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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

Has B.J. Penn Crossed Over to the Other Side?


(“The Prodigy” prepares himself to reenter civilized society)

Sometimes B.J. Penn says things that make me a little uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable in the bad way, more like uncomfortable in the way that I think what he just said was pretty awesome even if I still think maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to say it. His recent interview with Ariel Helwani at MMA Rated offered just such an occasion.

Ariel (who always manages to get the best out of fighters in his interviews) asked Penn about an infamous moment following his victory over Joe Stevenson:

Ariel Helwani: Let me ask you about your UFC 80 fight against Joe Stevenson. After defeating him you licked the blood of your gloves. What’s the symbolism behind licking the blood off the gloves because I find it fascinating?

BJ Penn: [laughs] I don’t know man. You know sometimes like you cross over and it’s just hard to come back. You cross over and then you’re on that side where you could kill somebody and it’s just hard to get back to the other side, so I was stuck over on that side when that happened.

Ariel Helwani: Afterwards we’re you like, ‘what the hell did I just do?’ Or do you mind licking another man’s blood?

BJ Penn: No, I think as a fighter you’re always just two different people. So when that side of me comes out I just accept it because I got my one side who’s just humble, cruisin’, hanging out, help out my friends, or this and that. Then I got my other side where I snap and I’m just on the other side and it takes a while for me to come back.

See? Uncomfortable, but also pretty cool. If you describe yourself that way to a high school guidance counselor, they’re calling the cops and making notes in the margins of your permanent record. If you’re a pro fighter and you say it in an internet radio interview, it just makes people more excited to watch you in action. Also, something to think about if you’re considering approaching Penn right after a fight. He may not have crossed back over yet, so watch yourself.

That wasn’t the only interesting moment from the interview. Of course, there was the obligatory discussion of Sean Sherk and steroids and more of Penn’s incendiary rhetoric on that front. But Penn also discussed his reputation as a gifted but lazy fighter in years past:

Ariel Helwani: It seems like, right now, the BJ Penn I’m talking to is BJ Penn version 2.0. You’re a totally different fighter than just a couple years ago. What exactly happened? Even in your interviews, your demeanor has completely changed.

BJ Penn: I lost to Matt Hughes (in September 2006) and (was) hanging out and still partying in the bar four or five days a week. (On) my 28th birthday I’m just lying down in bed and I just I wake up and (think) ‘what am I doing, man? Why am I doing this greatest sport in the world? You’re still blowing up. You’re still at the forefront, you still got a chance.’ I just realized why (I) fight. I figured it out. Before it was just like, ‘oh don’t put pressure on me.’ And then I started to enjoy it. I want people behind me. I want people saying he’s the best. I just started understanding what this thing’s all about. It’s about fighting, man. That’s all it’s about.

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Aikura- May 19, 2008 at 8:53 pm
Baby Jay took "Daddy" Stevenson out and consumed his soul in true Hawaiian warrior fashion. Now he's hungry for "Shark" meat! Penn No Ka Oi !!!
Rumbler- May 19, 2008 at 2:26 am
RealDrew says...

"BJ is a dick. I want to see him lose so bad. I don’t get why he has such a large fan base."

It's called "skillz".
Bod- May 19, 2008 at 12:18 am
That is nothing like the BJ I saw before, I can't wait to see this BJ!
Popetastic- May 18, 2008 at 11:45 pm
Gotta love an "Over the Top" reference.

For me, it's just about the truck.
Kim Couture is a cunt- May 18, 2008 at 8:12 pm
BJ "Fuckin" Penn, YES.
RealDrew- May 18, 2008 at 7:59 pm
BJ is a dick. I want to see him lose so bad. I don't get why he has such a large fan base.
tony@rbd- May 18, 2008 at 7:02 pm
Hansen v. Alvarez FOTY*

*pending BJ v. RoidShark
BIG CHRIS- May 18, 2008 at 6:41 pm
HAHAHAHA!!! Old Bald and Irish- Your a madman!
BIG CHRIS- May 18, 2008 at 6:40 pm
hahahaha!!!! Old Bald and Irish- your a madman!!
rolltide- May 18, 2008 at 6:21 pm
BJ is a killer. Can't wait to see him maul Sherk.
lincoln hawk- May 18, 2008 at 6:02 pm
I feel the same way, when I'm arm wrestling. I turn my hat around and its like a switch. And its at that moment that I feel like a truck, like a machine.
C-Bus Allstar- May 18, 2008 at 5:56 pm
LOL@SECONDCOMINGOFBUDDHA

He's all quiet and chill, and then at the flip of a switch he's a murderous rampaging badger.

Yes, badger because of his small stature.
lolwut- May 18, 2008 at 5:43 pm
Chico is a bj hater.... fukin queer!
Popetastic- May 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm
That was also a fighter in Joe Stevenson, that BJ had nothing bad to say about prior to the match. It was one of the few times in BJ's fighting career where there wasn't a grudge of some kind going into the fight. So I fully expect him to fight possessed against Sherk.
Douchebaggery- May 18, 2008 at 4:51 pm
just another reason why so many people are swinging on bj's nuts. charisma, man. he sweats charisma and intensity. he might be the second coming of buddha
chico- May 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm
Now it's ''After the loss to Hughes''. Before it was ''After the loss to GSP''. Before that it was ''After the loss to Machida''. Before that it was ''After the draw with Uno''. Before that it was ''After the loss to Pulver''. How many times does this guy have to cry wolf?
Old, Bald and Irish- May 18, 2008 at 4:37 pm
So. Psyched. For. This. Fight.

I hope Penn bites Sherk's neck and gorges himself on the arterial flow.

....then Penn will test positive for steroids because he drank Sherk's tainted blood.

This fight will NOT smell like poop and Kracker Jack.
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