Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Florian’

BJ Penn On Family, Fighting Florian, and the Future

July 1, 2009

B.J. Penn.

Say it but once and it commands respect.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade or so, the name B.J. Penn is one you’re probably very familiar with. It’s the same name that is revered in Mixed-Martial Arts circles and synonymous with that word “respect”.

Best of all, bruddah is ours; a son of the `aina, born and raised in our backyard of Hawaii.

Hawaii's own... BJ Penn (Photo Courtesy: UFC)
Hawaii’s own… BJ Penn (Photo Courtesy: UFC)

When the opportunity presented itself to meet and interview this legend of the sport, you can bet your candypants that I was going to be there.

Penn was first introduced to the art of jiu jitsu by his neighbor Tom Callos. Callos had just moved to Hilo with his girlfriend and was looking for training partners to roll with. B.J. excelled and eventually went on to become the first American born competitor to win the (Mundial) World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in the black belt featherweight division.

Since then, he’s fought some of the biggest names in (and out of) his weight class including Georges St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida, Matt Hughes, Renzo Gracie and Takanori Gomi, and has made a case for himself as one of the greatest pound for pound fighters in the world.

Penn puts a rear naked choke on then Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes to take the title at UFC 46: Super Natural (Photo Courtesy: UFC)
Penn puts a rear naked choke on then Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes to take the title at UFC 46: Super Natural (Photo Courtesy: UFC)

On August 8th, Penn will be putting his Lightweight Championship belt on the line against a game Kenny Florian at UFC 101 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Florian is one of the top lightweight contenders in the UFC who possesses a dangerous muay thai striking game, wicked elbows and a sick jiu jitsu ground game, and, is, oh-by-the-way, riding a 6 fight winning streak over the likes of Roger Huerta, Joe Stevenson, Joe Lauzon and Din Thomas.

UFC 101 Poster (Photo Courtesy: UFC)
UFC 101 Poster (Photo Courtesy: UFC)

Penn, now 30, talks about fighting Florian, his family and what’s to come in his not-so-distant future… Check it!


Video Interview with B.J. Penn – Part I – Personal Life (Click to Play!)

PERSONAL LIFE:

Edward Sugimoto) (It’s very evident that) you’re very close to your family. Describe the importance of that strong bond.

B.J. Penn) It’s always good to have a good family bond. You know you always got people to back you up and always got someone to hang out with… Someone to have fun with… have a good time so, yup family’s very important.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) You just started a family of your own with your daughter (Aeva Lili’u , born on October 16 2008). How has she changed your life?

B.J. Penn) (*laughs*) Yeah I just had a daughter Aeva, 7 months old right now and, you know, she’s awesome! She gives me a reason to come home. There’s no reason to stay out late a lot of the nights. You know, just come home. It’s just awesome, awesome having a daughter.

Edward Sugimoto) What is your favorite part of being a dad?

B.J. Penn) I guess my favorite part about being a dad I guess is just seeing your baby after not seeing them after a couple hours or waking up in the morning. It’s just a real good time.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) Growing up with brothers, you have a tendency to be very competitive. You have 3 brothers. How much of a role do you think that played in your life competing in sports?

B.J. Penn) I definitely think that having a lot of brothers made me competitive. I mean, just with me being in between Reagan and JD you know I can you know, I can get into it with him and get into it with Reagan so being a middle child I think that helped me a lot.

Edward Sugimoto) You seem to go out of your way to represent the state of Hawaii with great pride. From your King Kamehameha pose during the weigh-ins, to your Brudda Iz entrance song, to your shakas… Even staying true to your Big Island roots. Why is that so important to you?

B.J. Penn) I just uh, I like to go out there and spread Hawaii all around the world and let people know what we’re about. It’s really good to spread the Aloha Spirit and all these different things around and you know, sometimes you feel like “if I don’t do it, who will?” (*laughs*) you know.

B.J. Penn and the author
B.J. Penn and the author

Edward Sugimoto) Unlike other celebrities, you’re pretty down to earth, you’re welcoming with your fans. What makes you so grounded and humble?

B.J. Penn) I guess when I’m in Las Vegas and the big UFC and everything, and all the action going on you know, I really don’t get to see none of that stuff over here at home in Hilo so it’s just a total different world you know. You go up there and it’s real busy and all these things. Down here in Hilo it’s just real relaxed. I think can owe a lot of being grounded to just being where I grew up.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) Do you have any heroes?

B.J. Penn) I for sure have a lot of heroes. Hulk Hogan, “Rocky Balboa”, and Mike Tyson. You know, I mean everybody growing up. I’m a fan of a lot of people.

Edward Sugimoto) Do you follow other local athletes like Shane Victorino, Tadd Fujikawa, etc.?

