab you, body lock you, slam you down.”
As for his own gameplan he says simply, “I’m going to try to punch him, put him on his back. I’m going to go out there and get the job done.”
Watch the full pre-fight interview below.