UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn is less than two months away from his title fight against Frankie Edgar at UFC 110 in Abu Dhabi, and he says that in preparation for fighting in the Middle East for the first time, he's going to make his trip earlier than usual and finish his training camp in Abu Dhabi so that he can be completely adjusted to the time zone and the climate before he steps into the Octagon.
"We're probably going to end up just finishing camp over here," Penn says in a video shot in his hometown of Hilo, Hawaii. "We were thinking of going up to California but then we thought, 'What are we going to do, acclimate up there and then go to Abu Dhabi and acclimate over there?' It's actually much more similar to Hawaii's weather with the humidity and stuff. So we're going to train over here and we're going to head up early to Abu Dhabi -- about three weeks -- my brother wants to go up a little earlier than that. So that's the game plan: We're going to train in Hilo and then we're going to go up to Abu Dhabi a little early."
It strikes me as smart of Penn to give himself plenty of time to adjust. I'm reminded of Hasim Rahman, who arrived in South Africa a few weeks early to give himself time to acclimate before his 2001upset of Lennox Lewis. Traveling thousands of miles to a different part of the world takes a toll on the human body, and fighters are smart to account for that in their preparations.