If you're a traditional mixed martial arts fan who is none too keen on pro wrestling style antics or manufactured drama, you might not like the sound of this.
That's because B.J. Penn revealed in a recent video blog that UFC interviewers, who were re-filming the scenes for the "Countdown to UFC 137" special, told him to say specific things about his opponent on Oct. 29 in Las Vegas, Nick Diaz.
Here's the dirt:
"They had to come back to film the Nick Diaz countdown. One thing that was a trip about that whole thing was that, I got a lot of respect for Diaz, I've trained with him, that whole thing... they forced me to say, at the end of the whole thing, they forced me to say... 'You gotta say Nick Diaz's name now, you gotta say his name.' And I was like, 'What?' They were like, 'Say you're going to beat Nick Diaz. Say you're going to beat Nick Diaz.' And I said, 'I'm going to beat Nick Diaz.' I wish ... I would have said my hand is going to be raised; at UFC 137 my hand is going to be raised. I don't know if they're going to come back and try to show Nick Diaz that, I don't know what's going on with that."
And the plot, which is already convoluted enough, thickens.
Penn is only set to square off against Diaz because of the troubled Stockton slugger's inability to fulfill his promotional duties, namely showing up at two separate pre-fight press conferences. His punishment was removal from his originally scheduled title shot against Georges St. Pierre, which was quickly scooped up by Carlos Condit, who had been booked to get busy with Penn on the same night. UFC officials completed the switch-a-roo by simply inserting Diaz against Penn, something neither man particularly wanted.
"The Prodigy" expounds on this by giving his thoughts on the situation and explaining how he actually feels bad for his opponent. Why? Because he knows all too well what it's like to be painted as the bad guy by crafty UFC editing. I'll let him take it from here: