Penn to fight Hughes today with new head trainer, corner-men

November 20, 2010, 9:02 AM HST · Updated November 20, 9:02 AM
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BJ Penn is significantly switching things up.

Troy Mandaloniz

Coming off a two-fight skid to Frankie Edgar, who stole his UFC Light-weight championship by split decision in April and then put a stamp on it with a dominating decision win in August, the Hilo native decided he needed a fresh start for his welter-weight rubber-match against Matt Hughes today at UFC 123 “Rampage vs. Machida” at the Palace of Auburn Hill in Detroit.

Longtime trainers and corner-men Rudy Valentino and Jason Perillo have been replaced by Troy Mandaloniz and Justin McCulley. Both men have fought in the UFC and have ties to UFC middleweight Kendall Grove & I & I Training Center in Maui.

It’s unclear whether the change is permanent, but appears amicable. According to reports, Perillo and Valentino—legendary MMA masterminds—still participated in his training for the bout.

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“We’re just trying to get a different look, just going with some different ideas. We all still train together,” Penn told MMAFighting.com. “I’ve actually trained with both [Rudy Valentino and Jason Parillo] while preparing for this fight, but up here – as far as the corner goes – we got different ideas.

“We got a different gameplan. Our last two fights didn’t go the way we wanted and we’re all in agreement that we wanna put something together and get a victory.”

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