â€œDonâ€™t be scared, homie.â€
While former Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz may have originated the above phrase and Jason Miller may have popularized it, Cesar Gracie has seemingly perfected it as evident in a recent conversation on the topic of Diazâ€™s upcoming fight with BJ Penn.
With their bout at UFC 137 now serving as main event due to yesterdayâ€™s unfortunate news surrounding Georges St. Pierreâ€™s health, Diazâ€™s camp in California has publicly expressed an interest in making the headliner a five-round affair. However, Penn’s team has shied away from the notion, saying he needed to gauge his fighterâ€™s fitness first before committing to potentially going twenty-five minutes on October 29.
Gracie, Diazâ€™s head trainer and manager, has since upped the stakes a notch by calling into question Pennâ€™s â€œwarriorâ€ mentality.
“Dana is good with it. We’ve agreed to it. If BJ agrees to it, we’ll make it happen,â€ Gracie explained in an exchange with MMAFighting. â€œBJ has always said he’s a warrior. … The old school days of MMA, back when it was (No Holds Barred), they fought forever.â€
“Don’t be scared, homie. Let’s make it five rounds,â€ Gracie playfully suggested referring to the line made famous by his enigmatic pupil.
While the loss of St. Pierreâ€™s title-fight against Carlos Condit was certainly a blow to UFC 137, in addition to Penn vs. Diaz the lineup also features Mirko Filipovic vs. Roy Nelson, Donald Cerrone vs. Dennis Siver, Bart Palaszewski vs. Tyson Griffin, and Matt Mitrione vs. Cheick Kongo.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE