As odd as it may seem, the act of fighting can bring individuals together. It’s normal to find that some of the tightest bonds form amongst those that train together. The act of throwing fists or exchanging submission holds can bring people to a friendship even out of the worst rivalries.
Take former UFC champions Matt Hughes and BJ Penn. These two fighters were embroiled in a feud that lasted more than seven years. With three fights between them; Penn has had his hand raised twice and Hughes just once. The last fight lasted mere moments and left Hughes looking to his corner asking “What happened?” Now that the battles inside the cage are over between these two, the next fight has brought them together.
Penn is set to face welterweight power player Jon Fitch at UFC 127. At 13-1 in the UFC, Fitch has proven that he belongs near the top of all the pound for pound lists in mixed martial arts. Fitch is known for his stifling wrestling, striking and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu abilities. These facts have caused Penn to call Hughes over to Hawaii for training. Hughes has developed many of the same abilities that have helped Fitch have such a successful run in MMA. Together, they hope to create a game plan that will place Penn near the top of the welterweight heap.
Go back six months ago and it would have been weird to be told that once mortal rivals Penn and Hughes would be working together towards a common goal. Yet, this is MMA and it in of itself is an odd game with the unexpected happening quite often. As the old adage goes: “If you can’t beat em, join em.” Or in Hughes’s case, go train with them.
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