B.J. Penn has never been one to mince words. The former champion was once renown for his ability to verbally decimate opponents en route to licking their blood off his gloves. Yet, of late, age seems to mellowed the 32-year-old Hawaiian. In the lead-up to UFC 137 Penn has been composed and forthright in interviews, and Wednesday was no exception.
In an interview with Heavy MMA, Penn was extremely candid (though his tongue may have been firmly planted in his cheek) when asked about his prospects for a title shot. The full interaction is transcribed below.
Heavy: If Nick (Diaz) wins on Saturday, there's been some talk that he may get the title shot next. Do you feel like, if you get the victory, you should be given that same opportunity?
Penn: Honestly, as of now, I'm not really thinking about (getting a title shot) too much but, you know, I think Dana White gives me title shots easier than everyone else, so I'll probably get it. I don't know, Dana likes me.
H: You really think that?
P: I don't know. Dana likes me. (laughs)
Of course the sentiment is really nothing new. In a pay-per-view driven industry it's only natural that popular and established fighters move to the front of the list faster than an unknown. Still, with a 2-4-1 record in seven shots as a challenger to a UFC title, it's compelling to see Penn admit as such.