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Tag: lightweight

BJ Penn to Train in Brazil With Jose Aldo and Renan Barao Before Frankie Edgar Fight

bj penn val kilmer
(Alright BJ, now that you’ve kicked your training camp up a notch, it’s time to fire your dietician.) 

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.

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Dumbest Idea Ever of the Day: Nate Diaz is Headed Back to the Welterweight Division, Y’all


(“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein, clearly foreshadowing the career of Nate Diaz.)

You remember how we previously discussed the wolfpack-like sense of loyalty that seems to exist between the members of Team Cesar Gracie? Or how they would rather retire than face another member of their loyal platoon in glorious mixed martial arts competition? Well, since Nate Diaz’s training partner/homeboy Gil Melendez is fighting Ben Henderson at UFC on FOX 7 this weekend and is going to win the fight with 100% certainty (and the fight after that, and the fight after that…), the former #1 contender might as well get to steppin’. That’s according to him, at least:

I’m not huntin’ (the title) right now, honestly. My boy is about to put it down and hold the belt for the next … I don’t even know how long. I’m probably gonna bail up outta this weight division as soon as this fight is done. I fought everybody at lightweight already. 

That’s right, despite compiling an 9-4 UFC record at lightweight that included a(n unsuccessful) title shot against Ben Henderson last December, Diaz is presumably headed back to the division that saw him score wins over a couple of guys who have since been fired and get absolutely manhandled by Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald. Pardon my language, but boy, you have smoked yourself retarded.

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It Looks Like Ben Henderson’s Days As a Lightweight Are Numbered


(Henderson, seen here making Shane Roller rapidly consider cutting to featherweight at WEC 40.) 

No, we are not jumping on the Nate Diaz bandwagon. Not yet, at least.

In a recent interview with MMAJunkie, current UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson resentfully admitted something that no athlete is ever quick to declare: He ain’t getting any younger. And because of this, it is getting harder and harder for a massive lightweight such as “Smooth” to make the required cut for each of his title defenses. How much weight does he cut? Henderson didn’t reveal the exact number, but several close sources claimed that the lightweight champ normally resides around the 180-pound mark often up to just a few days out from fight night. It’s a massive, draining cut for any athlete to undergo, and as we’ve seen in the past, can have devastating effects on the human body. Henderson is no different, and acknowledged that he has struggled to deal with the cut as he has gotten older:

When I was in college and wrestling, I would wrestle all day long and not get tired. I remember wrestling hard for five hours – literally five hours hard –  and be just fine. I would eat friggin’ Taco Bell, be fine, and wrestle again.

I’m growing, but as far as maturing and getting thicker, I think I’m getting older right now, and it’s getting harder for me to lose the weight … and it’s harder for me to keep the weight off.

Henderson’s UFC on FOX 5 opponent, Nate Diaz, is no stranger to the difficulty of weight cutting, having moved up to welterweight to fight on several occasions but finding much less success there. The same could be argued for Henderson, who stands at a mere 5 foot 9 and would hold a distinct size disadvantage were he to move up in weight. But according to Henderson, it is only a matter of time until the choice is no longer an option.

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Frankie Edgar’s Coach Says He Should Drop to 135 Pounds


(Frankie Edgar vs. Dominick Cruz for the UFC bantamweight title, with special guest referee Michael Vick. Dare we dream? | Photo via the best communications director in MMA)

For years, everyone from UFC President Dana White to fans of former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar have called for “The Answer” to drop down to a more natural competition weight of 145 pounds because he’s so much smaller than just about everyone he’s faced in the Octagon. To this point, Edgar has only seemed to be annoyed at the suggestion — after all, he clearly has no problem competing with the relative behemoths at lightweight — but now even his team seems to be saying he should drop down…to bantamweight.