B.J. Penn) I’m not a big baseball fan, but I know of Shane you know, I wish him the best and all his successes. And I remember Bryan Clay… just won the Olympics. That’s just amazing. Greatest athlete on earth right there. So it’s just amazing the kind of athletes that have been coming out of Hawaii lately.

Edward Sugimoto) What is a typical day in the life of B.J. Penn?

B.J. Penn) Typical day in the life? Training day: I guess wake up, drink a protein shake with some oatmeal, and go work out. Come home, relax, eat a bunch more times, and go back and work out again. Come home and relax. And on a rest day: don’t do nothin’. Stay home all day or down at the beach or river or whatever.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) You make a lot of excellent use of web and social networking: Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, whatnot. How has these helped to get your message out to your fans?

B.J. Penn) Yeah, it’s a great way to get what you want to say out to the fans. And that’s the best thing about having your own web site or doing stuff because people always try to edit you down and people always try to not let you say what you want to say and that’s the most important thing about having BJPenn.com is I can say whatever I want to say and I can get that message out.

Edward Sugimoto) Speaking of BJPENN.com. It looks like you guys put a lot of work into it. Daily video blogs, forums, and that kinda thing for the fans. What’s the ultimate goal with the site?

B.J. Penn) I just want to let BJPenn.com keep growing and you know, ah, I guess it’s at it’s ultimate goal right now, and now we just keep letting it grow and multiply and multiply until it’s something to be reckoned with I guess. (*laughs*)

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) You work pretty tirelessly with the keiki as well, at your gym and you have a B.J. Penn Foundation. What motivates you to educate and shape the future of Hawaii?

B.J. Penn) You know, just kinda watching the kids around. I don’t want to be a role model. I don’t want to be you know the guy, like I’m a perfect person cause I’m not that’s for sure, but you know, you put me in front of a bunch of kids and you tell me to start talking to them and it just seems like it comes out natural. And I just talk to them and I see them and I know you know, everybody’s different, everybody has their hardships and goes through their different things, so it’s good, you know, if I can just brighten up their day for a little bit or maybe they can take any advice that I might’ve learned over my years of experience I guess, it all makes it worth it.

The sign outside Penn Training & Fitness Center (www.penntrainingandfitness.com), where first time keiki and world class fighters alike train
The sign outside Penn Training & Fitness Center, where first time keiki and world class fighters alike train

Edward Sugimoto) You’ve been seen wearing “B.J. Penn for Governor” T-shirts. Is this something you’d like to one day shoot for?

B.J. Penn) (*laughs*) Um, I don’t know. I don’t know if we’re gonna run for office. Anybody who ever asks me about that shirt, I just have to tell um, “we’re weighing our options.” (*laughs*)


Video Interview with B.J. Penn – Part II – MMA Life (Click to Play!)

MMA LIFE:

Edward Sugimoto) When did you first realize you could scrap?

B.J. Penn) I still don’t know if I can scrap. I gotta find out some more. I don’t know I just realized one day when we were playing around boxing and somebody punched me and I realized ah, it doesn’t even hurt. And that’s when I realized that, well I didn’t realize, but then I just knew that punches don’t hurt.

Edward Sugimoto)
Speaking of that, what is your head made out of? I hardly ever see you bruise or bleed or anything!

B.J. Penn) (*laughs modestly*) Oh no, no! I don’t know. Just gotta knock on wood (*knocks on wood*) for that one.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) The story of how you got introduced to BJJ is legendary (introduced by your neighbor Tom Callos)…

B.J. Penn) Yup, my neighbor Tom Callos lived right on this road. And he did a couple of jiu-jitsu lessons and he seen us kids wrestling around, boxing and hanging out, and he wanted a bunch of kids to just work out with. Cause he wasn’t teaching, just to have fun and roll around with. And then we, we uh, we started… So I didn’t wanna really do it, and my dad was like c’mon go do it, go do it, so I went down and then Tom choked me out tapped me out and I was like man, there’s something to this, and my brain just started going.

Edward Sugimoto) So we can thank Tom for B.J. Penn!? 🙂

B.J. Penn) Yeah, I really gotta thank Tom Callos. I tell him that all the time. (*looks into camera*) And thank you Tom.

BJ Penn, unknown, Kennan Cornelius, Reagan Penn, Tony DeSouza and Tom Callos. (Photo Courtesy: Tom Callos)
BJ Penn, unknown, Kennan Cornelius, Reagan Penn, Tony DeSouza and Tom Callos. (Photo Courtesy: Tom Callos)

Edward Sugimoto) You still work with him right?

B.J. Penn) Yeah yeah, he lives right here, down the road.

