BJ Penn’s Biggest Problem

So there’s another UFC this weekend. Man, having been a fan since the old days (aka – pre TUF), it’s crazy to see so many events going down so often. Anyway, this Saturday is UFC 127 – main event is BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch. Lemme talk about BJ Penn for a minute. With the explosion of MMA in recent years, there’s a lot of new guys in the sport, and a lot of the guys that were so dominant – even just a few short years ago – have literally just been surpassed. (Whether or not Penn proves to end up being one of those guys still kinda remains to be seen, as he’s back at 170 after losing 2x to Frankie at 155.) Penn has been around for a *long* time, though. And he’s been able to keep himself relevant. Wasn’t always that way, though. See, Penn is one of the best pure skill guys in the game. He’s got amazing natural ability, and his skills are just off the charts. I don’t need to tell you about his BJJ, and now his boxing is on par. For as awesome as BJ is, and for as long as he’s been around, this is a guy that should have more championship wins than Matt Hughes and Anderson Silva combined. But he doesn’t. Why not? Simple – as awesome as his skills are, for the longest damn time, the dude just simply wasn’t in shape. BJ is a 155-pounder. His body structure will also support 170 w/o too much trouble. But did you know he’s also fought at 185? Hell, a few years back, he fought at friggin’ 205 in Hawaii. Penn is a guy that should literally have entire rooms in his house wallpapered with championships. I mean, this guy could redefined MMA dominance. But he didn’t and hasn’t b/c he never took getting in shape seriously. One of the biggest fights in MMA history was his megafight with GSP. And BJ *still* gassed after the 2nd round. It wasn’t until he started training w/the Marinovich brothers that he really went on a tear, and really became dominant for a time in MMA. Which, in all honesty, is something he likely coulda been doing all along. Now, am I a fan of how the Marinovich brother do S&C work? Not really – I think it’s kinda “out there”…lol. But at least BJ was finally focusing on being in shape for the first time in his career. Think of other guys that are just always known for being in shape and not getting tired – GSP. Matt Hughes. Randy. Tito back in his prime. Now are all these guys on top still? Nah – not even close. They all just got old (except GSP, of course) and the younger dudes just got better. But that’s even happened to BJ (see my line about him losing 2x to Frankie). I’m not trying to bag on BJ…well, at least not too much. I mean, he’s had an amazing career, after all. But think about how awesome his career coulda been had he really and truly put the time and effort into being in shape since Day 1. Personally, I think he’d have been one of – if not *the* – most dominant champs in MMA history. But because he didn’t…we’ll never know. Do you lose things in life because *you’re* not in shape? Are there things in your history you could rewrite if you were bigger, stronger, faster, or in better condition? Don’t let that continue to happen.

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