You read that correctly (or maybe you didn’t, we really can’t vouch for either your vision or literacy, so get off our back, ok?): Edgar’s boxing coach and The World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry says that he’d like to see Edgar, who he says walks around at just 157-159 pounds, instead campaign at 135 pounds:

Me personally, I’d like to see Frankie for like a year to take a rest on his back and his body to fight people at 135 to do what everybody in the whole MMA community is [doing] and suck him down to nothing, looking like their death the day of the weigh-in and fight people that weigh as much as him,” Henry said while a guest on the SiriusXM Fight Club radio show Monday.

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It’s Official: Diego Sanchez is a Lightweight…Again


(Who knew that “The Dream” was actually short for “The Wet Dream Brought on by Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation”?) 

After going 2-2 in his return to the welterweight division, which began back in 2010 and included wins over Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann, as well as a most recent loss to Jake Ellenberger at the inaugural UFC on FUEL event, it looks like Diego Sanchez is headed back down to lightweight. We have been told by an anonymous source that the move has nothing to do with the fact that B.J. Penn a.k.a the man who handed Sanchez the worst beating of his career has returned to the welterweight division, but rather because BJ Penn a.k.a the man who handed Sanchez the worst beating of his career has left the lightweight division. So rest assured, Sanchez is definitely not ducking B.J. Penn.

Sanchez made the announcement over his Twitter account earlier today in a conversation with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan:

@joerogan there isn’t anyone out there that understands Mma as a whole like you do! Thanks Joe, its back to 155 for me… Should be good!!

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Diego Sanchez Eyeing Yet Another Weight Change, Wants to Face Anthony Pettis at Lightweight


(Look at it this way, it’s not like it could end any worse than the first time around.) 

Diego Sanchez has kind of become the Oprah of MMA. One minute he’s fat, the next he’s skinny, and in the moments between, he’s using a combination of over-the-top enthusiasm and divine right to help amass a cult following that consists of anyone within shouting distance. Perhaps it is ironic that the only fighter in UFC history to jump between more weight classes than Sanchez is the man he managed to beat for the TUF 1 middleweight plaque, Kenny Florian.

In either case, it looks like Diego’s most recent trip up to welterweight, which saw him go 2-2 (or 1-3 depending on how you viewed the Kampmann fight) will not be where the UFC’s go-to YES!! man will call home for long. In a recent interview with MMAJunkie.com, Sanchez stated that he is considering dropping back down to lightweight, because, you know, B.J. Penn is gone now. Fine, he didn’t state that directly, but we can read between the lines. Anyway, after undergoing surgery to fix a nagging shoulder injury, Sanchez feels 155 might become his new stomping grounds…again:

I really try to lift weights, but the shoulder injury sort of set me back. As I heal up, my body’s going to get a little smaller, so I might just go down to 155.

The last time I was at 155, I was just a wreck. Mentally, I was still young and partying a lot, and I was still smoking weed. I was just a wild child. Now that I’m grounded and have my life together and am married, I’m just focused. So maybe 155 might be a better weight for me.

Our question to Diego is: Why stop there? The flyweight division could sure use another contender that gives us the willies.

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Video of Today’s UFC: Diaz vs. Miller Press Conference in New York


(One of these guys will likely get the winner of Showtime-Bendo II)

The UFC held a press conference in New York City today for the May 5 UFC on Fox 3 show, which we would have covered live, had they not rejected our credential application AGAIN. Thankfully we still have access to these things via YouTube.

Probably the most interesting tidbit to come out of the event was Dana White’s assertion that the winner of the Jim Miller-Nate Diaz bout would likely be the next in line for a title shot after Anthony Pettis.

It makes sense, even though Nate is only 2-0 in his current run as a lightweight and Jim lost his last bout against Ben Henderson. When you look at the fact that Diaz beat Melvin Guillard and Donald Cerrone as a lightweight, has only lost to Gray Maynard, Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson in the Octagon at 155 and he has never been finished and that prior to losing to the current champ, Miller had only ever been defeated by Frankie Edgar and Maynard, it makes sense.

Really, besides giving Edgar another shot — which he really should have to earn, considering he lost fair and square to Henderson — who else deserves a crack at the belt?

Tickets for the May 5 event, that takes place in New Jersey at the Izod Center, go on sale tomorrow.