Edward Sugimoto) I mean on the web site, you have his web site linked.

B.J. Penn) Yup, Tom the Master. Martial Arts gym owner, business man.

Edward Sugimoto) You earned the nickname “The Prodigy” early on. In a recent interview I saw that you were thinking about changing it. If you could change it today, what would you change it to?

B.J. Penn) (*laughs*) Um, Jay Penn, Jr. Nah. I dunno. Umm…

Edward Sugimoto) We’ll just stick with that one.

B.J. Penn) Yeah, we’ll stick with “The Prodigy” for now (*laughs*)

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) Talk about your flexibility and how that helps you.

B.J. Penn) Yeah, I didn’t know I was flexible my whole life. You know everybody always asked me, “How’d you get so flexible?” “Do you stretch so much?” and after I started doing jiu jitsu, everybody started telling me I was flexible, and THEN I started stretching, like, to make it even more… to get more flexible. So that’s the whole story on my flexibility.

Penn displaying his flexibility against Matt Hughes at UFC 63 (Photo Courtesy: UFC)
Penn displaying his flexibility against Matt Hughes at UFC 63 (Photo Courtesy: UFC)

Edward Sugimoto) A lot of people try to use the statement “oh he’s spoiled because he comes from a rich family” and that pisses ME off hearing that. Be honest, how fired up do you get (when you hear people say that)?

B.J. Penn) You know, a lot of people say I’m spoiled and stuff and I really would like to respond, but I gotta go jump inside the limousine, it’s waiting for me right here and we’re gonna go ahead and jump in my private jet and head outta here so… (*laughs*) You know, but um. Ah, people can say whatever they want. They don’t know how you live, you know. But I guess at least they’re that interested that they want to know. So if people are talking good or bad, you know, just as long as they’re talking, it’s worse if they’re not saying anything.

Edward Sugimoto) A lot was made also about your partying days and your cardio back in the day, Until one day, you just flipped the switch. Was their one specific thing, that made you do that?

B.J. Penn) I didn’t like partying after a while. I mean, I still don’t mind it, but, I mean, now with a daughter, and just the whole training and everything, I wanted to take it more serious. I wanted to see you know how far can I get, how good can I get? You know it’s constantly evolving, it still isn’t finished yet, and I don’t think it ever will be. Every time you get into a new training camp, you try new methods and you try to improve and that’s just how it goes. I don’t think there’s ever an end-all say-all this is it, this is how you train for a fight.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) What’s the deal with licking blood?

B.J. Penn) I dunno, you gotta ask that guy in the ring because the guy right here would never lick blood I tell you that right now. (*laughs*) So it’s just a different man

Edward Sugimoto) Your cauliflower ears are often referred to as one of the nastiest in the business. Do you take that as a diss or a compliment?

B.J. Penn) (*laughs*) What do you mean? (*shows his right ear*) Look at that aerodynamic! (*laughs*)

Edward Sugimoto) The other side!

B.J. Penn) OK, ok, this one’s pretty bad, but… um, yup, it got bad. I really, you know, tell all the kids out there, you know, if you start grappling and your ear starts getting messed up, take care of it. I really wish I didn’t let it get too bad.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) You have an intensity on your face before you walk out or in your interviews that is unmatched. Are you like pissed off or focused? What is that?

B.J. Penn) I think I get focused when I’m doing interviews or in a match, but, I think it’s just that I’m emotionally involved, and I’m there, and I really wanna do my best, and I… I really wanna do my best whether it’s fighting, entertaining the fans, or whatever it is, you know, and I really feel I have a genuine like or love for the sport of mixed martial arts, and I take this stuff very serious, you know. This isn’t just a game for me.

Penn's game face (Photo Courtesy: UFC)
Penn’s game face (Photo Courtesy: UFC)

Edward Sugimoto) Did you catch Machida’s performance (at UFC 98)?

B.J. Penn) Oh I got to see Lyoto Machida knock out Rashad Evans and that was just amazing how he did that. He did an awesome job. And Rashad went down.

Edward Sugimoto) Don’t think Dana White would allow it (different weight classes), but is that a rematch you’d like to have one day?

B.J. Penn) Um, you know, we’ll see what happens in the future with Lyoto and stuff. I mean first thing’s first. I gotta beat Kenny Florian coming up on August 8. And then I’m gonna move forward slowly and see who we fight next, and I wanna make sure I got a couple rematches in mind you know that I wanna have.

Edward Sugimoto) Speaking of UFC 101 against Florian. How’s the training going so far?

