B.J. Penn inspires MMA fighter - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

B.J. Penn inspires MMA fighter

Cody Willenborg Cody Willenborg

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HAWAII KAI (KHNL) - A sold out crowd of 17,000 will pack the Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena for the fight, but here in Hawaii future mixed martial arts hopefuls are getting in on the hype.

Penn vs St. Pierre.  Vegas gamblers are placing bets, cable providers call it the biggest MMA draw ever. But B.J. Penn fans don't just want to watch, they want to follow in his footsteps.

Fierce, fast, focused. Cody Willenborg is one of the finest up and coming fighters.

"It's certainly not knitting. Rough. Brute. Very competitive," said MMA Fighter Cody Willenborg.

This 15-year old from Hawaii Kai wants to be world champ. As B.J. Penn bouts Georges St. Pierre on the international stage, like many who admire Penn's precision, Willenborg will be watching.

"I think he's going to do well. I'll watch him on the ground, what moves he's doing. Kind of put myself in his position. Base his attacks off the other person and see how I would do that," said Willenborg.

"He's just a great inspiration for me, he's got a great jiu jitsu background and I can look forward to getting up to his level someday," he says.

With three years of training under his belt, practice makes perfect for this phenom. Working hard, with his eyes focused on one day entering the octagon.

He's already won some tournaments, but aside from fighting, Cody is also a wrestler, boxer and writer for his school newspaper, and even a helicopter pilot.

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