And it's all thanks to the country boy that can survive:
"Actually, you know what, more than the win, Matt Hughes came down to train with me in Hawaii. That really helped my confidence a lot actually. You know, us fighting two or three times, I still didn't really get to feel his strength and feel myself going five rounds or going a bunch of rounds with him and stuff. So, him coming down, him doing a lot of techniques with me and getting to work with him; we had some playful days, we had some technique days, some hard training days and all in all that really, I think, definitely boosted me to another level. You get a lot of training partners around but not at that caliber who have done the things that he has done."
In three fights against Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn apparently never truly felt the strength of one of the consensus most powerful wrestlers in the history of mixed martial arts. So the Hawaiian flew his former nemesis down to his homeland for some more vigorous work. And, as a result of that, "The Prodigy" tells Ariel Helwani he believes he is at an entirely different level in the lead-up to his welterweight number one contender fight against Jon Fitch at UFC 127. Hughes also helped Penn regain his confidence after two deflating decision losses to Frankie Edgar at his old stomping grounds of 155-pounds. Does all this add up to another successful run in the welterweight division, starting on Feb. 27? Or is Fitch simply too much to handle?