BJ's coach: Never in 1,000,000 years would I develop that style
Fans are drawn to mixed martial arts for those moments that make the crowd gasp "WOLY F@$%ING %#!T!!?!"
Sunday night at the TUF 19 Finale fans had a different reaction as BJ Penn assumed precious little offense from an upright stance vs. Frankie Edgar - "WHAT THE F@$%??!?"
Penn's long time coach Jason Parillo appeared recently on The MMA Hour and said that he was confused too.
Some suggested that the cut to 145, BJ's first in his career was potentially the cause of the poor showing. However, Parillo said he noticed the new stand up style during the filming of TUF 19, and offered his opinion, but said Penn was confident in it. So, not wanting to harm a friendship, Parillo let it go.
"I got called a week before the fight to work his corner for the fight, so I, myself, hadn't spent time in camp at all with B.J. ... I answered yes automatically because he's my friend. So I didn't know. They explained to me kind of the gameplan the week of the fight, and I was actually rooming with his boxing coach the whole week, so I was listening to him, talking to him about what they were doing. At that point, it's not my position to make any adjustments, like, ‘no, no, no, let's do this, let's do that,' because it's too late for that. It's too late. He's been doing this s--- for two years. What, am I going to come in the week of the fight and change a whole gameplan? Change a whole style around? That's not going to happen, nor does B.J. want me to make that happen."
"Everybody and their mother is calling me up going, what the f---? They're going, what the f---, Jay? Was is that? And I'm like, I don't know... But you know, that's B.J. B.J. gets something set in his head and he likes it, and apparently it was working for him in the gym, so he wanted to go from there.
"I wanted him bending his knees. It's called sitting down on your punch in boxing, and that way you can use your legs to help with your head movement, help with your footwork, help with all this stuff. He just says he doesn't like that style anymore because it made him too tired. So at the end of the day, what can I do? He's my friend and I've got to support him. I always have and I always will."
"In hindsight, let me tell you this. I come from the game of boxing, okay? Any fighter, any great ex-champion that decides to retire and then wants to make a comeback, two years later they want to make a comeback, their management, their promoters, whoever it is... usually if you're a manager, your main job you do is to shake the rust off this kid. You don't put him in there with the No. 2 guy in the world... It doesn't make sense."
"That goes back to how a fighter is handled. It's always going to go back to that. You've still got to protect your guy, but B.J. steers his own ship most of the time. B.J., it's hard, he's not a guy who really... he likes that challenge. Who's the best? F---, I want to fight that guy. ‘Who's the best? Oh, Cain Velasquez? I want to fight him.' He's 230 pounds, B.J. ‘I know! F--- him! I'll kick his f---ing ass!' That's part of why everybody f---ing loves him, let's be honest. But yes, I do believe he could've had a way better stretch."