By all indications so far, BJ Penn is pretty motivated to be at his best when he battles Frankie Edgar for a third time next year, as not only will the decorated fighter drop to 145 pounds, but he’s apparently enlisted the help of Nova Uniao’s Andre Pedernieras.
According to report from Globo.com’s Combate (as relayed in English via MMA Fighting.com) Penn has asked the team’s head coach to help him during TUF 19. Pedernieras, who knows a thing or two about fighting, was quoted saying in the aforementioned report:
“It was a honor to receive this invitation,” Pederneiras said about being invited to help coach Team Penn. “B.J. and his brother are really close. He is really excited and motivated with his fight against Edgar. It’s going to be a great opportunity for me to show my work as a coach to the audience outside of Brazil, which is not used to see my work closely.”
While Pedernieras has helped developed numerous top tier fighters, including Renan Barao and featherweight champ Jose Aldo (who fought and defeated Edgar earlier this year), Penn has a history with the accomplished trainer. Pedernieras awarded Penn his BJJ black belt well over ten years ago. According to the report, Pedernieras also wants Penn to return to Rio de Janiero and spend part of his camp training with Nova Uniao.
“We’ve studied Edgar’s game a lot for Aldo’s fight,” he said, “so I believe there’s no better place and sparrings better for B.J. to come back in great fashion and motivated.”
Training with one of the planet’s best teams certainly sounds like a plan. The filming for TUF 19 will get underway in the coming months and the season will begin airing in April. Edgar-Penn is expected to take place sometime next summer.
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