B.J. Penn) The training’s going great for UFC 101. I’m making sure not to overtrain. And, you know we started a couple months ago, and I’m training with Marv Marinovich, and we’ll be spending our last 8 weeks in California with a bunch of good training partners, with Marv Marinovich there, Jason Parillo will be there, Rudy Valentino’s gonna fly up, so I feel VERY good about this training camp.

B.J. Penn and the author
B.J. Penn and the author

Edward Sugimoto) Just a while ago, you also just came back from training with Marv (famed ex-NFL trainer Marv Marinovich). How did that go?

B.J. Penn) Marv is just amazing. You know, I don’t want to get into everything that he does but it’s just his fundamentals for making somebody get to a much better athletic performance, it’s just amazing how he tackles athletic problems. He really is, that guy’s a genius.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) Kenny Florian is no joke. Without giving away too much, what’s your kind of plan of attack (for taking him out)?

B.J. Penn) Well I never really make a game plan when I go into a fight. I’m just gonna try to run at him, try to hit him. And he’s gonna try to I dunno, get away from me, or come in, but I’m gonna try to submit him or knock him out the whole time. And that’s it. I’m not really a good game plan guy, I just go and try and do my best.

Edward Sugimoto) Are you concerned at all about his notorious elbows (opening up a cut)?

B.J. Penn) You know, I’m sure he’s gonna be coming out with his elbows and stuff but actually, it’s better that I know that his elbows exist, and he’s good at um, so I think already that’s an advantage. Knowing is half the battle.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) There’s also our Hawaii boys Kendall Grove and Shane Nelson on the same card (UFC 101). How does that make you feel?

B.J. Penn) I’m really excited to have Kendall and Shane on the card with me. I’m gonna be a lot more comfortable. So I’m not gonna be the only one with pressure on my back that night. They gotta share the load.

Edward Sugimoto) Years ago, probably something like this would have never happened: 3 out of the 11 fights (of a major UFC card) involve fighters from Hawaii.

B.J. Penn) That’s right! Three out of the 11 fights are people from Hawaii. That’s amazing.

The author and B.J. Penn
The author and B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) You’re also in a movie (“Never Surrender”) and you’re also in a video game (UFC 2009: Undisputed). Must be good to be B.J. Penn right now huh?

B.J. Penn) (*modest laugh*) Uh, I dunno, uh, ah, things… I dunno I haven’t gotten to play Undisputed yet, but I heard it’s a great game. And, I don’t know about my acting in the movie. Wasn’t too good, so… It’s alright, it’s alright. Just same ol’ getting back in the gym and getting ready to fight.

Edward Sugimoto) What does the future hold for B.J. Penn?

B.J. Penn) After we beat Kenny Florian on August 8th, come back, relax, and then, I don’t know, we’ll see how it all goes you know, I wanna get another title defense quick, right away, right after it so, we’ll see how it goes.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Edward Sugimoto) Anything else to add for your fans out there?

B.J. Penn) I just want to thank all the fans. Fans of MMA in general and all my fans. And thank you guys very much for the support and thanks for sticking with me. It’s been a long ride and it’s been fun thank you guys.

B.J. Penn
B.J. Penn

Even though this was probably one of the most challenging interviews to line up, it was definitely the most gratifying. Not only am I a huge jiu-jitsu/MMA/martial arts enthusiast, I’m a big fan of B.J. Penn. He’s come from his humble beginnings in Hawaii and made a name for himself in his sport like no other. He’s as real as they get and for that I applaud him.

UFC Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn (Photo Courtesy: UFC)
UFC Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn (Photo Courtesy: UFC)

Following this experience, in which he showed true class and humility and never once made me feel like just another appointment on his calendar, I can truly say that I am an even bigger fan of Hawaii’s own, B.J. Penn. All the best to B.J., his family, his fight, and his future.

Respect Bruddah B.J…. Respect!

B.J. Penn and your boy. Yeah, I need a haircut... I know! :P
B.J. Penn and your boy. Yeah, I need a haircut… I know! 😛

www.bjpenn.com
www.penntrainingandfitness.com

***

A special mahaloz to Maribel Quemado and JD Penn for making this interview a reality, Dave Oi for being my videographer and photographer for the day, and to Elizabeth Loucheur and Edward Muncey from the UFC for all of their assistance with media requests.

***

BONUS!

Prior to this interview with the champ, I asked my World Wide Ed blog community if they had any questions they’d like me to take up. The following link goes to the blog that I wrote today, that includes the questions they posed, and B.J.’s video response to them. Enjoy!

BJ Penn Answers Your Questions [Video]
BJ Penn Answers Your Questions [Video]

UFC 101 Live Streaming Content: Thanks to the good people at the UFC, you can now view post UFC 100 video highlights and LIVE streaming events taking place leading up to UFC 101 on Oceanic.com! Check it out!

