17 years after appearing at UFC 37 and eight years since taking the octagon at UFC 137, Hilo’s BJ Penn will take part in UFC 237 this weekend in Brazil.
The UFC Hall of Famer and two weight class champion enters his bout against fellow veteran Clay Guida looking to reverse a losing streak while going through legal troubles in Hawaii.
Penn, who has lost an organization record six consecutive bouts dating back to 2010 is reportedly involved in a custody battle with the mother of his children, who filed a restraining order against the former champion.
Penn has not been arrested or charged with a crime in connection with any of her claims of abuse.
The 40-year old conducted a handful of interviews on Thursday during the UFC’s media day including with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. Although Penn did not talk about the out of the cage issues he was very candid about the reasons to why he continues to fight 18-years after making his UFC debut.
“I stopped thinking about legacy years ago, I fight because I know that I will be back. I know I will be back on to the top again,” said Penn.
“I fight because what I believe. I believe in myself, I believe in what I will do and that’s why I’m still here fighting today. Of course I still love fighting and this and that, but you’d be crazy for me to sit her and think, okay I’m going to go get my (butt) kicked again. No, I believe in myself. We’re going to go out and we’re going to go get the belt back.”
Penn is 16-13 in his career, Guida is 34-18. The two longtime fan favorites in the sport will face-off in the preliminary card of UFC 237 on ESPN. They will open the televised card at 2:00 pm HST.
“I just want everybody to know, everybody out there, things might be hard but don’t stop. Keep going,” added Penn. “If someone doesn’t believe in you, you look at them and tell them straight, your lack of faith disturbs me, leave.”
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