It seems like no one wants to take responsibility for BJ Penn’s horrendous performance in what was likely the former champion’s last fight in the UFC.
When Penn took on Frankie Edgar in July, the new striking style that he employed was blamed on his longtime trainer Jason Parillo. Since then, Penn has squarely pointed the finger at nutritionist Mike Dolce.
After first admitting that he regretted hiring Dolce to help him change his weight class to featherweight, Penn now says he paid Dolce $22,000 for only 21 days of work. For his part, Dolce underplayed his involvement when he talked to Joe Rogan on the UFC commentator’s podcast.
After being a part of Penn’s coaching team on The Ultimate Fighter 19, Dolce said that Penn broke off all communication and only contacted him with a few weeks left before the fight. The trainer said that he didn’t arrive in Hawaii where Penn trained until June 9 meaning his services were sought with less than a month to go before the July 6 match with Edgar.
“It was a weird situation. It was one of the oddest training camps I’ve ever been a part of and I was there for less than two weeks physically in Hawaii,” Dolce said. “I had very little influence, unfortunately. I made some very strong suggestions and I made very strong observations to members of the team of what I saw and what I was accustomed to.”
For his part, Penn had a different version of events.
“He said he had no influence in my camp, but he brought in sparring partners, did my food and diet, and had me do his treadmill, plyometrics, and core routines,” said Penn. “I don’t know what he’s talking about.”
When pressed for details about what specifically bothered him about Penn’s camp, Dolce said that it was the former champion’s inability to adhere to a strict training schedule.
“We trained 5-6 days a week,” says Penn. “Cardio in the morning, I ran anywhere from four to eight miles a day, and sparring/grappling and MMA training in the evening. I sparred five rounds at any moment. I passed all his treadmill intervals with flying colors, and I listened to him on every step of the diet that he gave me.”
Tags: B.J Penn, Mixed Martial Arts