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BJ Penn Brings in Matt Hughes for UFC 127 Fight Preparations

B.J. Penn reunited with a former rival last week, not as foes but as training partners.

Penn, who competed against Matt Hughes in a trilogy of fights spanning 2004 to 2010, recently worked with Hughes in preparation for his upcoming UFC 127 fight against Jon Fitch on Feb. 27 in Australia.

"Me and Matt had great workouts," Penn said Tuesday on a conference call. "Him pushing me up against the fence, him trying to take me down. I definitely think that was the best training partner I could have had for this fight."

Having received Hughes' number from Hughes' boxing trainer Matt Pena, Penn asked Hughes for his assistance in training for Fitch. Hughes agreed and soon after along with his daughter received accommodations to Penn's training facility in Hawaii.

Penn says the UFC Hall of Famer offered in practice similar strengths as his next opponent Fitch.

"I know he isn't exactly like Fitch as far as height and boxing and kickboxing goes," Penn said. "But on the one area where Fitch definitely pushes all his opponents is grinding them out, pushing them on the fence and taking them down. Matt really pushed me in those areas so I gained a lot of confidence working with Matt."

Last November, Penn penned the final chapter of their trilogy by knocking out Hughes in 21 seconds. The two former champs first met at UFC 46 in January 2004 when Penn shocked the world by moving up in weight and upsetting Hughes for the title. In their second meeting, Hughes settled the score with a third-round TKO.

Below is a video of Penn outside of the gym after his last day training with Hughes.

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