Cesar Gracie: B.J. Penn Surrounded by 'Yes Men'

Trainer Cesar Gracie suggested on Friday that B.J. Penn should direct his anger towards his own camp for his recent troubles instead of Gracie Fighter member Nick Diaz.

"At some point it is up to those around you to protect you from yourself," Gracie said on his official website. "To take you aside and let you know you are wrong and help save you from your folly. Unfortunately for Penn he is surrounded by 'Yes Men' that are unwilling to do that. The outcome will be predictable, resulting in a fighter that will never push himself to the fullest and will always have excuses for his losses."

Gracie is responding to Penn's fierce message Thursday towards Diaz on Twitter, questioning Diaz's approach in their showdown two months ago at UFC 137.

"@nickdiaz209 Look how much bigger you are in this pic," Penn wrote on Twitter, referring to this post-fight photo.

"You were gonna scrap from the beginning homie? What was that coward fence holding strategy to tire out the smaller man? Street fighter my ass! I made you fight like glassjaw @jonfitchdotnet poser! I'll be ready for that weak bs next time we fight!"

At UFC 137, Diaz convincingly outpointed Penn through three rounds to eventually earn himself a shot at the UFC welterweight championship.

According to BJPenn.com Editor-in-chief Pedro Carrasco, the Tweet came out of Penn's frustration with his recent performances. Penn holds one victory in his last five outings.

"... There is a reason why he posted it," Carrasco said on The Underground Forum. "He is fired up because now that the holidays are over and a lot of his post-fight distractions are behind him, he has nothing to do but think about things and he is not happy with the way he performed in his last several fights.

"I am not here to make excuses for him, but I am pretty sure people, at least with some sense of intelligence, can identify that the B.J. that fought Edgar, Fitch and Diaz was not the same Penn that fought the Diego's and Florians of the world," Carrasco continued. "Things changed, but as it sits right now, he is back. That killer mentality and fire is back and it's been brewing for a while now and today's tweet is a result of it just boiling over!"

As of now, there is no official word on Penn's future in MMA. Following the loss to Diaz, Penn hinted towards retirement from MMA competition. Meanwhile, next for Diaz is a UFC interim title bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 143 on Feb. 4.

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