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UFC 137 Fight Card: BJ Penn Was Surprised About Fight with Nick Diaz

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:  BJ Penn of the USA walks into the arena before the start of his welterweight bout agains John Fitch of the USA as part of UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Sal DeRoseCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2011

When it was announced that Nick Diaz would not be facing Georges St-Pierre at UFC 137 and Carlos Condit would take the place of Diaz, it caught the entire MMA world off-guard.

That includes former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion, B.J. Penn.

"I’m in the middle of training camp," Penn said in a video series sponsored by RVCA. "I’m up here in California training for the last 45 days, preparing for the fight, and they pulled a switch on me without even letting me know."

The move came out of nowhere after Diaz seemingly was in a bad spot with the UFC. After the fight was announced, Penn checked to see if the switch was legal in his bout agreement.

Penn has trained with Diaz before and the two camps checked to see if there were any alternatives after the fight had been announced.

“We tried to get different fights, because I’ve trained with Nick Diaz—I’ve used him as a training partner before—and he’s a good buddy," said Penn. "We actually talk on the phone and hang out when we see each other."

But with Condit facing GSP and Jon Fitch battling injuries, there weren't options to give the two fighters the momentum to earn a title fight with Condit or GSP.

"We talked about it and we tried to find different opponents at the end of the day there [aren’t] too many guys out there," Penn said.


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