B.J. Penn’s Time at Lightweight May Have Come To An End

February 17, 2011
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BJ Penn at UFC 123

BJ Penn at UFC 123

Just a couple of years ago, B.J. Penn was on his way to being considered the greatest lightweight the sport of MMA has ever seen. Now, as he gets ready to fight in his second straight bout at 170 pounds, his days as a lightweight may be behind him forever.

Despite a 3-3 record overall at welterweight, as Penn gets ready to face Jon Fitch in the main event at UFC 127, the Hawaiian sounds like he’s done with cutting weight and making the move down to lightweight.

“When it comes to 155 pounds, I don’t even like cutting the weight to make that weight. It’s not a tough cut for me, I probably cut about three or four pounds on the day of the weigh-in, but you’ve got to cut down food and you’ve got to cut your water down, and I don’t know if that’s a healthy thing,” he said recently.

Penn has stated on numerous occasions that he still looks at MMA as a fight, and not some athletic competition. He also doesn’t agree with many of the methods that a lot of fighters use to make weight, and then try to re-hydrate themselves for a fight 24 hours later.

“If we said let’s meet tomorrow at 12 o’clock to fight someone and your family honor is on the line, the first thing I wouldn’t do is stop drinking water and stop eating. I don’t see how that can help you and make you a stronger person,” Penn said.

“People I.V. and do all these things, and I never thought about playing those games and sticking needles in my arms.”

Weight cutting really has become a science in the mixed martial arts world. With wrestlers making up a big portion of the fighters transitioning into MMA, weight cutting is just a part of the sport.

While Penn points to the unhealthy side, several weight cutting gurus would point to the fact that there are right ways and wrong ways to shed pounds as weigh-in day approaches.

Former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor turned trainer Mike Dolce has worked with several top flight UFC fighters to get them on weight or help them cut down to a new weight class, and does so primarily with diet and not extreme measures. Still, Penn says, he’s not a fan of the methods used to make weight in this sport and he’s happy that he doesn’t have to change his lifestyle much before fighting at 170 pounds.

“I come from a whole different mindset. I believe you get as healthy as you can and you go fight the best guy possible,” Penn said.

“I feel that right now I’m at a great mindset and when we get to Australia we’re going to fight less than 24 hours after the weigh-in. I think the weigh-ins are around 4:30 and the show starts at 2 o’clock the next day, so I’d rather be in the position that I’m in because I don’t I.V., I don’t do things like that. I would rather be in the position to fight 20 hours later, me and Fitch are going to be standing in the ring looking at each other, and I’m going to be happy that I was drinking water and eating as much food as I could the whole time.”

When Penn has fought at welterweight before in fights against Georges St-Pierre and for his last fight against Matt Hughes, he’s come in well under the 170-pound limit, so he’s obviously still staying in shape, not ballooning up just because he can. He just prefers eating and drinking normally, without hitting the sauna to cut a few more pounds before weighing in.

With such a strong statement, could Penn’s time at lightweight be finished? Not so fast.

“I don’t think Dana would ever let that happen,” Penn joked when asked if he had shut the door on a return to 155 pounds.

If Penn is successful at UFC 127 against Fitch, UFC president Dana White has already said the winner would get the slot as the new No. 1 welterweight contender, so his weight class decision could already be made for him.

  • MrAdidas

    Classic sign of Penn being “lazy guy” – he just doesnt like to work “hard”/cut weight like everyone else does, Weight cut is part of the game BJ, if you dont like it, then tough. Not sure how him eating a lil more food & drinking a lil more water will give him any significant of adv over Fitch, considering Fitch will weigh anywhere between 10-20lbs more than BJ come fight night. I’d rather be the bigger, stronger fighter, rather than the more hydrated fighter.

    I’m not saying cutting 25+lbs to make weight is healthy or a good thing, but like the article says, there are good ways & bad ways on how to cut weight. For BJ to not want to really fight @ LW anymore b/c he doesnt want to cut 3 or 4lbs come weigh-ins is proof that BJ is one lazy -PHAT- ass Hawaiian. Some things never change!!!

    I’d bet my life the MAIN reason BJ no longer wants to fight @ LW anymore, is b/c he knows he no longer has the speed adv, nor does he have the stand-up adv like he used to have, Edgar proved that & now with the WEC guys in the UFC, BJ knows he cant be LW champ with his “work ethic”/train a few days & take a few days off & surf. Hope Fitch pounds the shit out BJ “ALWAYS makes excuses when he loses” Penn

    • x1234x

      yur retarted Mr.Faggot Bj has probabaly crushed yur favorite fighters now yur mad lol, Bj is right if he walks around at 165 like when he weighs in loosing 10 pounds then cutting 5 pounds on the day of weigh in is really greulling u wouldnt know cuz yur probably a fat fuck that has never been in any wrestling or weight cutting sports over th long term bj’ phlosophy is better just ask Edgar the guy who beat him.Plus look at Fedor before he got old, Sakuraba, Kid yamamoto, and countless othersthat u wouldnt know cuz yur a UFC HICK and BTW you are 100% right abut the fact that bj is going to welterweight because h lost his speed, but no way his power, his speed yes because every one knows that at lightweight ad lower speed matters doesnt mean hes still not an animal bj would tear edgar apart like a lion it’s kill if the cage was square adnd 10by 10 lol all edgar did in that fight was run away Bj is gonna clipp fitch and that bitch will be like “Owww that hurt and give up” lol

      • spe

        Learn how to spell!!! You make the whole MMA sport look stupid.

