Before B.J. Penn joined the UFC and became a multi-division champion and future hall of famer, he received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Nova Uniao’s head coach, Andre Pederneiras. Now, as Penn plans his come back fight against Frankie Edgar in 2014, the fighter has asked Pederneiras to help prepare him.
Pederneiras coaches featherweight champion Jose Aldo, so he has experience preparing for Edgar. “We’ve studied Edgar’s game a lot for Aldo’s fight,” he said, according to MMA Fighting‘s Guilherme Cruz.
“So I believe there’s no better place and sparring’s better for B.J. to come back in great fashion and motivated.”
Details are not official but Pederneiras says that he wants Penn to conduct his training camp in Rio where he can train with the likes of Aldo and bantamweight champion Renan Barao. This is an interesting piece of news, though it may be premature to assume anything about what Penn will do just yet.
First off, we were under the impression that Penn was told he’d get a chance to fight for the featherweight title if he were to beat Edgar, as they are doing the bout at 145 pounds. Their first two fights were lightweight title affairs. That seemed dubious at first precisely because of Penn’s connection to Aldo’s Nova Uniao’s team. It seems unlikely that Pederneiras would prepare Penn to become the #1 contender to his prize pupil’s title.
Sure, Edgar already made the move down but Penn is still the major drawing name in this match up and if he wants to fight at lightweight, we’re betting the UFC will accommodate him. Now, there’s no reason that the 5’9 Penn couldn’t make 145 pounds simply by living healthy, dieting down slightly and cutting a little water weight right before the fight.
Heck, there’s no reason Penn couldn’t have done that his entire career. But he never did.
For whatever reason, probably because he is good enough to get away with it, Penn never thought it necessary to do what most other fighters do and that is eat well to stay around a weight that would allow them to fight in a weight class where they are best suited. Instead, he fought at lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight.
Is Penn committed enough to do what is necessary to fight at featherweight now, in his mid-thirties? Perhaps.
He doesn’t have anything to prove and has taken a lot of damage throughout his career, so this writer is still not on board with the idea of him coming back to begin with. More cynical members of the CP staff are dubious that this fight will materialize at all, regardless the weight it is supposed to be contested at (Ed note: But especially at featherweight.)
Do you think the TUF curse will catch up with either Edgar or Penn, nation? And do you think that Penn will overcome the poi curse that has afflicted him throughout his career and make featherweight?
On a related note, does anyone know where a brotha can get some good poi in the Midwest?