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BJ Penn Trying to Ignore 'Small Stuff' as Title Bout With Kenny Florian Nears



Less than two weeks away from his UFC lightweight championship match at UFC 101, BJ Penn found himself fielding questions about a disputed text message and his treatment by the media, and was targeted by a crank caller during Tuesday's UFC 101 media conference call.

Still, at the end of it all, Penn claimed he was focused on retaining his title in his first match back from a drubbing at the hands of Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94.

"I'm fighting for the lightweight championship of the world. That's small stuff," he said. "I don't know how I get caught up in small stuff."


His disputed loss was at the center of the only exchange between Penn and his next challenger, Kenny Florian during the call. At issue was a text message allegedly sent from Florian to David Weintraub, who was in Penn's camp at the time. The message allegedly predicted St. Pierre would grease at UFC 94. Penn says his camp took the information to the Nevada State Athletic Commission's office prior to the event and alerted them to be on the lookout. Florian says the text was not about GSP, but about UFC lightweight Roger Huerta.

"He didn't want to man up, he said he doesn't know anything of the sort and all these other things," Penn said. "That's the history of it. It's past history. Whatever we think about it or don't, we're going to get to fight about it on Aug. 8."

Florian, however, retorted, explaining that he couldn't possibly have been writing about GSP since he had never trained with him prior to that point.

"I don't have ESP," he said. "I couldn't have predicted he was going to grease. I didn't have any contact with his camp. I wouldn't have known anything about that prior to UFC 94."

"So the conversation was, 'Tell BJ good luck, and by the way tell him Roger Huerta is a greaser?'" Penn asked incredulously.

"We were talking about Roger prior to anything," Florian said. "And then [Weintraub] said he was out in Hawaii talking to you or writing a book about you or whatever."

The two let the debate drop at that point, but Penn made more news when he voiced his displeasure with the coverage of him following UFC 94, and said he plans to do much less media, instead choosing to deliver his own message on his website, BJPenn.com.

"I'll do any media contracted for by the UFC because they're my boss but I didn't like how media portrayed me after the GSP fight," he said. "I didn't like how MMA Weekly portrayed me after the GSP fight. I don't know as far as that goes. That's just it, man. I don't like how Sherdog, how MMA Weekly, how MMA Junkie, how all you guys portrayed me after the GSP fight, and I'm done working with you guys."

Asked how he felt he'd been portrayed, Penn said his position on the complaint he filed with NSAC had been misrepresented.

To complete the trifecta of awkwardness, Penn was asked by a crank caller if he'd ever done gay porn, to which he responded, "How about I kick your a**?" before the caller was cut off.

When he was actually asked about the fight, however, Penn was fairly complimentary of Florian, saying that he's improved in all areas greatly since his first title match against Sean Sherk nearly three years ago.

Penn praised his athletic trainer Marv Marinovich and said he's in fantastic shape, improving his balance, explosion, speed and power. (Penn recently welcomed Fedor Emelianenko and Gegard Mousasi as visitors to his camp, as seen in the video above). And he added that he has his mind prepared for the battle ahead.

"As far as for me and where my head is right now, it's just all about fighting," he said. "I'm not here trying to hype up a fight. I'm not trying to do anything. I'm just trying to go out and defend my title and walk out the cage the 155-pound champion. That's the only thing that's on my mind right now."