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Morning Report: B.J. Penn talks 'expanding his arsenal' with Greg Jackson ahead of bout at UFC 197

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@bjpenn via Instagram

"Motivated B.J. Penn" wouldn't be a meme if not for the dreaded "Unmotivated B.J. Penn."

After drawing with Jon Fitch at UFC 127 in 2011 Penn dropped three straight bouts to Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald and Frankie Edgar before hanging it up in 2014.

Penn's introverted training routine in Hawaii didn't appear to be doing him justice years ago and it's exactly why he's joined up with Greg Jackson and his elite camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"The plan is 100 percent to stay in Albuquerque the whole way," Penn told UFC commentators Kenny Florian and Jon Anik on their podcast. "It's not fair to myself and my family for me to go and not take this as serious as it is. These people are hungry and tough. These people will knock you out if you mess around. There's no way I'm going to train anywhere else if I'm going to step in the ring. I'm here the whole way."

Penn contacted Jackson in late December to discuss a possible comeback. A visit to Jackson's morphed into a solid commitment and now Penn is about three weeks into his first training camp in years.

Penn is already feeling the effects of training at altitude in Albuquerque, but seems more excited about the diverse group of training partners now available to him.

"They're really trying to evolve me and take me to a new level," said Penn. "Everybody's got a pretty good idea of what B.J. Penn is coming with. I think they're really trying to expand my arsenal. They're improving my cardio, my strength, too, but I really think they're expanding my arsenal.

"Greg looks at this like a three, four, five-fight thing but I'm not letting this guy standing across from me beat me. I think they're in this for the long haul."

Aside from pure technique, Penn already credits Jackson for helping to overhaul his mentality.

"The talks Greg and I have together, he tells me, 'B.J., if you're going to go out there and do something that no one else has done and win these three belts you're going to have to put in [the work]. You're going to be sitting in the apartment bored, looking at the ceiling and you're going to have to go through all these emotions.

"It's starting to happen already. I'm getting further into camp and see the monotony and receptiveness take place. That's why I stepped out of the sport before. All those mental mind games. It's all how you handle it. Being tough mentally. You're only as good as you think you are."

Penn wouldn't confirm who exactly he'll face in his return, but it sounds like he'll be part of a stacked UFC 197 event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"As far as I understand the opponent is already chosen and everybody is working for that goal on March 5," said Penn. "I talked to Dana and we're going to see how this all plays out."

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Get well soon.

I scratched my cornea at wrestling practice... Can you see it? #mondayfunday #wrestlingpractice #stuffhappens

A video posted by Will Brooks (@illwillbrooks86) on


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Here we go.

Ansioso para o início do campo de treinamento já! notícias em breve!Looking forward to The start of training camp already! news coming soon!

Posted by Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos on Monday, January 25, 2016

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Jan. 25 2016)

Matt Brown vs. Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Souza

Ross Pearson vs. Abel Trujillo at UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Mir

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