Matt Hughes and his opponent at UFC 123 event BJ Penn are two decorated veterans of the sport who’ve seen and done it all, and having fought twice before Hughes doesn’t expect them to waste any time in getting down to business when the bell sounds on November 20th.
“I think we know each other pretty well. We’re both competitors, we’ve both been in the octagon a lot and we’ll get right to it,” Hughes tells UFC.com.
Having been submitted by Penn the first time they fought the former welterweight champion is well aware of how dangerous the Hawaiian can be on the ground.
“He can catch you in positions and submissions that maybe I’ve not have seen before or I’ve not faced people that has the flexibility to do the things that he does. He’s very unorthadox.”
Despite that Hughes feels that there is a way to reduce the effectiveness of his abilities.
“I think if you get a B.J. Penn that is fresh on the ground, you’re in trouble. What I want is a tired B.J. Penn on the ground. I want a guy down there trying to take a break.”
In recent years there’s been talk of Hughes, now 37, retiring, but right now it seems he’s more than happy to still be competing in the cage.
“I’m enjoying the fighting right now, I really am. I’m having a fun time walking into the gym every day, having a great time walking into the octagon and stepping in. I got to say I’m still just living the dream, just having a good time with it.”
Watch Hughes full pre-fight interview below.