In all major sports you have people that transcend, and in the world of MMA, BJ Penn is one of those individuals. Penn is one of only two UFC fighters that have one world titles in two different weight classes, as he has won the lightweight and welterweight championships.
When you're the best at your chosen sport, you have family members that will try their hand at it as well. With the Penn family, it is brother Reagan.
Reagan Penn (1-0 MMA) will be facing Evan Cutts (2-0 MMA) tomorrow night at Pro Elite 2: Big Guns, which takes at the iWireless Center in Moline, Ill. with the main card starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 PT live on HDNet.
What made Penn decide that he wanted to get into the world of MMA after he has seen all the wars that his brother has been in?
"My whole family, we always work together whether we're promoting shows, working on the website or just on the family business," Penn told me. "We are always doing whatever needs to be done. I found myself not doing as much my normal work of computers and helping my family. I found myself training so much, I was like hey I'm getting older and there's time and this is it."
Penn made his debut this past August in Pro Elite's return to the sport when he defeated Paul Gardiner via submission (RNC) at 1:10 of Round 1. Penn felt he did ok in his debut.
"I gave myself maybe a six. I know my father was yelling at me through the cage to keep my hands up because I dropped my hands again. It was so fast and once we clinched up, I kinda felt more comfortable. It wasn't a perfect fight or anything, I don't think. It was fast," he said.
After his last fight, Penn watched the tape and found out what he needed to improve on for his fight with Cutts tomorrow night.
"Biggest thing I got to work on was my striking. I thought I kinda knew a little bit about striking. Of course when you get in there with better people, you realize you know nothing. That was when I focused on my striking and my wrestling to get the fight to the ground. That is where I always want it. I always feel most comfortable on the ground. I hope to display some of that," said Penn.
Coming into the sport at a later age, Penn has short window to make his mark and knows each opponent will bring there best because of his last name.
"We'll see how far I can get. Of course if my hype is gone, I don't have it anymore and I'm not doing good. I'll probably stay in it as long as I feel motivated. I'm in it and I like it. We'll see how long I can go but I'm definitely not really trying to put too much pressure. I know with my last name, it's every fight is going to be treated as the toughest fight. I'm just not putting too much pressure. I'm kind of having with it, but having the mindset I wanna see what I can do with it," Penn said.
You can listen to the entire interview here.
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