UFC 101 Live Streaming Content
UFC 101 Live Streaming Content

Linkage

Kewl! MMAMania.com picked up my story. Pulled kind of a negative, out of context quote, but check it out nonetheless: “BJ Penn: ‘I’m making sure not to overtrain’ for UFC 101“.

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BJ Penn Answers Your Questions! [Video]

June 29, 2009

As promised, I took the questions you posted on my “Ask a BJ (Penn)” blog with me to Hilo and had BJ answer them for y’all. I’ve finally had the chance to encode it, uploaded it (to YouTube), annotate it, and publish the puppy for you folks so hurr it is. Enjoy!


BJ Penn answers questions from the World Wide Ed Community

[kuya.d]: Try asking BJ how helpful Gary Ohashi has been in his training and recovery?

[B.J. Penn] Ohhh, Gary Ohashi. Gary Ohashi has been very good for me. I see him once or twice a week. Just adjusts me, put everything in the right areas, so my body’s not aching and everything. Thank you Gary. Thanks for helping me out.

[Coconut Willy]: Originally being from Hilo, the feeling is super laid back. I know when I go to visit, I get really lazy. Ask BJ how he keeps up his intensity and motivation.

[B.J. Penn] I get really lazy too actually Coconut Willy. (*laughs*) And it’s pretty tough. Nah, you know, when you got something on your head, or you’re focused or you wanna do something, you going get out there. Plus too, you don’t want to let down all the fans, so that’s motivation. Cause you want the fans to say, you know you want the fans to go out there and after you win, you want them to tell their friends, “You see! I told you so! When I talk you listen! You listen to me when I speak to you!” (*laughs*)

[skycastles]: Boxers or briefs?

[B.J. Penn] Boxers, boxers. Boxers or nothing under surf shorts. Surf shorts: nothing. Everything else, boxers.

[skycastles]: What advice would he give to kids coming up who want to get into MMA?

[B.J. Penn] To the kids, I would just say, you know, just go and have fun. If you like to box, go box. If you like wrestling, go wrestle in school. If you like jiu jitsu, go do it and then just keep just doing the one that you think is fun and get as far as that one first. Whether it’s wrestling, boxing or kickboxing or jiu jitsu or judo or whatever it is, and then after you’re kinda done competing in that, maybe start adding all the other ones in.

[bB]: does he have any aspirations of being a promoter after he retires? maybe something on the lines of a oscar de la hoya.

[B.J. Penn] Maybe I’d want to get involved with the promoter business. But we’ll see how things unfold, and, you know, if the UFC is the only company in the future or… We’ll see, but for sure I could see myself putting on little fights around Hawaii, around the islands, the different islands, just for the locals.

[frankie]: I’d like to know if he’d like to face GSP again (sans the greasing).

[B.J. Penn] Yup, yup. For sure we want to fight GSP again and we want our opportunity for a rematch.

[uncle jimmy]: since his grandma was the original “little lei lady of waikiki” and wound up owning some chunks of waikiki in the process, and his Mom is a serious entrepreneurial player of note on her own.. does he have a similar entrepreneurial gene and how does it reveal itself?

[B.J. Penn] I don’t think my grandma ended up owning any chunks of Waikiki. In fact, I don’t think there’s many Hawaiians who own a bunch of hotels down (in) Waikiki. (*laughs*)

I would love to keep pushing BJPenn.com and training people and I guess, yeah, just push the web site, push the shop on the web site, and see where we can take it and maybe even get into the promoting stuff.

[Center Of Thought]: What does his diet consist of? What does he eat when training?

[B.J. Penn] OK, my diet, if I’m not training, I’ll eat anything, and then if I’m training, I pretty much cut out like breads and pastas. I just eat like the most natural carbohydrates like rice, potatoes, like brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, you know, poi, like just kinda more natural stuff. And then if I want a cheat meal, then maybe I’ll eat a sandwich or something you know, but I try to just cut all that stuff out. And then lean meat and lots of fruits and vegetables.

[Center Of Thought]: What kine music does tha champ listen to?

[B.J. Penn] Listen to… Growing up I listen to everything, but nowadays I listen to more just local music, Hawaiian music, kinda keeps me relaxed. Not gonna go burn rubber down the road and get in trouble. (*laughs*)

[miLL-viLLe]: I want to know how many more fights BJ has left in him.

[B.J. Penn] Every time somebody asks me how many more fights I have left in me, I can’t really answer that question cause we always just gotta see how my next fight goes. I’m sure after I beat Kenny Florian, I’ll be happy and I’ll say we got 50 fights left, you know what I mean, so we just gotta take it fight by fight.

[mcat]: i’m curious what he does when he’s not training… any other hobbies?

