BJ Penn has done the opposite of what many fighters do when faced with consecutive losses in a particular weight class. Instead of shedding more pounds in hopes that competing in a lighter division would help him get back in the win column, Penn instead jumped up a weight class to welterweight, where he doesn’t have to worry about cutting weight at all.
“The Prodigy” is giving up a huge size advantage to most anyone he faces in that division, but revealed during a recent conference call in promotion of his upcoming fight with Jon Fitch that he feels stellar back at 170 lbs. and is enjoying the mental and physical advantages that come from not having to cut weight.
“I feel that I’m a happy person right now,” Penn said. “I feel that I’m in a great mindset. When it came to 155 pounds, I didn’t even like cutting the weight to make that weight.”
Though the Hawaiian readily admits that he needed to shed only a few pounds to make the lightweight limit of 155 lbs., the limitation of nourishment required to slim down prior to weigh-ins is something of which he questions the effects.
“It’s not a tough cut for me,” he said. “I’d probably cut about three or four pounds on the day of the weigh-in. But, you know, 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.”
Penn decried the practice of cutting mass amounts of weight, something which has become commonplace in MMA and most fighters have down to a science. “The Prodigy” explained that he would rather not tax his body so severely prior to engaging in combat, opting instead to remain well-fed and happy before he fights.
“I don’t see how that can help you and make you the stronger person,” asserted Penn. “I see people (hooking themselves up to) IV and doing all these things. I never thought about playing those games and sticking needles in my arm or doing stuff like that. But, you know, I come from a whole different mindset. I believe you get as healthy as you can and you go out and you fight the best way possible.”
Penn will face the much larger Jon Fitch this weekend in the main event of UFC 127, which goes down at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. Don’t forget to check back at FightLine.com for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.