Penn looking forward to fighting Diaz
It’s been a crazy week. I found out about Georges St-Pierre’s knee injury keeping him and Carlos Condit off the UFC 137 card, and me and Nick Diaz being the new main event when I saw it on BJPenn.com. Then yesterday we had a crazy press conference call where Nick Diaz wasn’t on until 40 minutes into it.
I didn’t find it disrespectful; I think it is Nick being Nick, and he’s not gonna change. He’s going to do what he’s going to do, and not do what he’s not going to do. That is cool. I know he will show up for the fight and it will be a great fight in the new UFC 137 main event.
That’s all that really matters – who wins this fight and who loses.
I thought the whole thing with the phone call was hilarious. At this stage in my life, I feel I am too old to talk smack. As I get older, what I realize is that all anyone remembers is who wins fights. I find the smack talking funny when fighters do it, but no one remembers anything except who wins the fights.
That’s why I don’t really have anything to say about GSP pulling out of the title fight. I know he’s had problems with his knee before – that’s why I got to fight Matt Hughes the second time when GSP pulled out.
Another UFC fighter called me and said, “GSP is scared – he has to be 110 percent before he fights.” Carlos is a very dangerous fight for GSP, so I don’t blame GSP for pulling out of the fight. Some fighters go in with bad injuries and some don’t.
Like I said, all that really matters is winning the fight. And when GSP and Condit do fight, and if GSP wins, all people will remember is GSP winning.
When it comes to GSP, we have had our problems. I said what I said about him in the past, but if he felt like he had to pull out of the fight that’s what it is.
Right now, I feel I got a clean slate with anyone in the sport. I am happy with my career, winning two titles and beating some great fighters, but I also feel I have more to do. I have to get better and I have to show I am as good as people have said I am. I’m getting older. This is a career to me, but fighting is what I live for.
As far as having to hate everyone I fight, or proving I can outbox a boxer, or tap out the best BJJ guy, I don’t need to prove that anymore. What I want to do is fight hard, win some big fights and see what happens. I’d like to win the title, but I don’t think about that.
The funny thing is that title shots – and who gets title shots – are all about timing. If I had beaten Jon Fitch in Sydney in February and not had a draw, I would have gotten a title shot. But now, even if I beat Nick Diaz, I may not get a title shot.
I realize now it is all about timing, and the timing may not work out for me to get the right title shot unless GSP heals fast and fights Carlos in the next couple of months.
But beating Nick Diaz, title fight or no title fight, is a big deal. He’s a great fighter and dangerous anywhere. I won’t disrespect him, the fans or myself by not concentrating 100 percent on this fight at UFC 137.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Award reminds Ken Griffey Jr. of how he missed out
• Memories of Rangers fan Shannon Stone live on amid team’s run
• NFL winners/losers: Tebow’s late mastery covers up early blemishes