[B.J. Penn] I’m just hanging out. Maybe go surfing a little bit, maybe, you know, just go swimming, have fun, watch TV, work on BJPenn.com, that’s all I do. (*laughs*)

Thank you!

There ya have it! Hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to read my full interview with BJ below!

BJ Penn On Family, Fighting Florian, and the Future
BJ Penn On Family, Fighting Florian, and the Future

BJ Penn Interview Recap

June 1, 2009

As some of you may know, dis buggah was lucky enough to have the unbelievable opportunity to fly to Hilo this past weekend to interview Hawaii’s own, BJ Penn. Using Twitter as our base, here’s a recap of the weekend’s activities. What a BLAST!

2:19 PM May 29th – Hilo here I am! LOL!

Just landed and was picked up at the airport by my buddy Dave. Was enthused to see what was to come.

4:23 PM May 29th – just enjoyed boneless chicken at Blanes with @dave_OI

My co-worker Evan (Hilo native) said we should try the boneless chicken from Blane’s, so when we were looking for a snack to nibble on, that’s what we nibbled on. 😛

7:00 PM May 29th – is waiting for his Mike Piazza from Kilauea Pizza Hut

With all the pizza talk from our Friday blog, Dave and I were itchin’ for a slice (or two). We hit up the local Pizza Hut for a custom pie. Props to bruddah kuya.d for giving me a ring-a-ling and asking if we wanted to come check out an imu (for kulolo) him and his students were building! Next time fo sho!

9:36 PM May 29th – don’t these coqui frogs know that I have an important interview tomorrow morning? *grin*

Didn’t realize how noisy those buggahs were until I heard them for myself. Trying to study/prepare for an important interview with them “coqui-ing” away in the background was quite the challenge. 8)

8:36 AM May 30th – enjoying taro corned beef hash at Kuhio Grill. Mmmmm!

Sorry Ynkau. I nevah try the 1 pound lau lau, but I wasn’t that hungry that morning. Plus, if BJ wanted to roll with me, I wanted to be ready. Ha!

And then…

It was time…

Here are some shots from my camera during the interview.

BJ Penn Interview
BJ Penn chillin’

BJ Penn Interview
BJ Penn getting into it

BJ Penn Interview
Side view of the Champ and I

10:59 AM May 30th – Interview with Time Warner at JD’s house http://sml.vg/z40gzp

BJ Penn Interview
Pic from @Officialbjpenn tweet

This one (and the next one) is actually from @Officialbjpenn‘s Twitter (now @UFCBJPenn @bjpenndotcom). And yep, for those of you who were wondering, that really IS him on Twitter. I saw it with my very own eyes! 8)

11:14 AM May 30th – Just finished interview http://sml.vg/q7qrup

BJ Penn Interview
Pic from @Officialbjpenn tweet

We’re famous! 😛

11:32 AM May 30th – @Officialbjpenn Mahaloz for the time! That was awesome!

My mahaloz to BJ through Twitsville.

12:34 PM May 30th – respects and admires BJ Penn even more now. What a kool kat!

So true. He’s such a mellow, cool, likeable guy. It’s no surprise that the entire state of Hawaii is so supportive of our MMA hero.

3:18 PM May 30th – just picked up 18 strawberry mochis from Two Ladies Kitchen. Wonder how dese buggahs taste…

Even though it was just an over-nighter, you know you gotsta pick up omiyage. We picked up 18 of these popular strawberry mochis from Two Ladies Kitchen. Holy Toledo. They were HEAVY!

All in all it was an awesome trip! Much love to BJ for the time! Mad props to JD Penn for the hook-ups and the hospitality. Mahaloz to Dave Oi for being my personal chauffeur and cameraman for the weekend! 😉

Stay tuned for the full-blown interview with BJ in July’s edition of AroundHawaii.com. I even slid some of your questions in from last week’s “Ask a BJ (Penn)” blog! Yeah YEAH!

And who knows!? We may even see a possible “Where In Hawaii” from Hilo this Wednesday? Hmm… *grin*

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my article for this month:

Banzai to Kanpai! - Kanpai Bar & Grill
Banzai to Kanpai! – Kanpai Bar & Grill

Shoots! Have a good week gang!

Fun Day Monday: Ask a BJ (Penn)

May 25, 2009

OK, so I think I did it! After months of persistence, I think I’ve finally secured that interview with BJ Penn! Much love JD! Gonna be flying up to Hilo this weekend, but before I do, I wanted to check in with all y’all MMA fans (or fans in general) to see if you had any questions for the UFC Lightweight Champion of the Woooooorrrrrllllllld! 8)

Post um below and I’ll take the best ones up with me! Wish me luck! 🙂

On a side note, if you have any suggestions for places to grind in Hilo, please post those as well. Shooots!