Check out the full vid of the presser after the jump.

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WTF?! of the Day: Dana White Thinks Frankie Edgar Should Fight Jose Aldo Next


(To be fair, DW also thought the Conan remake was going to TOTALLY RULE.) 

In what might become known as the most difficult rebound match in the history of combat sports, UFC President Dana White has suggested that former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar drop down to 145 lbs, whereupon he would be given an immediate title shot against Jose Aldo. When questioned on the possibility of Edgar receiving a rematch against Ben Henderson following his…close, I guess, decision loss at UFC 144, White didn’t come right out and say yes or no, but rather suggested an alternate route for Edgar:

I think everybody is pretty clear on what I’d like to see him do, I’d like to see him go down to his natural weight of 145 pounds. There’s no doubt, again, when you talk about respecting a guy, I have so much respect for Frankie Edgar and what he’s been able to do at 155 pounds – because he had to, because there wasn’t a 145 pound division…

…if I’m gonna deny him the rematch for the 155 pound title, I’m gonna make him move to 145 and say, ‘Yeah, you’re gonna have to fight a couple fights first to get the title.’ Does that sound right? No.

When asked for comment, Urijah Faber exclaimed, “That makes perfect sense to me. Absolutely perfect sense.” OK, we made that last part up.

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The Argument For Banning Weight Cutting in MMA


(Davis during a much easier weight cut. Photo courtesy of MMAJunkie)

As a member of a group that has done some consulting for the Ontario Athletic Commission in terms of MMA fighter safety and regulation, I’ve been a longtime opposer of the practice of weight cutting. It’s just a matter of time before a fighter dies from the practice.

Not only is the process a dangerous one that has led to the death of several high school and college wrestlers, its side effects are non-reversible and can cause major health problems for fighters later in life. It’s no coincidence that many of the sport’s participants who used to wrestle and cut weight in their youth are now on hormone replacement therapy. Starvation and extreme dehydration — two of the facets of the weight cutting procedure — put stress on the body’s endocrine system and inhibit the production of key chemicals such as testosterone, adrenaline and insulin.

Former UFC welterweight-turned-lightweight Marcus Davis shared a scary weight cutting story with MMA Weekly recently that should be a must read for athletic commissions who allow such a dangerous practice as dropping between 10 and 40 lbs the week of a fight to take place.

Davis, a former pro boxer who had been cutting weight since he was a teenager explained that his first post-UFC bout weight cut for his MFC 29 bout with Curtis Demarce in April was a nightmare that very well could have had fatal consequences.

“It’s kind of scary to say this but that fight almost killed me, making that weight. I had a really, really, really bad time and I still made the weight, but I’ll never ever be able to do that again,” Davis explained, revealing that the dehydration left him without his voice at weigh-ins and unable to urinate or have a bowel movement for the better part of a week. “After that, I think I was all the way down to 154 (pounds) when I ended up weighing in and that fight was on a Friday. That Monday I was 207, so it had nothing to do with my overeating. It had to do with my body freaked out and thought that I might torture it again like that so it just held onto everything.”

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The Chaos Continues: What the #@%! Is Going On At 155?

Don’t drink and:  drive, dial, text, facebook, or photoshop. -Anonymous

Let’s face it, Nation.  The lightweight field in the UFC  is a hopeless clusterfoxtrot.  Half of the names in the top ten last summer are either not at 155 anymore, or suddenly non-factors.  Six months ago, the WEC-UFC roster merger was supposed to clear up, once and for all, who the best fighters were.

Well….

The UFC title fight between Gray Maynard and champ Frankie Edgar was supposed to coincide nicely with the WEC’s own lightweight title fight at the December 16th event, the last by the promotion.  Anthony “Showtime Kick” Pettis defeated champion Ben Henderson by a close (but stupifyingly impressive) decision, something you would assume gives Henderson some legitimate claim to a title shot, or at least a number to get in line.

Two weeks later, Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar go have themselves a fun little match in which they both manage to kick the other’s ass, but nobody wins.  Seriously, it’s a draw.

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