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BJ Penn Has Some Harsh Words For Mike Dolce and His $20,000 “Charity” Diet


(Yeah, you’ve almost got the idea. / via Penn’s instagram)

I can only imagine what BJ Penn‘s fans were thinking when they saw the gaunt, sickly featherweight version of the former two-division champion trudge to the ring for his “Why God, WHY?!” trilogy fight with Frankie Edgar at the TUF 19 Finale. I mean, I can’t technically say that I’m a fan of Penn or any fighter for that matter, lest it interfere with my fancy journalistic oath (*takes off “Chris Lytle: State Senator” shirt and puffs pipe*), but even I had to admit that overwhelming sadness induced by his performance that night was only outweighed by his breakdown during the evening’s post-fight press conference.

When we learned that Penn had actually brought in renowned dietician Mike Dolce to help him make the cut to 145 lbs, it was even more surprising to see the final product that was his emaciated, just-a-nickel-a-day-to-save-this-boy’s-life frame. Although Penn wouldn’t go into detail at first, he was highly critical of the infamous “Dolce Diet” and more or less alluded that it was a crock of sh*t. Now a month removed from his fight with Edgar, Penn feels that enough time has passed to start pissing in Dolce’s cornflakes, telling BJPenn.com that the $20,000 he paid Dolce for three weeks work was nothing short of charity:

BJPENN.COM: One of the first things he said was that he had no influence in your last training camp. Is that true?

BJ Penn: “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. I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

BJPENN.COM: What was Dolce’s fee for all this?

BJ Penn: “I hadn’t been to 145 (pounds) in 18 years and that cut was intimidating. I wanted to get it right, so we brought in Mike Dolce, and paid him $22,000.00 for 21 days of service. That’s $1000.00 per day plus a $1000.00 tip.”

BJPENN.COM: Dolce said he filled your place with food, pasta, free range beef, all these things including tons of sea salt. In his words, “enough food to feed a family of six”. True?

BJ Penn: “There was no food in the apartment, and he never told me what to eat. 

That’s the first thing I thought after the fight, was that I should have just filled this place with food and not listened to Dolce. But when you pay someone that kind of money, you entrust them to do their job and take that off your hands.”

Oddly enough, Dolce seemed to agree with Penn for the most part (via MMAJunkie):

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. I made some strong suggestions and very strong observations to members of the team about what I saw, what I’m accustomed to and what I think would really benefit him.

The suggestions that I made, I made them officially, and they were accepted but not responded or reacted to. It was just a matter of that’s the direction he chose to go. He’s either going to win and look like a f-cking genius, or he’s going to not win and he’s going to make the oddsmakers look like geniuses.

Considering that Rampage Jackson also turned on Mike Dolce following their partnership, we can draw one of two conclusions:

- A nutritionist who’s best known for spreading nutella on bread and doesn’t even keep any goddamned trail mix in the apartment is not worth $1,000/day.

- A fighter who’s infamous for his lack of motivation (Penn) and another fighter who has turned on everybody he’s ever worked with (‘Page) are not reliable sources when it comes to anything that happens in a training camp.

So, probably the second one. Let’s not forget that it was Penn’s decision to take a suicide mission at featherweight and use an upright, Koji Oishi-esque striking style that left his longtime coach dumbfounded. He just doesn’t seem like the kind of dude who absorbs feedback, so to speak. If I had to guess, I’d say Penn’s entourage gobbled up all the free-range beef every time he went out to grab a footlong or one of these goddamned things.

Related: Mike Dolce Says He Could Have Gotten Israel Kamakawiwo’ole Down to Light-Heavyweight “No Problem”

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