Just 5’5”tall, Frankie became a giant when he snatched the lightweight belt of Hawaii’s BJ Penn at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi. The fighter, who trains with Brazil’s Ricardo Cachorrão, was featured in Brazilian MMA magazine NOCAUTE. Check out some of what he had to say in the article put together with the help of collaborator Natly Jr.
What’s the secret to beating a champion like BJ Penn?
To me it was all about just fighting the way I fight. I feel a lot of people thought they’d try and beat him at what he’s good at, but you can’t do that. You need to fight your own way to beat BJ. You can’t fall into his game plan. What I did was use my strengths against his weaknesses and didn’t let him do the same.
What do you expect in your rematch with him?
I expect another tough fight, an even tougher BJ. He’ll come in even stronger and move around more. I’ve been training hard to make sure next time I’ll perform even better than I did last fight.
How do you feel about everyone saying your height is a problem for you in your division?
People said a lot of things before the fight and throughout my career, and the question of size is one of those things. But I always knew that size isn’t an issue, and always believed in myself. I don’t pay attention to that stuff.
For the rest of the story, get your copy of NOCAUTE (if you are in Brazil).