    • spe

      I agree Penn is lazy.

  • YellowHare

    Well, it looks like you’re life is forfeit, MrAdidas, because BJ himself refuted this:

    http://www.bjpenn.com/video/keeping-the-fans-updatedno

    Try not to look like such an ass next time.

    • Frye557

      +1000

  • MrAdidas

    YellowHare: BAHAHAH u fucking idiot, did u even listen to what BJ said…..?!? “Dana White will not let that happen” Yeah sure sounds like BJ really wants to fight @ LW…. ohhh no wait, its Dana – you moron!!! Maybe you should listen to what your posting b4 u make ur-self look like a fucking dummy. (posts his “proof” only to make my point even more valid) BAHAHA!!!

    Yeah my life is a forfeit b/c BJ said Dana will not let BJ only fight @ WW, which was stated in the article above. DUHHHHH, u just posted what was written above, genius. As I said, BJ has no DESIRE to fight @ LW, but Dana doesnt want BJ to only fight WW.

    Thanks for proving you’re such a douche bag!

    P.S do the world BUT especially ur parents a favor & kill ur-self LOSER!

    • x1234x

      yur such a homo yur a pussy ass faggot “do yur parents a favpr and kill yur self” how bout you go and do it you cunt, you faggot, you slut, pussy ass white boy, I’d fuck your mom in front of you and you would’nt do shit thats how big of a pussy you are, dumb slut

  • witts

    get a life mradidas, or fix it…. you are a miserable person and i pity you.

  • somecokehead

    My question is this… When Jon Fitch wins a unanimous dec. at UFC 127 what is Penn going to do? If it was anyone else… they might get one more fight after losing 3 out 4 but most would be cut. I think Blow Job Penn’s time is running out and his fans are thinning just as fast. Really… who wants to hear excuses from a loser? Who wants to hear BJ wine and shit talk until he gets his way? I would enjoy a GSP Penn 3 though… I think GSP would knock him out clean this time… maybe embarrass him enough to make Penn quit for good this time! Penn at heart is a quitter. I am not a fan!!

    • Frye557

      I for one enjoy watching B.J fight. He makes an entertaining fight win or lose, which is much more than I can say for GSP or Fitch. If B.J loses to Fitch (which I don’t think will happen) he could always move back down to lightweight, where he dominated until his fights with Edgar. I hope he wins so that we do get to see GSPvPenn 3, simply because the first fight was so close that Penn could potentially win given that he comes in shape. GSP would NEVER knock out BJ cold. Firstly because B.J has one of the best chins in mma, and secondly because GSP has the punching power of an 8 year old, and the killer instinct of a nun. B.J always makes an entertaining fight, which is why I’m a huge fan, GSP always wins, but makes me fall asleep (as does Fitch) which is why I’m not a fan.

  • Frye557

    I might even suggest that even though GSP and Fitch are winning and dominating their weight class, they are quickly losing fans because they are simply fighting to not lose, not to win or even attempt to put on a show. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate their skills, but that’s only part of being a champ or contender. You will never see BJ fight “safe” or simply being content with jabbing out a decision as the champion (ie, Stevenson, Florian, Sanchez).

    • dandesmond

      I don’t think GSP is going to lose too many fans. I know people moan about decisions, but he has looked good in doing so. In the Alves fight, how many people can say they took such a nasty groin injury and make it look like it didn’t happen?

      But you’re right, the best fighters are the ones who always go for the nasty finishes :) ie Carwin, Florian, Sanchez.

      I think if BJ can get past Fitch and GSP goes up in weight, we’re gonna see a new champ. But I do think will win via LnP

  • Frye557

    I agree with you. The Alves fight was great. But lately he seems to be content with playing it extra safe, clearly seen with Kos and Hardy. But yes he is an impressive fighter, I just find it hard to agree with the criticisms of Penn (being a bad loser, etc) when he has put on some of the best fights in the last 7 years.

    • dandesmond

      Penn is one of the best fighters out there still. My issue is his making up of excuses. But in fairness, I hate it when any fighter makes an excuse why they lost. Even with some of my favourite fighters (Although I probably have an unpopular list of favourite fighters like Bisping, Griffin, Mir etc) But I still think he can take out 80/90% of the WW/LW division if he wanted to.

      This is gonna be a great fight though. Can’t wait!