BJ Penn
Me and Da Champ!

MMA Television Programming for August 2008

August 1, 2008

MMA Television Programming for Hawaii – August 2008 (All shows are in HST on Oceanic Time Warner Cable):
Info may be updated after original post date so keep checking back.

  • Fri, August 1 @ 3:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Inside MMA:
    Guest panelists include MMA legend Randy Couture with details on his new book Becoming the Natural, his co-author Loretta Hunt, and combat sports medical specialist Dr. Johnny Benjamin.
  • Fri, August 1 @ 4:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Best of 2008, Vol. 2:
    The second installment of the best Mixed Martial Arts fights from 2008 on HDNet Fights. Fighters in action include IFL stars Roy Nelson and Waggney Fabiano, former 4-time All-American wrestler Jake Rosholt, and SportFight Featherweight Champion Enoch Wilson.
  • Sat, August 2 at the Neil Blaisdell Arena (local event – not televized)
    Icon Hard Times:
    Kala Kolohe Hose vs. Rolando Dominique, Bao Quach vs. Mark Oshiro, Phil Baroni vs. Ron Verdadero, Ross Ebanez vs. Keoni Bryant, Sidney Silva vs. Hideto Kondo, etc.
  • Sun, August 3 @ 3PM on Versus Channel 0210 or HGOLF Channel 1216
    WEC Live on Versus:
    Brian Stann defends his WEC™ light heavyweight title for the first time against Steve Cantwell, and WEC™ welterweight title holder Carlos Condit takes on Hiromitsu Miura. Watch live on Versus 6pm PT / 9pm ET Sunday night. [Fight Card]
  • Sun, August 3 @ 3:30AM on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL Channel 1008
    Strikeforce on NBC:
    Strikeforce on NBC brings you face-to-face with some of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the nation, every Saturday night! From top professional competitors and champions to the up-and-coming challengers, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on the world’s most extreme sport. Experience the adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding action that comes with each round in the cage – this is a series that will put MMA fans on the edge of their seats!
  • Wed, August 6 @ 3PM on Spike TV Channel 0559
    UFC Unleashed Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin:
    UFC® Unleashed™ is a themed hour of the best fights, legendary fighters and previews of upcoming battles.
  • Wed, August 6 @ 4PM on Versus Channel 0210 or HGOLF Channel 1216
    TapouT: Danny Lauzon:
    TapouT we follow the TapouT crew as they head out to East Bridgewater, MA to check out up-and-coming MMA fighter Dany Lauzon, little brother to UFC fighter Joe Lauzon. Before heading to meet Dany, the guys decide to stop in Boston to check out some historical landmarks where typical TapouT antics ensue. Once on the road again Mask and Skrape continue the fun by driving Punkass to the edge of losing it. Once they finally reach Dany who lives outside of Boston in East Bridgewater they soon discover that Dany has all the potential to be a great fighter but does not have the proper trainers. TapouT brings Dany to Mark DellaGrotte’s gym to show him that there are other options for him if he truly wants to be a professional fighter. The episode builds to the climatic ending where Dany fights at the World Championship Fighting in Wilmington, MA. Special Guest appearance by UFC President Dana White, who stops by the WCF fights.
  • Fri, August 8 @ 3:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Inside MMA:
    Inside MMA is your opportunity to step inside the world of mixed martial arts and find out what it takes to be a champion. Hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice provide all the latest news and highlights, along with features, analysis, and rankings.
  • Fri, August 8 @ 4:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Strikeforce™: Undercover:
    The best young fighters in action from Strikeforce, one of the top Mixed Martial Arts promotions in the world. Featured fights include: Lightweight contender Nam Phan (14-4) vs. undefeated Billy Evangelista (6-0), and 21 year-old Miesha Tate vs. veteran Elaina “Beef” Maxwell.
  • Sat, August 9 @ 4PM on PPV Channel 0701 or HDPPV Channel 1700 (preshow starts at 3:30PM)
    UFC 87 Seek and Destroy: St-Pierre vs. Fitch:
    Georges ‘Rush’ St-Pierre defends the UFC® Welterweight Championship at UFC® 87: SEEK AND DESTROY, as number one contender Jon Fitch steps up to take on the newly crowned champion. Then, hometown hero Brock Lesnar returns to the Octagon™ to seek redemption in the Heavyweight Division. Plus, in what could end up being the matchup of the year, lightweight contenders face off as Kenny ‘KenFlo’ Florian battles Roger ‘El Matador’ Huerta. [Fight Card]
  • Sun, August 10 @ 3:30AM on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL Channel 1008
    Strikeforce on NBC:
    Strikeforce on NBC brings you face-to-face with some of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the nation, every Saturday night! From top professional competitors and champions to the up-and-coming challengers, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on the world’s most extreme sport. Experience the adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding action that comes with each round in the cage – this is a series that will put MMA fans on the edge of their seats!
