This Fan Shot was promoted to the front page by Nick Thomas.
Both UFC 107 headliners talked about their upcoming Lightweight Championship bout on a teleconference today:
BJ Penn (14-5-1 MMA, 10-4-1 UFC) brought in talented wrestlers like WEC Lightweight Champion, Benson Henderson and Efrain Escudero to help him prepare. He says that the work put in by training with those guys and his strength and conditioning coach, Marv Marinovich will make him ready to handle Diego's pace:
"I think Diego’s good in all areas. He’s got great takedowns and jiu-jitsu and has improved his striking a lot. All that said, I think his greatest strength is his tenacity. All you’ve got to do is look at his past fights."
"That’s an area we did a lot of work on -- people trying to push the pace on us. We amped up our cardio to get ready for what’s going to take place. It makes no sense to train with a slow jiu-jitsu guy if you’re fighting a strong wrestler who’s exploding all the time,"
"Marv is on a different level. Every [other] trainer out there is doing the same stuff. It’s all built the same way. It’s mindless stuff. Everything I do works the right side and left side of my brain, uses my balance. Marv’s exercises are based on performance. It’s head-over-heels beyond the other stuff that’s out there. Marv’s really tapped into something."
Diego Sanchez (23-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who is already known for his cardio, now has a strength and conditioning coach for the first time in his career as he added Steve Maxwell for this camp. He says it has helped him become much stronger even compared to when he was fighting at 185 lbs. "The Nightmare" says that it is his time, and this will be the culmination of what he's been working for his entire career:
"In my two losses, I wished there were more rounds. I’ve always been a five-round fighter. I’ve never gotten tired in a fight."
"There’s going to be pressure in any fight. There was pressure on me when I won a state championship in high school. If you don’t know how to deal with pressure, you’re never going to be champion. This is what I’ve been working for the last eight years."
"If you want to beat the best, you have to fight the best. I suppose I’ve wanted to fight him since back when he beat Matt Hughes for the [welterweight] title. I always wanted to train with B.J., but it never happened. I suppose it was for a reason. It’s a good thing we never got together and trained. Now, we’re going to go to war. It’s going to be like chess.... I’m rigged differently. In my mind, I’m going to beat whoever I’m in the cage with. You’ve got to believe in yourself. I believe it’s my time. Everything in my career built up to this moment. Everything feels right,"