Bibiano comments on BJ’s discouragement and says ex-champion trained in gi for rematch

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BJ Penn, in photo by Luca Atalla

If current UFC lightweight champion Frank Edgar has Ricardo Cachorrão by his side, his rival BJ Penn struck back by getting himself a world champion with MMA credentials. Bibiano Fernandes, Brazilian from the state of Amazonas known as “The Flash” for his submissions back in his gi days, took part in BJ Penn’s training camp in Hilo, Hawaii, in preparation for this Saturday’s UFC 118 event in Boston.

But the flame of desire to retake his belt didn’t seem to flicker all that high in BJ Penn, at least early in his training, as witnessed by Bibiano, as reported on the Sensei Sportv blog.

“He didn’t say anything to anybody, only the ones who trained with him knew he was sick during the first fight, at UFC 112,” said Bibiano to Sensei Sportv’s Renato Rebelo.

“He was really sick during the fight in Abu Dhabi. Now, when I got there to train, he was sort of discouraged by the loss. I tried to pick his spirits up as much as I could. He wasn’t training much, just doing two rounds. I’d tell him the whole time, ‘You’re BJ Penn, dude, the best in the world. Hold your head high, let’s do it.’ During the camp his flame lit, he became motivated and now he’s really strong, mainly in the mental part of the fight. Now he does all five rounds no problem,” said the featherweight Dream GP champion now living in Vancouver, Canada.

Bibiano said he has complete confidence in victory for BJ, the owner of the belt ever since the 2008 bloodbath with Joe Stevenson. “His Jiu-Jitsu is incredible; he has a game all his own, no one else has it. We train in the gi to smooth things out and strengthen his grips and to refine his technique, too, but the greater emphasis was on no-gi training. He’s really nimble, has fantastic hands. I, who trained with him, can say that no matter what situation he’s in, he’s tough. The guy is too tough. He wants this belt back and he’ll surely go after it,” said the Amazonas native, who won’t be in the former champion’s corner. His wife is pregnant in Canada, and he’ll watch on TV.

Bibiano in white. Photo: GRACIEMAG archives

UFC 118: Edgar vs Penn 2
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Main card
UFC lightweight title fight: Frankie Edgar x  BJ Penn
Heavyweight: Randy Couture vs James Toney
Peso Médio: Demian Maia vs Mario Miranda
Peso Leve: Kenny Florian vs Gray Maynard
Peso Meio-Médio: Nate Diaz vs Marcus Davis

Preliminary card (Spike TV)
Peso Leve: Andre Winner vs Nik Lentz
Peso Leve: Joe Lauzon vs Gabe Ruediger

Preliminary card
Peso Médio: Dan Miller vs John Salter
Peso Meio-Médio: Nick Osipczak vs Greg Soto
Peso Meio-Médio: Mike Pierce vs Amilcar Alves

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