The finger pointing continues. Following what looks to be the final bout of a Hall of Fame career, everyone who contributed to B.J. Penn's bizarre performance against Frankie Edgar in July has looked to distance themselves as much as possible. While Penn's altered striking style was blamed (perhaps unjustly so) on longtime trainer Jason Parillo, Penn has been critical of nutritionist Mike Dolce.
After saying in August that he regretted ever hiring Dolce to help make the drop to featherweight, Penn now says he paid the coach $22,000 for 21 days of work. Last week, Dolce gave his account of his time working with Penn while appearing on UFC commentator Joe Rogan's podcast, downplaying his role in the camp leading up to the fight.
Following being part of Penn's staff for the 19th installment of 'The Ultimate Fighter,' Dolce said Penn's camp broke off communication and that he didn't hear from them until 'a few weeks before the fight.' Describing Penn's training camp as in 'a crisis mode,' Dolce said he didn't arrive in Hawaii until Jun. 9, just less than a month before the Jul. 6 bout with Edgar in Las Vegas. Dolce has been known to physically live with clients in the past, but claimed he stayed miles away from Penn and didn't prepare any of his meals.
"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. 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."
"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," says Penn. "I don't know what he's talking about."
When Rogan asked him for an example of something going on in camp he had an issue with, Dolce cited a relaxed training schedule, saying Penn was only training once a day, but not even every day.
"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."
Dolce also told Rogan that Penn's camp was devoid of high level sparring partners, but Penn refutes that.
"He brought Nick Lentz in for 5 rounds, but he couldn't continue after the 4th and left the cage bloodied. Dolce even walked up to me after and said he ‘knew I was going to win the fight because I just broke Nik Lentz'. I don't know why he's saying my camp wasn't good. Everyone I sparred with knows that I was well prepared, including the two sparring partners that he brought in "
Saying Penn had refused to use an IV after making weight at 145 pounds, Dolce explained that he didn't argue because Penn 'didn't cut an ounce' and was 'eating and drinking walking over to weigh-ins.'
"Did he need an IV? I'm not a doctor, but he didn't want a doctor to come administer it and I have to rely on the athlete," said Dolce. "It's his body, his choice. He said he'd never used one before, didn't want one. He 'felt great' is what he had said. 'Perfect, well, here's a houseful of food and fluid and everything that you need to consume, so enjoy.'"
According to Penn, the fighter received little to no attention from Dolce once he stepped off the scale.
"I turned down the IV, so Dolce made an attempt to rehydrate me in a different way that he does," says Penn. "I woke up the next day (fight day) at 150 [pounds] and I ate this much food for the 13 hours before the fight that day. Dolce didn't come to check on me, or monitor my weight, and I couldn't get in touch with him. I don't feel there was any real attempt to get back to my sparring weight after weighing in.
"From all my years of experience in the UFC, every second counts from the scale to the cage, and Mike Dolce didn't share the same mentality as I did. Dolce made every meal I ate the whole time I was there [in Vegas], and now after the fact, he says I should have went and ate my own food if I was hungry."
Penn says he believed Dolce would prompt him when and how to eat on fight day, but that there was a misunderstanding.
"After the fight I asked him why he fed me so little on fight day. And all he said was, ‘Why didn't you go eat if you were hungry?" I replied, ‘I was waiting for the $20,0000 man to tell me what to do.', then he said, ‘Take your $20,000.00 back then." I figured that paying this guy $1,000 a day, I could just focus on the fight and Dolce would focus on the food and weight cut. But I guess that was my job to focus on the food, and my weight, and the money was charity for the Dolce Diet."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Scrum. Ronda Rousey answered questions from the Brazilian media about potential fights with Gina Carano and Bethe Correia, facing jiu-jitsu world champions in Metamoris event, upcoming title fights in the UFC, Cat Zingano's return and much more.
Barn Cat. Tandam McCrory explains the long road back to fighting and being grateful to get a second chance. 'I knew I was probably being pulled in here to get beat, and I was cool with that.'
The bet. Michael Bisping explains to Luke Rockhold why he didn't want to accept a challenge involving swapping purses. 'I get paid four or five times more than you. There's a reason why that is. Perhaps I will donate you some money to go out and buy yourself a suit when I kick your ass on Nov. 8.'
Conor McGregor: Full Blast.
Andrei Arlovski's Octagon interview, but no highlights because it's a Fight Pass show.
Highlights from RFA 18.
Another KO from Paul Daley at BAMMA 16.
Gleison Tibau (@GleisonTibauMMA) September 14, 2014
Obrigado meu Deus por me dar saúde e deixar fazer oque eu tanto amo, que é lutar e ser feliz!! "Ninguém disse que... http://t.co/Q5kI85FX3y— Leonardo Santos (@LeoSantosbjj) September 14, 2014
Na coletiva de imprensa pós luta! Post-fight press conference! http://t.co/DPpBLB2gP7— Jessica Andrade (@JessicaMMApro) September 14, 2014
Live my family friends and fans getting better thanks to my team and your support— George Sullivan (@SullivanMMA) September 14, 2014
Sean Spencer (@seanspencer170) September 14, 2014
Thank you Jesus for everything!!! Hard work pays off @MMAWorldSeries— Marlon Moraes (@MMARLONMORAES) September 14, 2014
Better luck next time.
I am ok guys, sad but I am ok, I will come back...@ufc— Igor Araujo (@igoraraujojj) September 14, 2014
Thanks for the love everyone, didn't get the W, but at least I get to eat! I love you all!... http://t.co/pZNRiweT6u— russell doane (@RussellDoane135) September 14, 2014
Brazil thank you for ur support, lost a battle but the war is coming is going on so keep ur eyes open... http://t.co/7M8HUqypKO— Efrain Escudero (@effyescudero) September 14, 2014
Celebrate my birthday with my parents... Celebrando o dia de meu aniversario com meus pais... http://t.co/t1VnBcVxj3— Antonio Pezao Silva (@BigfootSilva) September 14, 2014
Cody Bollinger (@CodyBollinger) September 14, 2014
Shirt looks good on him.
Ben Askren (@Benaskren) September 12, 2014
Felice Herrig (@feliceherrig) September 14, 2014
Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 15, 2014
Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) September 14, 2014
Today I make my first class to pilot!! Hoje fiz minha primeira aula de pilotagem muito interessante... http://t.co/d0Pa8ggjuT— Wanderlei Silva (@wandfc) September 14, 2014
Announced this weekend (Sept. 12-14 2014)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via HerrDannyboy.
Why 2013 Kicked this MMA Fan's @ss Part 7D: July: He took it for granted... Act IV - The Dénouement
After the equivalent of beating me within an inch of my life and leaving me for dead, depressed, in a ditch, with 2 broken knees and amnesia in July (also called giving someone a Christy Macking), 2013 decides to turn my frown upside down with some MMA absurdity.
On August 1st, 2013, Bellator officially proclaims to their 7 followers that Tito Ortiz will come out of exile to attempt to face former training partner and fellow former UFC Light heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson on November 2nd, 2013 at Bellator 106.
That same night, Ortiz returned to TNA (not to be confused with his ex's TnA), revealing himself as the man behind the cryptic #August1Warning tweets and YouTube videos, and staring down the Aces & Eights and The Main Event Mafia, which included Quinton Jackson.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.