  • Wed, August 13 @ 4PM on Versus Channel 0210 or HGOLF Channel 1216
    TapouT: Greg McIntyre:
    On this episode of TapouT we follow the TapouT crew as they check in with an old friend Greg McIntyre in San Diego, CA who’s reentering the MMA world after having his colon removed. After stocking up on some TapouT gear, the crew heads to Throwdown Elite Training Facility to catch up with Greg and his trainer, UFC veteran Dean Lister. During the episode, TapouT learns more about Greg, his illness and the struggles he has gone through to get back into the cage. TapouT decides to sponsor Greg at the PURECOMBAT fight event in Visalia, CA where Greg will have to prove whether or not he is physically ready to be back in the cage fighting.
  • Fri, August 15 @ 3:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Inside MMA:
    Inside MMA is your opportunity to step inside the world of mixed martial arts and find out what it takes to be a champion. Hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice provide all the latest news and highlights, along with features, analysis, and rankings.
  • Fri, August 15 @ 5PM on Showtime Channel 0633 or HD Showtime Channel 1633
    SHOXC Elite Challenger Series:
    Po`ai Suganuma vs. Jared Hamman. [Fight Card]
  • Mon, August 18 @ 3PM on Spike TV Channel 0559
    UFC Unleashed Liddell vs. Silva:
    UFC® Unleashed™ is a themed hour of the best fights, legendary fighters and previews of upcoming battles.
  • Sun, August 17 @ 3:30AM on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL Channel 1008
    Strikeforce on NBC:
    Strikeforce on NBC brings you face-to-face with some of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the nation, every Saturday night! From top professional competitors and champions to the up-and-coming challengers, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on the world’s most extreme sport. Experience the adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding action that comes with each round in the cage – this is a series that will put MMA fans on the edge of their seats!
  • Wed, August 20 @ 4PM on Versus Channel 0210 or HGOLF Channel 1216
    TapouT: Johny and Jake:
    The TapouT crew travels to Las Vegas, NV looking for a 185 pounder to fill out their roster – Jake Rosholt and Johny Hendricks are both put to the test it out to see if they have what it takes to be a TapouT fighter in this unbelievable double header.
  • Fri, August 22 @ 3:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Inside MMA:
    Inside MMA is your opportunity to step inside the world of mixed martial arts and find out what it takes to be a champion. Hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice provide all the latest news and highlights, along with features, analysis, and rankings.
  • Sun, August 24 @ 3:30AM on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL Channel 1008
    Strikeforce on NBC:
    Strikeforce on NBC brings you face-to-face with some of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the nation, every Saturday night! From top professional competitors and champions to the up-and-coming challengers, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on the world’s most extreme sport. Experience the adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding action that comes with each round in the cage – this is a series that will put MMA fans on the edge of their seats!
  • Wed, August 27 @ 4PM on Versus Channel 0210 or HGOLF Channel 1216
    TapouT: Albert Manners:
    On this episode of TapouT, the guys head back to Hilo, HI to scope out fighter Albert Manners who trains with MMA fighter BJ Penn.
  • Fri, August 29 @ 3:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Inside MMA:
    Inside MMA is your opportunity to step inside the world of mixed martial arts and find out what it takes to be a champion. Hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice provide all the latest news and highlights, along with features, analysis, and rankings.
  • Sun, August 31 @ 3:30AM on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL Channel 1008
    Strikeforce on NBC:
    Strikeforce on NBC brings you face-to-face with some of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the nation, every Saturday night! From top professional competitors and champions to the up-and-coming challengers, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on the world’s most extreme sport. Experience the adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding action that comes with each round in the cage – this is a series that will put MMA fans on the edge of their seats!

Ongoing/repeat shows include UFC Unleashed (UFC) on SpikeTV (0559), Various Specials on HDNet Fights (1355), World Extreme Cagefighting and WEC Wreckage (WEC) on Versus (0210) or HGOLF (1216), TapouT on Versus (0210) or HGOLF (1216), UFC Wired (UFC) on KFVE (0005), Strikefoce on NBC on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL 1008, EliteXC on Showtime (0633) or HD Showtime (1633), and ICON Sport TV on KFVE (0005). See also: Sherdog.com., Yahoo! Sports, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, MMA Weekly, MMA Mania.

If I missed anything, send it on over and I’ll add it to the list. Thanks!