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B.J. Penn says Nick Diaz fight was news to him, tried to get different opponent

When the UFC yanked Nick Diaz from the main event from UFC 137, replaced him with Carlos Condit, and then inserted the former Strikeforce welterweight champ into Condit’s place against B.J. Penn, the news caught a number of people off-guard including Penn himself.

The popular Hawaiian recently opened up about the situation in a video series through sponsor RVCA where he explained he was far from the first to know he was being slotted against Diaz.

“I’m in the middle of training camp,” Penn recalled thinking. “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.”

After checking his bout agreement to make sure it was even legal to do, Penn said he spoke to Dana White and hammered out the specifics. However, that didn’t prevent the UFC icon from speaking with Diaz’s camp to see if there were any alternatives.

“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. We actually talk on the phone and hang out when we see each other,” Penn explained.

With Condit and Georges St. Pierre already locked up, and Jon Fitch’s health still uncertain, the two colorful competitors agreed it made sense for them to face off based on the divisional importance.

“We talked about it and we tried to find different opponents (but) at the end of the day there (aren’t) too many guys out there.”


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